February 13th, 2010

Sea dragon

Work: a learning experience

I thought I'd give you all a little more of an update about work - something more than just humorous anecdotes.

I started making a list of all of the things I've been learning how to do since I took this job - things that are _entirely new to me_ and not what I was expecting to be doing. I now have to:
1) Read contracts and provide intelligent feedback on them
2) Negotiate with software and hardware providers regarding things my team uses
3) Predict my team's needs over a three year timeline (people, hardware, software, training)
4) Negotiate with software creators about products we've contracted with them to create - to try to make what they produce actually match what we expect, and to enable my team, or people we've contracted (again) to do testing, to be able to do their work
5) Cheerlead my team
6) Analyze processes all over the company - all the way back to requirements, and even to when projects are being just considered for possible sponsorship (like "how much would this cost, what would it do, and do we want to do it?") - and work to try to get people to think about testing/quality assurance at the very beginning
7) Go onsite to other companies and "quality assure" their processes
8) Deal with scum "talent" agency people who want me to hire their people. Most of them, telling them to "get approval to work with us" is enough to get them to go away.
9) Deal with charming "talent" agency people from whom we are already hiring their people. These people know more about what is going on that I do, and they're not trying to convince me to outsource all of my work to a foreign country.

Wow, huh? This is all a big learning curve for me, still, but I seem to have made a good enough impression of "knowing what she's doing" that I'm able to just get on with the process and keep trying to figure it out without having people getting in my way or making me afraid to just keep trying. And there are lots of skilled people out there to help me. I just hope that while I'm doing my razzle-dazzle tightwalk tapdance that I don't somehow miss out on something important.

If I do manage to do this job right, I'm going to come out of it all a much more skilled person than I came in. Of course, who knows, maybe I'll still get shitcanned before the year is even out. Either way, at least I'm not bored.