In this final installment of my individual apprenticeship patterns, I think an important one to write about would be Find Mentors. To summarize the main point of this one, I would say that it encourages people to observe their role and their surroundings to see where they can find the most value from learning or use their resources. It encourages you to look at things from one level back instead of blindly jumping into something right away.
Personally, I have been in a role where I had to figure out a lot of things that could have just been taught to me. I quickly learned that I would be able to ask other junior developers how they managed to learn things on their own and it helped me a lot. If other junior developers were not available, then I would work my way up to people who had the most recent on-boarding experience and hope that they could recall the process I was currently going through. For the most part, that worked out well!
Thanks to this pattern, I thought it was useful to think about and remind ourselves that even though our mentors will know a lot more about us, they still do not know everything. They are still continuing to learn as much as we are in their own careers.
I thought I should update this blog to throw in a little hidden announcement if anyone actually reads these that I will be learning at a company with about 100 peers going through the same thing. This makes me feel a lot more confident knowing that I will have a designated support system around me and have mentors around.
Overall, I agreed with the pattern. This is because I can testify with my personal experiences how useful it was to be able to utilize my resources including being able to ask mentors questions or just find my own. A common question I had for my interviewers was, “Will I have a mentor or support system along the way throughout my career progression?” Personally, it is important for me to have a designated place to go for support because it just takes one more worry away about having to ask somebody a question.
It is now time to conclude my individual apprenticeship pattern series! I hope you have at least learned one thing from it because I have learned so many things.
If you happen to be reading this page translated from English to another language, hello there, you are one of the main characters of this blog post. Without linguistics, the study of language and its structure, we probably would not be able to figure out how to communicate everything we need to globally while being able to understand it at the same time while testing. There are so many online resources that cover what a specific country or region in a country uses in terms of data formats for their computer systems.
Stickyminds featured an article from Mukesh Sharma on Linguistic Testing: Setting Up Your Software for Global Quality. Sharma dives in by explaining what exactly linguistic testing is–which is testing not only localization but also internationalization. These words basically mean everything we are testing on the software either is or would be fully functioning across the globe.
I found this content thought-provoking as I never specifically thought about how developers and testers would have to consider culturally-aware attributes like the formatting for texts, dates, and currencies. As more and more people are gaining access to the internet across the world, that means there are even more and more platforms to test for gauging market readiness.
An example of a situation that could happen in real life I can think of when testing functionality on websites is for international shipping addresses. If a user, we’ll call him Zayn, from London, England is ordering something from a company based in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) and puts in his shipping address, it should not require him to select a “State” under one of the fields after he selects “United Kingdom / England” as his country option. If that field still requires Zayn to select a state when his country location does not have states, there is a problem.
This will change the way I think when I work as when developing code to solve problems or create something new, I will have to think about if the market or target audience goes beyond the USA. When testing the code, of course every possible scenario must be tested already but there will have to be more details to make sure it all goes smoothly–especially since international errors or problems usually take up more effort to fix as communication plays a big factor.
After going out for so many Saturdays in a row, it feels weird to come home from a Saturday afternoon of working and shopping to a night in lounging in comfy clothes for once. There’s probably a special german word for this feeling, I just don’t know how to google it.
I was asked to attend an event recently and I was given flashbacks to how I always reacted when I found out there was an event for me to attend. I mean, I want to go, but at the same time I don’t know if I really do, you know? The chart I just discovered (above, from @introvertdoodles) will help me figure out whether I should go to things now! I’m always saying “yes!” to things excitedly and then it takes up my entire calendar and now I am going to try and focus spending my energy more carefully.
An article titled “Both Introverts and Extraverts Get Exhausted from Too Much Socializing” caught my eye, and the author, Scott Kaufman mentions a research that concluded how “in general, when under stress, tired, or living in crowded circumstances, people often choose to be alone if they can.”
Every time I take a personality test or compared the sides, my results are definitely more extroverted than introverted because my energy comes from going out and about but I think I may have come to the point of getting burned out because of overloading this. It felt like so much was happening all at once like sensory overload combined with an inconsistent sleeping and eating schedule, I had almost no time for myself. I can’t wait to see what this year brings after being able to reflect on 2017 and trying to make changes.
*Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap Tap…* It was the sound I heard from 6PM to 2AM yesterday night and the night before while typing out all of my essays that were due today.
To anyone who does not want to procrastinate; here are some things I did that helped me stay in focus and get sh*t done:
- Map out everything your need to do for each class so nothing is forgotten and you can physically see what assignments are left.
- Thomas Frank’s “Study With Me” video; he uses the 25/5 pomodoro studying technique and there’s a timer at the bottom of the screen.
- Give your phone to someone who can hold onto it until you are done working on assignments. If you’re worried about missing anything important, have them periodically check your notifications for you.
- Go old school and make flashcards to study and memorize important terms and concepts. If you don’t like handwriting things or prefer portability, make them using Quizlet and then review them on your phone between classes.
When I said all of my essays; I meant seven of them. Five were reflection papers based on what we went over in class and two of them were longer works; a midterm and a final paper. Why did I have to write so many essays in a short period of time? Because I hate myself. Just kidding, I love myself so much that I let myself avoid responsibilities for a while. After this, I swear I’m not going to procrastinate again…so I tell myself.
Good luck on your studies! x
Do you see the pink backdrop in the feature photo? I spent $38 on it and I have no ragrets. (That was a reference to the movie We’re the Millers btw, it’s a hilarious movie that you should check out ft. Jennifer Anniston!)
Anyways, hey guys! It’s been a while since I last posted but now that my college winter break is approaching soon, I’ll have more time on my hands. I’m setting a goal of either vlogging or blogging (almost) daily.
I’ve OFFICIALLY bought my own domain name under my own name. I started thinking about how there are now more than a handful of Samantha Tran’s now who may or may not be considering a website and I had to get my hands on it for my future. (Sorry girls!)
Hey guys! So my last official day of high school is approaching fast and I’d like to get a list out there of the dos and don’ts I’ve learned so far. I’ve organized my scrambled thoughts into a few categories; for your senior year, for the SATs, for college mail, for your paperwork, etc. I’ll definitely keep adding to and revising this list until it covers all you should know!
FOR SENIOR YEAR (AT SCHOOL):
•go to school events, you don’t need to go to everything but try everything you’re interested in at least once, you never know, you might just stick to it.
•challenge yourself, I mean, you’re going to attend college in a year, you have to be prepared! Take an AP if you haven’t considered doing so already or try dual enrollment! I highly encourage dual enrollment because I was able to meet more people, see what a college environment was actually like, and get high school credit at the same time! Let’s not forget about the access your college student ID grants you too, to places like the gym, library, discounts, etc.
•get enough sleep…I’ve probably slept 5-6 hours a night for the past two months…
•procrastinate too much. I definitely procrastinated and still do it A LOTTT A LOTTTT but I realize now that it’s a little problematic. I passed things in online on nights of the days they were due… Or even worse. And it just kills your time… oops
FOR THE SATS:
•Take it ASAP or if you still have time the end of this year, at least once junior year and once or twice your senior year!
•Try a college/SAT preparation program, even if you are already content with your score(s) because you’ll still be practicing and maybe even learn things you didn’t notice before!
•say “I’ll just show up and take the test” please please please prepare yourself, even one question a day could help!
FOR COLLEGE MAIL:
•Respond to “FREE T-Shirt” promotions by colleges in return for your basic information. I’ve gotten a few thanks to this and they’re so comfy to sleep or lounge around in. Did I mention they’re FREE?
•Try to open the brochures and letters you receive when you do because I once got this letter and ignored it until things piled up, I opened it and saw that if I was one of the first 200 students to complete a one/two-minute survey for them, I’d get $5.00 Amazon credit.
•sign up for too many emails/address-required college things, they WILL share your information and continue to spam until you go and contact them or click unsubscribe in your email settings
FOR YOUR PAPERWORK:
•organizer a binder consisting of: colleges you’re applying to and got accepted to, scholarships you’re applying to and received, financial aid information, your HS transcript, (unofficial) SAT/ACT scores, recommendation letters, and make a few copies of each document and put them into clear plastic slips so you can easily send them out to wherever you need to.
•lose or misplace important documents. This will definitely become a hassle and you’ll end up wasting too much time looking for things instead of getting them done.