When people ask me what I do I usually try to avoid the question. Sometimes I try to come up with a witty response but normally I just say “I don’t want to talk about work”. I avoid the question because: I feel like it’s hard to explain what I do, the company name isn’t well known, what I do is nerdy, its not the most exciting job in the world, and did I mention that what I do is nerdy?
So here it is. This is what I do.
I am a Quality Assurance Analyst for a small software company in Renton that creates 3D design sales tools for closet and storage design. Basically I try to represent the user and find defects in the program. I sit in front of a computer all day (actually multiple computers) in a cubicle looking for bugs in the software. I also spend time creating test plans and researching what new features are going in the version. It can be boring at times but I like the aspect of needing to be organized and detail oriented. Also its pretty exciting to find bugs – especially ones that crash the program, those are my favorite!
I started working at this company right out of college (6 years ago). I worked there for a couple of years and then decided I wanted to work for a larger company that had better benefits and the possibility to move up in the company. I ended up interviewing and getting a job in the IT department at Alaska Airlines. I worked on the Flight Operations team and worked on programs that helped dispatchers, plane weight and balance, delay coding and fun stuff like that. I loved working there and not just because I could fly for free! I loved everything about airplanes so working on software that supported the day to day operations was very exciting! In the year and a half I worked there I was asked about 3 times by my old company to come back and eventually the offer became good enough that I couldn’t refuse. Alaska counter-offered but my decision had been made.
It was a good move because I would have the ability to work a more flexible schedule as well as part time if we decided to have a family. So I went back. Going back was really good but really bad all at the same time. I was so sad to leave Alaska – I cried every day for weeks when I would drive by my old office. It was on the way to work. I wasn’t stalking them. I promise. I am glad to be back to my old company though. I have more responsibility and love the applications that I am working on. It also worked out because now that we have a baby I am only working 30 hours a week.
I didn’t know how it would be to work and have a baby. I didn’t know if I would want to stay home all time time. I dreaded going back to work after my 12 week maternity leave. I was scared and didn’t know how I would balance work, baby, home, and life. Typical Salli-style I had a major meltdown. Typical Patrick-style he calmly and lovingly supported me and suggested that I should go back and try it for a few months and if it wasn’t working I could be done. There is childcare in my building so that was super convenient – Hunter just came to and from work with me and I could visit/feed him at any time during the day! I decided to work three 9 hour days in the office and the other 3 hours at home. (Actually now that I think about it when I first went back things were a bit crazy. There was a huge project that needed more of my time so I worked 40 hours a week for the first month. It wasn’t too bad and that told me that I was going to be able to make this all work out.)
Anyway if you were to ask me 10 years ago where I thought I’d be this wouldn’t have been it. I never saw myself doing a nerdy job. I never saw myself working by choice after having a baby. I never saw myself as someone that companies would want as an employee. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Maybe at some point I will decide that staying at home is the right thing for me but right now it isn’t. The 12 weeks I was home on maternity leave were extremely difficult. That’s a whole different story for a different post.
Funny how life works out sometimes.Share on Facebook