The downside to being an automated test contractor is that when you’re actively engaged on a project, there’s little time for doing anything else. It becomes a commercially-motivated cycle of work, eat, sleep, repeat.
Once you’re outside of that cycle, as in not in active work, it’s hard to motivate yourself into thinking about development and code. It’s hard to come up with things that are worth documenting online. I remember when I first became a contractor and every time a contract ended, it was incredibly dispiriting, and if outside a contract long enough, it can be quite depressing*. Maybe it’s just me but I doubt it.

Where there’s no time and no opportunity while on a contract, the opposite doesn’t seem to hold true, given all the time in the world, my brain goes into hibernation and I don’t turn the performance tester part back on until my next interview or job.

And it is for entirely this reason that I haven’t updated either site in over 12 months. It’s actually a good thing since during that time I have mostly been busy working at a couple of different gigs. My point is it’s hard for anyone to tell since the preparation of content doesn’t happen whether I’m working or not.

As in most things it seems to be cyclical, and there seem to be some common factors which equate to me sitting down to post.

  • I need to be working but not busy.
  • I need to be engaged on something new, interesting or difficult
  • I need to be able to access the site during working hours, and most employers lock down ftp ports and disallow software for uploading images etc
  • That’s pretty much the full list. I find it difficult to sit in front of a computer all day, and then go home / back to the hotel and sit in front of a computer some more. Even my world of warcraft account doesn’t get attended to…

    So I could once again promise to write an article on jmeter, loadrunner, performance center etc, but you’d be advised to ignore that promise, or take it with a very large pinch of salt. I’ll come up with something eventually…

    In any case, I now have a new contract, at IKEA, looking at performance testing with Loadrunner, ALM, Performance Center and using Splunk to analyse the results – which is new to me.

    It’s beginning to shape up into that magical configuration of things I’d write about.

    * Strangely that effect has diminished over time, and self-belief kicked in instead. Now when I’m out of work, I find I’m motivated by going to the gym, relaxing, catching up with things I don’t normally have time for. Effectively you KNOW you’ll be working again soon so you make the most of it.

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