What can you do for earth?

Just had quick thoughts exchanges with a fellow group member on my facebook group – “Common Sense Meets Sustainability” basis climate situation in Australia. It seemed to me, that he is overwhelmed due to the size of the problem.

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Let me share some tips with you, so you still have hope and you dont give up. Because things will only change if every single one of us is committed.

Remember – there is no planet B. No one else is working somewhere in some corner who will suddenly save us from the devastation. We have to save our planet. Everyday. In every act of ours.

Here are some tips for you – first and foremost, learn about sustainable development goals. Agenda 2030 is a beautiful framework which if we achieve, our planet will be on the path of course correction. Try and follow these –

1. Measure your carbon footprint and water footprint and optimize them. And what you cannot reduce, then, offset carbon emissions appropriately.

2. Be consistent and start giving towards a specific SDG. Not just random donation. Find a good non profit or social initiative that is doing good work. Support them by giving your time, in kind, cash….any help they need and that you can give.

3. Measure the space. Watch the growth. Know what will make an impact. How much will make an impact. Mobilize your resources and people in your network to also work on some SDG in a focused way.

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4. Be mindful of little nuances. Packaging, sourcing, disposal, end of product lifecycle….support responsible businesses.

Hope this helps. If there is any doubt in your mind, I am willing to help. Even for individual cases. You can reach out to me at sm@fandoro.com to understand how you can bring a change.
Look at the volunteer calendar at Fandoro.com and contribute your time and effort to these initiatives.

Hope this helps… remember this is our only  home and our chance.

And I thought I had time….

I have forever been intrigued with the ways Jerry Weinberg’s thought. James Bach introduced his existence to me. I looked up his name. I got impressed. End of story.

Every now and then I would read his work. And feel a pull to his ways of thinking. People in testing world specially, quote him left, right and center.  Let me tell you something about me, before I go further in my story – I love talking to creative and sharp minds. Minds that are so logical that nothing can beat them and yet humane in their own way – I feel instantly connected with them in some karmic ways. And then I just want to talk to them, know them more and learn from them.

As destiny would have it – Over the next few years, his name just grew on my mind. I saw his mention and work so much all around that I decided to meet him. (More so, because most of his work can not be defeated by some anti – theory). When I started to make my bridge towards him, people all around told me – he doesn’t travel around anymore for health reasons. But I wanted to see him in real like face 2 face and interview him- not just hear him like I hear him on some youtube video. I wanted to watch how his eyes move, how his expressions change, when he smiles, what raises his brows. In short – Wanted to understand him in my own unique way.

So I reached out to him, asking if I could do a video call with him- that was in May 2016. He immediately said yes and infact said that he would love to do it. Being in different time zones, our times would never match – he was old (sleeping and waking hours thing) and I am a working mother of 2 growing kids. After some tries of different permutation ad combination on timings, I got busy with more bread n butter related work and my desire to do the video call with Jerry got pushed towards rear in the ever humongous queue of my to-do.

A couple of days later – I receive an email from Jerry, saying – Did you recv my response about possible times for a call? I didnt hearback from you.

Ahhhh….I was like – ooopppsssss- told him, I was still struggling with a match for our times and that I will figure out something soon.

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Later that day – he mentioned the time and date best for him. I was very happy that day – because firstly it seemed a leader like Jerry was interested in talking to me and secondly, he did take time out of his busy schedule and inform me. So, I was all set. Technically, nothing was pending for this call to happen. But it didnt.

I spent another month or so before I remembered I had to schedule this. Towards end of July, when summer vacation for my kids were over and I could work more hours, I again wrote to him that maybe we could do the call now.
He responds back a day later – says, he is hoping we can do it and that he is looking forward to it.Jerry2

And it again didn’t happen. I had the go ahead, available time-slots known but I still didn’t schedule it right away. As it happens to every one – it happened to me too – I got immersed into 20 other “critical” work. Every now and then the thought would come to me and I used to think – its fine, I will do it soon. I HAVE TIME.

For almost 2 yrs. 7/22/2016 to 8/7/2018 I thought I had time, only to realise today, that I dont have Jerry now. With all the time that I have for the rest of my life, I wont get to do something that was so close to my heart.

Jerry – I will miss you and your ways. But like a true teacher, even when leaving us, you taught me a lesson in it.

I realized today I DON’T HAVE TIME.

The places I need to see on this planet – needs to be done today. Atleast get started with the list of places and timelines and plans to visit them.

The People I need to meet, hug, interview, know better, be friends with, click selfies with – has to happen today  – whatever little we can begin with. Whoever I can start with.

The money I wish to make – has to be made today. Atleast I need to start making some of it today.

The Fame I want through the influence / impact I shall have, need to be to built today. Atleast the beginning of it.

I have always wanted to make world a better place. I started Fandoro, with that thought in my mind. I encourage people to perform  Individual Social Responsibility through meaningful gifting on our platform. On an average 2-3 new NGOs register daily on this platform . But the need for help and support is too high. And I need to add more enterprises in my kitty per day, whose employees contribute towards these NGO needs and make this world a better place. I havent been doing it with utter sincerity. But I do dream of a successful  startup – Fandoro Technologies Pvt Ltd- EVERYDAY.

All of my procrastination ends today with Jerry’s last teaching to me – There is no time to do all I wish to in this life. I need to work on NGOs and Enterprises – EVERYDAY.

We will miss you Jerry. But your teachings will forever enlighten our mind and guide our paths.

Inspiring meetup, but with -1

Test Practitioners Club is a Testing Meetup based mostly in National Capital Region , India. We have been in existence since January 2014, that’s when we hosted our first meetup.

We started with 8 subscribers to the thought and all of them attended.

And I was the only woman and I was a bit disappointed at this but not disheartened. I was determined to change this and I knew how to. Little did I know back then, that I am not thinking right.

We now have 943 members on the meetup group alone (excluding FB page followers)and at our latest meetup we had over 40 members join us. We try to do the meetup as frequently as possible. We would love to do it once a month but we are unable to. Regular members of the meetup are now stepping up to take more initiatives and sometimes they host the event at their venue, and find speakers too. That kind of leadership helps a lot to continue organizing the meetup.

Test Practitioners Club April 2018 meetup was held at Oracle office thanks to Manoj Jain, the Director (Software Development). Among the speakers were a few regular attendees and core team members (Gaurav Bansal (Snapdeal) / Nitin Mukhija (PayUMoney) / Omkar (Naukri), some from Oracle –  Amit Vashishtha and one surprise speaker – Siddharth Taneja (Make My Trip).

 

Siddharth Taneja came out to be a very special story. He is braving Cerebral Palsy .

He works as a FTE at MakeMyTrip and he is not just surviving there on compassionate grounds but is winning as one of the best performers in his team. A glimpse of his story can be seen at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P600zzicDZc

 

He set us thinking that there can be no limitation too big to learn, if there is a strong will and desire to learn. When asked what he wanted to do – he said “I want to make a dent on the world“. He wants to be someone who is taken note of when he leaves.

With the overwhelming execution of the current meetup in April 2018 – we feel very successful in being able to mobilise the testers to a point where community learning is being enjoyed and looked forward to. We have consistently had over 40 members attendance and atleast 35-40% women testers participating as attendees.

But there is one aspect that has made us feel a bit like failure. Infact, not just a bit, but more like a big embarrassing failure.  Personally, being someone who has participated in different capacities in so many initiatives for including more women in technology and being a very known enthusiast for leading such initiatives, it feels like a big MINUS ONE when I am unable to bring women speakers to our meetup.

It gets even more disturbing to me when we are seeking women speakers from the best of the organizations in the region and we don’t get even ONE submission or interest from them. Occasionally we have had women speakers from “Srijan Technologies” thanks to our evangelist Anil Chandana there. But that’s about it.

Not sure where we are going wrong. I am going to continue tryng to fix it going forward. Our next meetup is in May 2018. And we are going to organize meetups as frequently as possible – hopefully once a month.

If any tester is interested in speaking at the meetup , please email me directly at smita.mishra@qazone.in or reach out to us at our Meetup page or Facebook Page.

My humble appeal – If you are a women tester or technology enthusiast, and wish to speak or know of some such women technocrats – please reach out to us. We will also support them in getting mentored on how to present if they have never done Public Speaking before. Point to note here – This doesn’t stop men from reaching out to us to get the same support.

Looking forward to having women speakers at our meet-ups.

Continue, Change or Let it go…

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I often hear my daughter sing – Let it go (the Frozen song) and I enjoy it as a beautiful song in young voice. And she truly enjoys singing it.
Recently I saw an update from a dear friend and a professional who has my truest respect – Pradeepa Narayanaswamy. Her update had her site that mentioned her aspirations and achievements so far, as a life coach. That got me interested, because the Pradeepa I knew, was more of a technology person, teaching teams to work together and getting truly agile. On going through her work, I landed on her blog post Let it go, Let it go…
That article talks about letting go of those relationships that end for reasons you may not fully accept or understand. And it got me thinking about work and personal relationships all around us. Yes, when the relationships end – you have less choice but to accept it. And even though it may be a bitter end or unexplained, its in your interest to let it go. It made me think of relationships that have not ended but have lost its original sheen and meaning. Relationships that give you more pain than pleasure.
What do we do when it is simply not working out between the 2 and its becoming a daily nightmare to carry on with it? And neither of the party is giving up either. What does it truly mean? And think about it in terms of not only husband-wife, girl friend – boyfriend, or with ones in-laws but also between and with co-founders, investors, advisors, team, managers – why is the relationship so difficult?

More often than not, when money or kids are involved- it could offer a very straight forward insight into why the painful relationship still exists. However, let’s also get this understanding – that in such cases, though the official name of the relationship still remains what it used to be- the relationship has now evolved into meaningless forced bond.

At first, a relationship is conceived because 2 individuals or entities found something in each other  they needed. It continues to be pleasurable if they are happily deriving what they need and are happy to give what the other needs. Its universal truth hidden from none that you can’t have everything in the world and that forces one to have their priorities clear. Because very often one has to trade off 1 benefit for another. Now if both the parties have the same priorities for the benefits and willing to do the required trade offs – the relationship continues to work. Occasional hiccups are a sign of a healthy relationship – exceptions prove the theory.

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But when the priorities of the 2 parties are not clearly defined or do not sync , then how difficult the relationship will be shall depend upon how far are the trade offs and core objectives of either one, from each other.
If you find yourself constantly misunderstood, having trust issues, backstabs and constant complaints of not doing enough in the relationship, then you probably are going through this. Specially more, if you feel helpless in getting your point across and for others to not see your point of view. And, if you do find yourself stuck in such a situation – what are your ways out?
1. Continue – until you physically give up and your body shows signs of ageing and being sick . And one day either of you will be dead. And so will the fight. But it won’t keep you from feeling incomplete and having tons of ugly memories to live with. And substantial loss of reputation (for all the things you do to show the world a perfect picture). In a way, this is easiest to do and pretend like all is well, when everything inside you is breaking and crying for help – because it keeps you in your comfort zone wrt the outer world. This is very draining emotionally, everyday. Keeps you from achieving your true potential in life.
2. Try something new. Change your stand, if you can. If you are going to apply the same solution to the problem over and over , and it didn’t work for so many times why do you think it would work now? Can you try changing your stance and giving in and if the relationship is truly worth, can you realign your priorities to the other party and see if that brings you closer to the larger goals. It may not be a perfect win-win situation but it will save your relationship and maybe, just maybe – you realize that for the longest time you were holding on to something non-critical, just for the heck of it. Weigh in your trade offs and priorities.
3. Let it go – Now, this is the toughest part. Not only because the world sees it and that makes you uncomfortable with “what the world would think of this”. But also if we are insecure and having difficulty imagining the other individual or entity in another relationship or yourself living by just your own self (technically single). If having the possession of the relationship is more important to you than the relationship itself – you could very well be trapped here. But when you are in a situation where you can’t continue anymore or have tried everything you can to realign in order to keep it, then it’s officially the time to “let it go”. Keep in mind that the same body (as sick it may be) feels heavier post death. And the longer you carry a weight , the heavier it begins to feel.

Choose the way forward carefully – pause, get your head and heart sorted and then charge ahead – remember – being happy and healthy is most important!! Focus on leading a meaningful life that matters.