Maryam Umar
Jul 1 · 3 min read

I never understood the true value of this act until about three years ago.

At some point of our careers/life we all start longing for guidance which can help us move forward. I don’t know about you, but I. Am certainly surrounded by lots of smart individuals who are reaching or have reached a plateau.

Around 2017, I had this strong desire to get help about the way I deliver conference talks. I attended a meetup (Agile London) where Dan North (now Daniel Terhorst-North) was speaking. I reached out to him after, to seek some guidance around presentation format and delivery. There has been no turning back since. He has shared this tremendous amount of knowledge, learnings and overall drive which is highly infectious. Every time I need some help, I reach out to him and he has never disappointed me. He has always helped improved my thinking and perspective which has usually ended up in a very positive outcome.

Earlier this year, I attended Craft conf in Budapest (I will write about this conference in a separate post). This time I was fortunate to meet Jez Humble. Luckily, he is Dan’s mate so it made it easier with introductions. He spent quite a lot of time with me taking me through what I can gather from his work in the book Accelerate. He helped me understand what and how I can work towards to gather the correct data to determine quality of products. Later, we had loads of laughter with his peers at a speakers dinner and talking about ‘Frisco!

More recently, I joined a Women in Testing slack channel setup by the amazing Lisa Crispin. Again, the energy in that channel is every version of positive you can think about. It’s probably the first time that I have felt an immense amount of psychological safety when it comes to my career. I have also learnt that it’s ok to not know about everything. And it’s ok to also say you want to improve your work life. Lisa and Isabel have always been helpful in this group. I also had the good fortune of speaking with both of them in a webinar panel back in May 2019. Every time I have asked for help from them, they have not only made the time from their schedules, but also provided some constructive feedback.

These experiences have made such a positive impact in my life that now I am in a situation where I am beginning to mentor other women in the industry too.

I have learnt that mentoring is not only about providing guidance and help. It’s most of all about providing a place to vent and comfort for the mentee.

I really hope that our industry continues to grow and help other people around it and makes it a safe place to practice our expertise.

Musings of a perfectionist mind!

This blog will serve as a view into my very busy brain!

Maryam Umar

Written by

Musings of a perfectionist mind!

This blog will serve as a view into my very busy brain!

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