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How To Spot A Promising Start-up -> Afterword

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all

– Jawaharlal Nehru

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight,

it’s the size of the fight in the dog

– Mark Twain

My dear friends,

our course is over, but I believe that this is just the beginning of your rewarding journey into the land of software testing. My purpose wasn’t only to teach you how to test, file bugs, or find a job. There was more to it.

I tried to give you HOPE, hope that the treasure called “software testing” is available and reachable. That treasure has radically changed for the best the lives of many people, and my educational efforts had one simple goal: to show you, my students, the shortest path to a new, life-changing career.

Here is how it works: Hope invokes dreams, and dreams call for action. A dreamer is not a person who just says: “I have a dream.” A dreamer is a person who builds imaginary castles first and then goes out there, getting his hands dirty with concrete, breaking nails against the bricks, struggling with fear, bursting through the disbelief of those around him, sacrificing comfort, making mistakes, being at the edge of giving up … and not giving up.

The idea is not only to be excited and inspired, the idea is to materialize your excitement and inspiration into ACTIONS. If you’ve thoroughly studied this course, then you are FULLY QUALIFIED to work as software testers – there’s no doubt about it, but I know that many of you will hesitate. While hesitation is a sign of sanity, I must tell you this: Have hesitations, but don’t let them rule your lives. As I understand it, those hesitations are rooted in two things: fear and/or laziness.


Several years ago I offered to help one of my friends. She was struggling financially and I decided to teach her testing for free and help her to find a job. The job market was hot, and it was easy to find a consulting position for a beginner tester at $35 an hour (approximately $70K a year).

At first, she was really excited, but then she said that … it was too much money and she wanted to take slower steps. When I asked her why she refused the opportunity, she said that she wanted to go to college first (to get a degree in computer science), get several certifications, and then start looking for a job.

So, while all her friends seized the opportunity and were learning technology at work while making $4K to 15K a month, she was working her low paying, low self-esteem job, cherishing her plans about college and certifications and a bright future in software industry.

As you already guessed, she didn’t enter any college. In fact, she did nothing to change her life. She stayed where she was 10 years ago: same lousy job, same lousy car, same lousy apartment; same lousy attitude…. People around her were making fortunes, losing them and making them again, but she kept procrastinating.

IMHO, it’s okay to be satisfied with little, but it’s not okay to be unhappy and do nothing to change your life.

Moral: Sometimes it’s fear and/or laziness that make us come up with reasons to postpone action. I don’t want anyone to look back and see numerous opportunities that have not been taken because of fear and/or laziness. Again, after you’ve taken this course you are fully qualified to work as a software testers.

It’s not going to be easy to find your first job, but it’s absolutely doable. Many of my students have done it. You can do it too!

Here is another thing that I want to warn you about. The world is full of negative, pessimistic people. It’s likely that you have some of them among your friends. DO NOT allow them to screw up your plans.

Once you try to change your life for the best, they will almost certainly try to interfere with their loser talk, telling you, “It’s not possible,” “It doesn’t makes any sense,” “You cannot change your destiny,” “You are from a poor family and have no connections,” “You’ll never make it,” etc. We all have encountered people like this. It threatens them when somebody wants to try something new.

When somebody gives you brainwashing like this, do this simple thing: first say, “I understand your position. Thank you,” and then shake off that loser’s advice and calmly continue to pursue your dreams.

Among those negative souls there can be people who are really smart and/or who you respect, so here’s the deal: Let them be smart or whatever, but don’t let them influence you. Negativity kills opportunity. Better go ahead and clean up your social circles keeping only positive folks who inspire you, believe in you, and make you feel good about yourselves.

Remember, if you follow the advice of negative suckers and don’t follow your dreams (whether they are about embarking on a new career, moving to another country, or finding a soul mate) it’s YOU who will eventually regret about missed opportunities and undeveloped talents. Like Mark Twain put it:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Even if you don’t achieve your initial target, you’ll gain experience, connections, and a bunch of new ideas about where to go next! In many cases, you’ll need to change your approach to reach your dream, or you might start pursuing another dream – and that’s okay.

Life is not static, so why should you be? While you follow your own unique path, you’ll be exploring new facets of life and your personality, and every day you’ll be getting a better feeling about what’s right for you and what have you been born for!

Here is the last thing I want to say.

Each of us is different and life of each of us is different. That’s the fact. But here is another fact: Each of us can wake up in the morning and say: “Wherever I’m right now on this planet Earth, I’m going to do something for my Dream TODAY. Let my Dream seem ridiculous to some and unrealistic to others. But this is MY Dream, and I’m going to do something TODAY to get closer to it.

I wish you great health, a loving family, supportive friends, fantastic careers, and a life full of beauty and inspiration.

Your friend Roman Savin

How To Spot A Promising Start-up -> Afterword