Goodbye my Old Friend Phonak; and Hello my New Friend eBay


It is one of those rare events; at least for me who is not a job hopper. There are a couple more minutes left to officially being employed with my old employer Phonak AG, with whom I have proudly spent the last almost eight years. And then I will equally proudly become an eBay man. Yet, the transition feels odd.

In December 2004 I was studying at the university in Zurich and the only reason I started to work with Phonak, was, that I was in urgent need of money. How could I have known that it was the start of a career in software testing. And how could I have known that I would get seriously hooked with the context-driven school. James Bach, of course, was not at all innocent in all this.

Phonak has been an excellent employer for me and I would especially like to thank my former boss - Philipp - for everything he has inspired in me. Actually, why don’t you just have a look at his recently started blog to see what a marvelous free thinker a software development unit director can be. Philipp is a remarkable person, who, with his razor-sharp analytic abilities, yet relaxed compassion with people, was a pleasure to work for. May milk and honey always flow in his general direction.

And now the time has come for a change.

I have been a line manager for a total of 13 people. It has been rewarding and on the other hand it does not leave a lot of time to do actual testing. As I have written in a post a while ago, it has been something I wanted to change. eBay has miraculously offered me this opportunity. I can have the best of both worlds, still doing line manager work by enabling people to achieve their best and also doing hands-on testing. How great is that!

It will be fun to read this post in a few months when I know more about eBay. So, what do I aim for within eBay?

My goal is nothing less than making my group of testers world class. And by world class I mean a team of fantastic individual personalities that is the envy of every other company. One that has sparkle in their eyes when they talk about software testing. One that inspires. One that understands world class as not being the end of a journey but constantly being on the road in search for excellence. One that every other manager would hire on the spot, only that none in the team would be interested for any price in the world, because they cannot have a better place to work for than eBay. One that has a smile on their faces.

This is bold, yes, and I would like to end this post with some beautiful sentences by a great man:

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” - Muhammad Ali

With this in mind - dear eBay - let’s see what I can do for you. I am looking forward to getting to know you all. See you on Monday.

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