FailQonf - Peter Walen - The Test Tribe

Peter Walen

QA/Tester at The Doctors Company

Talk Title

A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: What You Do After Being Fired Matters


In December of 1914, the laboratory and workshop run by Thomas Edison was destroyed by fire. Looking at the ruins, he said “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start a new.”

Getting fired, made redundant, sacked. It does not matter what you call it, losing your position can be a devastating experience. It does not matter what the reason is. Getting sacked is usually seen as a massive failure. How you respond will determine if this is a permanent state or if you can recover, if not soar higher than before. Pete talks about the first time (there has been more than one!) he was fired, and how he answered the challenge.


Peter Walen is a strategist, technologist, and philosophical thinker who has spent the past 25 years focused on solving quality problems in complex organizations. His formal education included history, philosophy, music, and education. Using dialogical methodologies honed from years of teaching and technology experience, Pete works to help organizations, teams, and individuals enact positive change by changing the social relations in the organization. 

Pete’s dialogical methodology has proven effective in large, enterprise organizations as well as small startups. Pete has employed his methodology in full-time, contract, and consultative capacities. He understands the nuanced challenges that testers face in an ever-changing landscape and uses the depth of his knowledge and breadth of his experience to make changes in the organizations where he works, and to help other software professionals do the same. 

Pete enjoys making and teaching Irish and Scottish traditional and folk music. He also writes to share his experiences about the software industry. You can learn more about Pete’s philosophies of software testing and quality on his blog. 

He is a member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the Scrum Alliance, the Agile Alliance, and a former Member of the Board of Directors of The Association for Software Testing (AST). 

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