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    Global Tester Series – Interview with Pavan Pratap Dara

    Trending in Testing has started an initiative “Global Tester’s Week”. The first article is an interview with Sundaresan Krishnaswami.To commemorate World Tester’s Day, we at “Trending in Testing” have started an initiative “Global Tester Series”. As a part of this initiative, we have interviewed some amazing Software Testers and we will be sharing their responses with our community. We believe this will inspire other testers and will also provide them with a lot of valuable insights.

    The second article in the series is an interview with Pavan Pratap Dara, Assistant Consultant at Tata Consultancy Services. Pavan is an experienced consultant in test automation. He has hands-on testing experience of about 5+ years on designing test automation solutions, framework optimization services, and the right set of tools identification.

    Without further ado, let’s dive into the interview session with Pavan Pratap Dara.

    Question 1. Could you please share your story about how you paved your path into Software Testing?

    Pavan: Like many say, even I entered into Testing field by accident. But somewhere inside my heart, I feel its coincidence of my feeling during my schooling, when I first met my relative who was the first person I met from IT industry and he was working in the Testing field and I felt for the first time in my life that one day I would also become a Software Engineer/Tester like him.

    Though selected in Campus Placement, my destiny didn’t help me to join that company and all my college mates who got selected had started their journey as Software Developers. Then I started my job hunt and finally landed my first job which was by coincidence a pure-play testing services company.

    I have never looked back after that and it’s been close to a decade of my tenure in the IT industry as a tester. I have observed a unique pattern in my career that for every 3 years, I have been taking a new direction like:-

    • New client/organization
    • New Domain
    • New tools/technologies
    • New Challenges to retrospect and prove myself again and again

    and that helps me to come out of my comfort zone.

    Question 2. Who is your inspiration or mentor to guide you towards your journey?

    Pavan: I would always love to look forward to and get inspired from my all-time personal cum professional mentor – Balaji Ponnada, AVP – ZenQ Pvt Ltd. He is a person with whom you can hang out when you are bored, get a direction when you feel deserted, and get inspiration through his way of life.

    Question 3. What are the common challenges that you face as a Software Tester? How do you overcome them?

    Pavan:

    1. Left unrecognized – Most common feedback we hear from most of the testers across the globe, but to be honest this is not limited to only Testers. A few years ago people working for support/operations activities used to tell similar opinions but with the advent of the rich set of tools and DevOps adoption, that trend got changed the way people see those roles.

    Similar is the case with Testing, the way this field has been exploring itself by the wide range of tools, technologies, frameworks, strategies, and so on is never-ending. If you ask me “Is the scope of testing is being reduced ?”. I would say a Big NO because testing is everywhere and everything being built in this world needs testing.

    2. Being treated as granted – This is the very first opinion any tester feels when he enters any new team/project. But there is a trick that many people miss to apply in order to make it counterproductive.

    A Ball will always bounce back every time you hit it to the floor. Similar should be the case with testers. We should come up with all the proofs, documentation, missing gaps, loopholes and place them before the right forum/platform/stakeholders. After all, testers are the only persons in any team who are proven efficient in bridging the gaps at all business, process, and technical levels.

    3. Not aligned with the technology we test – Technologies are vast so are the testing methodologies and we can’t test the same way for all kinds of applications. Each technology has to be tested with a different tool, mindset, scope, etc. Hence a tester should first make a better bond with the technology he is going to test/work on.

    4. Carried away by the trends of 100% automation – Don’t leave behind the basics of testing and don’t just follow the fancy terms/terminologies that you hear in the market. People who start/continue their testing career only with a test automation tool will never be able to understand what actually the testing is.

    It’s always good to learn one or more test automation tools, but it is highly recommended to stick to the basics of Testing first and not to ignore the scope of testing which is not covered/marked as covered using automated scripts.

    5. Feeling bored of the regular, repetitive, and recurring testing tasks – It’s a bitter truth that testing is a repetitive task that’s why many will lose interest in their career. Also, many will start their career thinking that it is the easiest job in the software industry. In my opinion, if you feel bored of any task (be it testing or any repetitive task) that means you are not doing something correctly.

    Why? Because no application is 100% bug-free and no technology is fully aware by one person. So, find out the new ways to test an application, change the way every time you test various applications, introduce yourself/your team with initiatives like bug bash, explore the unexplored, take the path less traveled by, Treasure Hunt the loopholes, etc.

    Question 4What can people in the same role do to upskill themselves so that they can keep pace with the changing trends?

    Pavan: Doing SWOT* analysis for self either every 3 years or whenever you feel you are in the comfort zone.

    *SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.

    Question 5According to you, what are the important factors to consider for becoming successful in Software Testing?

    Pavan: Consistency is the key to success.

    • Identify one tool/skill/learning path at a time.
    • Do some research and understand how you want to see yourself after 6 months.
    • Spend 30 mins of learning and slowly increase it to 1 hour per day (Mandatory step not to miss).
    • Continue it for 21 days, because a goal committed for 21 days will become a habit.

    You can work for free but don’t work for less. But to prove you are worthy, love your work (not the company), and try to give your best at every task you do even if you fail.

    Question 6What are the upcoming trends in Software Testing that our audience should know about?

    Pavan: In my opinion, IoT (Internet of Things) – Testing/Knowledge/Tools/Technology is going to be the must-have skill set incoming 5-10 years. Apart from this

    • Block Chain Testing
    • Cloud Infrastructure Testing / Strategies
    • Retaining the conventional testing methodologies/techniques (by not going behind so-called 100% automation terminologies)

    are the upcoming trends or challenges in Software Testing.

    Also, I am not against test automation, but I believe automation is not going to replace manual testing but will give us more time to do exploratory testing.

    Question 7What advice would you like to give to aspiring testing enthusiasts regarding how they can pave their way in the industry and be successful?

    Pavan: Always start with the basics of anything (be it Testing, Tool, Technology, or Process).

    • Understand it to the root level
    • Practice / Walk through the tutorials with consistency (with Self/Pair/Mob learning)
    • Wet your hands by applying on your own
    • Create a project of your own
    • Then you start playing with your OOB (Out Of Box) thinking skills

    Moreover, make sure you showcase your work to your peers across the globe (Join any communities/conferences to achieve this in a better way). And don’t forget to ask for their valuable feedback.

    ‘Trending in Testing’ would like to thank Mr. Dara for taking out the time to share his knowledge and experience with the Software Testing community. We appreciate his efforts a lot!

    Follow Mr. Pavan Dara on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Stay Tuned for more interviews in the series.

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