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 third article in the series is an interview with Mahathee D, Senior engineering lead quality at Persistent Systems. Mahathee is from Hyderabad and has been a Software Tester for 8 years. She is a passionate Software Tester and has a wide range of experience in Functional, Non-functional, and Automation testing.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the interview session with Mahathee.
Question 1. Could you please share your story about how you paved your path into Software Testing?
Mahathee: I landed my first job as a .Net developer at Wipro. I wasn’t too fond of coding and was looking for a change or way to get out of it. I had a few friends who were into testing who told me that it would be much easier than development. So, I used to watch my friends every day and take inputs from them, and learned everything related to it later on. I used to sit in the Testing centre of excellence and learned everything related to the craft.
I landed my first Testing project which was a performance testing project using Load Runner. Then after some time, I moved out of the project moved to something that involved exploratory testing and scripting using VB Script.
Question 2. Who is your inspiration or mentor who guided you in your journey?
Mahathee: Initial stages of career until 7 years I had nobody to guide me as such I would learn in all possible ways.
There are 2 persons who have helped me in my journey.
And the next person is Ajay Balamurugadas. I was terribly affected by the pandemic of 2020 and was going through a tough phase in life and that one person who stood behind me through all my tough times is him. I’m really glad that I met Ajay. He never judges and has a great impact. Having a mentor who is down to earth and being approachable is the most important quality that anybody could have and this is what I look forward to in a person.
I would like to thank my dear friend Rahul Parwal who I’ve made through the testing community. I admire him a lot and learn from him. He constantly inspires and motivates me to do better.
A mentor and a good friend could change the entire world and this is what happened in my case. This is something that I have been asking for every single day. The way you think, the decisions you take, value systems, and a lot of other things change.
I’m also thankful to The Test Tribe Community Mahesh Chikane, Geosley Andrades for all their support. Talking to Mahesh feels like your speaking to any other family member. And Geosley gives good advice and suggestions and is creative too.
I really wish I knew all of them a lot earlier but better late than never.
I also have deep gratitude for my parents who have genuinely taken care of all my interests and pursuits. Pure Souls they are.
Question 3. What are the common challenges that you face as a Software Tester? How do you overcome them?
- In the preliminary years, I didn’t know any challenges except the domain, every project has a different domain and if you have a solid understanding of your domain you have a fair advantage but that’s not all. I made sure whichever project I worked in I left some documentation for any newbie who would join so that they don’t have to go through the same set of challenges.
- People problems – A lot I would say, being the straightforward person I’m. I could not escape from this and had to have a lot of difficult conversations and situations. With experience, everything changes that’s the only way I could get over it.
- Mind-set Problems – Not everyone faces this. I was not convinced why should I be a tester. I had many more questions like this but then I met a lead in one of the projects who would clear all my issues. If it was not for him I would have never stuck to this profession.
Question 4. What can people in the same role do to upskill themselves so that they can keep pace with the changing trends?
Mahathee: One thing I would say is that upskilling differs for different people, for me upskilling is about learning about the craft in-depth and applying it suitably, I don’t run behind tools and I’m not the person who is in that mad race for automation saying that it will create magic. I’ve found my interest in Accessibility testing.
So I would say, work on your testing skills, this is the trend that will not change no matter what. Maybe Automation tools, Selenium, or something else can come but your testing skills will never go out of style. Moreover, if you can think brilliantly or can write well, and can effectively communicate your thoughts without beating around the bush then nobody can compete with you.
Then there are email writing skills, focus on this and take help from Grammarly, from your peers, your friends, LinkedIn posts, Twitter, Pinterest. I have realized that all these skills come into place after a considerable amount of time, and I would say writing, reading, listening, communicating are required by any person, not only a tester. I feel remaining could be learned over a period of time with deliberate practice. Also, one last skill I would say is typing.
Question 5. According to you, what are the important factors to consider for becoming successful in Software Testing?
Mahathee: Most people are stuck to the definition where testing is verifying expected vs actual, but testing is much beyond this definition.
- Common sense and Curiosity. Being observant. Learn, Experiment, Explore, and Take Risks Early. Be open to every experience. This fetches you a lot. Also, they say communication but this, you can learn and adapt.
- Learn about testing from the best people or anybody good in that field. Not just learn, make mistakes, fail, learn and succeed.
- Invest in workshops conducted by communities, read blogs and books, listen to podcasts, Test Project Blog, conferences, learning from other testers, Pair Learning/Testing, Mob Learning/Testing, participate in contests, network with people, and learn through their experiences or whatever suits you but learn and implement don’t stop. Just be consistent every single day.
- Join good testing communities, be active and you can have tremendous learnings from them too. Having benefitted from this is all I can say. For me, The Test Tribe did that magic. For you, it could be something else.
- Do it at your own pace slowly, steadily, and most important consistently. Create your style of doing things.
Question 6. What are the upcoming trends in Software Testing that our audience should know about?
- Future can’t be predicted but at the same time if you see there are a lot of start-ups doing good work and have great opportunities for testers. That’s what I think. In fact, when I see the THUB at Hyderabad they always say they want good testers and they are ready to pay to any extent.
- With AI, ML, IoT Blockchain, Data Science doing the rounds. This could be one.
- In some investment banking firms, I have seen that they want people who are only exploratory testers. This is on the rise and many more such openings might come up.
So rise of exploratory testers, need for good testers in startups, and IoT, Data Science, AI, ML these would be the upcoming trends according to me because I see future of testing conferences and I can picture this but there’s no denying that good testers are always in demand.
Question 7. What advice would you like to give to aspiring testing enthusiasts regarding how they can pave their way in the industry?
- Read BBST Courses.
- Books By Cem Kaner and Gerald Weinberg.
- Articles on Satisfice and Developsense Blog.
- Books by Ajay Balamurugadas and if possible attend his workshops, get mentored by him, and try to follow and implement all that he teaches.
- Test Automation University Courses.
- Abhijeet Vaikar’s Git Repo, Huib Schoots, or Katrina Testers Blog (Can be taken up in later stages).
- Follow Work of Good Testers depending on your interest.
- Whatever you do, do it with passion consistency, and focus. Also, join a testing community in the early stages.
‘Trending in Testing’ would like to thank Ms. Mahathee for taking out the time to share her knowledge and experience with the Software Testing community. We appreciate her efforts a lot!
Stay Tuned for more interviews in the series.