Global Tester Series – Interview with Pricilla Bilavendran

    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 sixth article in the series is an interview with Pricilla Bilavendran, Senior QA Engineer at Billennium. Pricilla is a Passionate Test Engineer, with a decade of experience in Quality Assurance. She has experience in different flavors of Testing like Functional, EDI, ETL, Automation, and API Testing. She is so keen and loves to handle APIs. She is a Postman Supernova and speaks at various events regarding APIs and Postman. She is an “AWS Community Builder”, and she is the global ambassador of WomenTech Network. She is a strong believer of Karma.

    Without further ado, let’s dive into the interview session with Pricilla.

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

    Pricilla: Honestly, like many others, I am into testing by accident. I got selected through an off-campus interview. After a few months of waiting, I got my offer letter. When I joined, it was just the separation of batches in my office and I landed up in the Testing domain. Of course from an IT background I had software Testing as a paper during my Engineering days. We had three months of intensive training and a few assessments. So my academy training gave me more insights and real-time knowledge about Software Testing. I started to fall in love with it. So I thought of continuing it, luckily I got a US-based Insurance Client as my first project and then I am a full-time tester to date.

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

    Pricilla: My family is my biggest inspiration. They are supporting and motivating me every day. As for Mentoring, I have a few lists of people who are part of my professional journey, starting with my first Team lead to the present one. Each one of us helped me to shape my career.

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

    Pricilla: I would like to explain a bit more about my initial days in Malaysia. Due to my family reasons, I resigned from my job in India and we moved to Malaysia. Just with a few months of professional gap, I had lots of challenges to get a job here. I never faced this before, because I spent my 7+ years in my first organization. Yes, you heard it right.

    So job search is totally a new process and along with that too into a different country market I felt very tough. Finally, after a few months, I finally settled into a job.

    We are being underestimated and in some organizations, we are not even considered, we are replaced and we are blamed easily, and so on. I would suggest speaking confidently and never shut yourself just because you are a Tester. Once you learn new tools/technologies, get to know new people from different parts of the world, and help the community then you will be unstoppable.

    I would also like to highlight that many women are going through a lot after a career gap. This should be stopped in our industry and just for that reason in my LinkedIn bio I have mentioned “Mom” as my top title. Many women message me and open up about their career struggles to me. Special shout-out to every woman in Tech.

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

    Pricilla: Yes, correct this is one common hindrance we face. The current project you are working on might still be using some legacy systems and there’s no learning curve at all.

    Firstly you need to do an analysis like what kind of new tools/technologies can be implemented here. And you should be investing your time in learning and POC. When the right time comes you can suggest the new tool/technology for migration or any automation implementation.

    You can also try to work on leadership skills if you have got a few years of experience.

    You can try to do self-learning based on the current trends and most of the free software versions are good enough for self-learning.

    You can try/ask for some internal project/role swap so that you can learn new stuff.

    Lastly, if none of the above works then it’s time to leave that place.

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

    Pricilla: I believe there’s no such mantra. Which is working out for me, will not be for you. So, better self-realization is much needed here.

    You need to decide. It’s your game, and you play your way. But just remember that being kind to others matters the most.

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

    Pricilla: Very Interesting Question. This is one topic which I used to do some research on regularly. From my understanding, I see a lot of companies are investing in AI and Machine learning. So this implies we need to start learning them as well. I would list a few based on my research and interests:

    • AI and Machine learning
    • Cloud-Based Testing
    • RPA tools
    • Low-code or No Code automation tools (they are already doing a revolution)
    • APIs and API Testing related tools (how will I miss this)

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

    Pricilla: Yes, a few points. I always felt that my younger self QA would have known things better. But few are life lessons we learn by making mistakes.

    1. Of course, learning the client application is important, but make sure to learn new tools along with that.
    2. Being a Tester you should not make assumptions, ask questions, and document/record whenever needed.
    3. You should know when you should be assertive, when to be subtle and when to remain patient/calm.
    4. Try to interact with great leaders, their mentorship might provide you some light when you are confused about things.
    5. Be a part of the Testing communities, and try to help others as much as you can. You never know how much it matters to them. After all, knowledge sharing is caring.

    Any other thoughts you would like to share with us?

    You guys are doing an amazing job for the community! Keep supporting and let’s make the IT world a better place for testers.

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

    Follow Ms. Pricilla on LinkedIn, and Twitter.

    Stay Tuned for more interviews in the series.

    Read the previous interview in Global Tester Series with Nisarg Kadam

    Read the previous interview in Global Tester Series with Ajay Balamurugadas

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