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 seventh article in the series is an interview with Rahul Parwal, Senior Software Engineer at ifm. Rahul is a Software Engineer by education, a Software Tester by trade, a Programmer by practice, and a Mythology lover by heart. He is a speaker, mentor, and writer based out of Jaipur, Rajasthan. He has dabbled in software development, testing, and automation, and often shares his learnings in his blog. His latest e-book is available at leanpub.com/productivitytoolkit
Without further ado, let’s dive into the interview session with Rahul.
Question 1. Could you please share your story about how you paved your path into Software Testing?
Rahul: Like most of the testers, I used to think that I am the Accidental Tester. However, recently I realized that I am not the Accidental Tester, but I am the Destined Tester. Although, I paved into professional software testing much later in my career (After 2+ Years of working as a Software Developer and Project Management Operations Engineer), My actual journey with Software Testing began many years before that.
From the beginning of my engineering days, I was fascinated by Ethical Hacking. I used to attend workshops on Hacking, watch videos on YouTube related to hacking and discuss it with my college seniors. In my III year, when everyone was looking for training courses of their interest, I decided to do my training in the field of Ethical Hacking under the guidance of Mr. Vimal Daga. During my training, my mentor guided me to develop a project on Penetration Testing. So, what started with an interest in Hacking ended up with my first project in Testing.
After completing college, I joined Capgemini as a Software Developer (.NET), the first project that was assigned to me was for a project management operations role in a testing account. I used to develop .NET applications for PMO needs. After completing almost two years in this role, I got an opportunity within the same account to work as an automation engineer in dotnet Technology. So again, what started as a developer role in a testing account ended up as a Test Automation Engineer role in this account. Here, I gradually learned more about Testing as well as Test Automation and slowly I started to develop an interest in the field of Testing. Today, when I look back, I feel testing was destiny for me.
Question 2. Who is your inspiration or mentor to guide you towards your journey?
Rahul: I take inspiration for my work from my mentor, Ajay Balamurugadas. He challenges me to always take that extra mile in whatever I do. There are a lot of things that I have learned from him that inspire me daily. Some of them are:
- Power of Compounding
- Principle of Least Regret
- It’s always a People’s Problem
- Let your Partner Win
- Never Split the Difference
- Trust is a double edge sword
- Think Big!
Question 3. What are the common challenges that you face as a Software Tester? How do you overcome them?
Rahul: One of the most common challenges that I face as a tester is to maintain my emotional quotient. Being a tester can be socially hard at times as you have to continuously look for problems that might harm the charm/reputation of the product/organization for which we are working. The real challenge starts once you find some n number of issues with the software. Of course, not all problems need immediate fixing. However, it is sometimes challenging to make stakeholders realize how a small-looking issue might lead to a big loss in production. To be a great tester, one needs to be good at sociology, epistemology, story-telling, presentation, advocacy, note-taking, reporting, consulting, etc.
Over time, I have realized that skills like Bug Advocacy, Reporting, etc. have helped me to overcome these challenges.
Question 4. What can people in the same role do to upskill themselves so that they can keep pace with the changing trends?
Rahul: These are some of the things that have helped me in my career:
- Continuously Learn about:
- Add Value in whatever way possible. Refer to A-Z of How to add value to your organization for ways how you can add value.
- Know things before you need to use/work on them.
- Evaluate New Tools
- Participate in Testing Contests
- Learn from Experts
- Know them
- Approach them
- Some of them will revert you.
- Ask Questions
- How can you help your manager to accomplish their goals?
- b. How can you contribute to your organization’s strategies?
- Write Frequently
- Twitter – Daily
- LinkedIn – Weekly
- Blog – Monthly
- Pair Test with Others and learn from other people’s context, experience, and knowledge.
Question 5. According to you, what are the important factors to consider for becoming successful in Software Testing?
Rahul: Some of the important factors to be successful in Software Testing:
- Strong Foundational Testing Skills
- Bug Advocacy Skills
- Technical Skills
- Communication Skills
- Story-Telling Skills
- Reporting Skills
- Writing Skills
- Social Skills
Question 6. What are the upcoming trends in Software Testing that our audience should know about?
Rahul: The State of Testing Report 2021 is a good reference to know about upcoming trends in software testing.
I would recommend future enthusiastic testers to check this out.
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?
Rahul: Like Paul Muad’Dib of Dune, “Learn how to learn.” Testing is a continuous search for information: Both about your product and the tests that you run it through.
None of us are born with knowledge. Trust that you can learn new ways to test. Be a continuous learner.