Director - Engineerin g (Test),Huawei (R&D)
Vaidyanath Ramalingam is a member of:
Points of inflection
The testers life is directly proportionate to the quality of the product/services offered by them to the success of their customers. I had faced several challenges and compromised on certain things--all along during my testing career to satisfy the customers and be assertive with stakeholders where I need to prove a point w.r.t. defects & faulty design. I strongly believe that more the value a tester shows to the project more the respect will come and thus can play as a virtual customers role within R&D.
Tech trends to watch out for
Those days mouse click based testing approach was perceived as testing and ad-hoc method, fair knowledge on process was sufficient considering the kind of scope was made available for testers. Today the situation is different considering the short life cycle of some of the products sold in market and higher expectation about security, user experience, off the shelf solutions need, time to market and domain centric testing model requires excellent testing eco system. Some of the observations about trends are, programming/scripting knowledge required from testers (earlier it was not); due to Agile maximum % of automation is becoming common to speed up testing during iterations, Lean concept is also getting in to testing as well (avoiding waste).
Most Important Lessons
Past: Quality control based test approach, reactive, no much tools/open sources/technology options available for effective testing.
Present: Quality assurance based test approach, pro-active, lots of CLI/GUI/API automation tools including integration with IDEs to have e2e framework to support coding->unit testing->build->test cases management->test execution->defect management->lab management->dashboard. Presently we have tools which can point out both forward and backwards from a particular stage in SDLC. So, we can trace from use cases all the way to defect as well as, from defect to the associated source code to de-bug including log/trace data along with snap shots (in case of GUI). Also testers need to know grey/white box testing and not simply mouse click based test approach!
I would rather say that independent of any domain, the testers need to learn and know about product/application domain, test methodologies, tools, processes and resource utilisation (h/w, s/w and people). Depending on the organisation we work, customers to whom we serve and positional level we are today, we can appropriately improve on these focus areas. We need to continuously learn & utilise the networking opportunities from QA forums/conferences/portals like Silicon City QA etc.
The Journey So Far
I am having overall 20+ years of experience primarily in Software Testing. My focused product testing experience is mostly from fortune 100 Technology MNC R&D Centres which includes Huawei, HP, Intel and Siemens Communication Software in Bangalore. Thus it has been a diversified work experience for me with Global Corporate/Culture with Multi-domains & locations.
Degrees that Matter
In my case I had opportunities for several internal certifications within the organization. But now-a-days several training, consulting companies and certification bodies provide boot camps, test certifications, several IT/Domain level courses and management/leadership programs.
Some of the popular
Book: Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, By: Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory
Book: Software Testing Techniques and Applications, By: Arun Kumar Khannur, ISQT International
Book: How we test software at Microsoft, By Alan Page, Ken Johnston, Bj Rollison, Microsoft Press, Woodpecker
Book: Delivering Successful Projects with TSP and Six Sigma: A Practical Guide to Implementing, By, Mukesh Jain, Principal Engineering Manager, Microsoft India
Books/videos/articles from global testing gurus, consultants & Contributors of Software Testing Qualification Board:
Cem Kaner J.D., Ph.D. Professor of Software Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology, USA
James Bach, Principal, Satisfice Inc, USA
Rex Black President of RBCS, USA
Plans for the Future
I see the typical trend from the industry on test leadership position is aligned with the expectations based on the product/services quality, user experience, time to market, delivered capabilities to end users/market, customer satisfaction and cost optimization. There are several pointers which are taken in to consideration every year to refine these Y-o-Y focus areas, which consist of both top to bottom and bottom up perspectives. In coming years the test community have to continue pay attention and leverage on continuous test innovation, testers mindset, competency development, agile/lean testing, cloud based QA approach, domain centric QA practices.