The Journey : Early Days to How I Got HereI have been a strong believer of three facts since quite long:
- Do things in a very sincere way,
- Do things with a positive attitude &
- Do things in an innovative way.
These things have been there to help me scale up in my career.
I completed my engineering degree around 10 years ago from one of the good government colleges in Delhi with no campus placement (thanks to recession!). It proved to be a great boon, where I got time to think on what I wanted to do and then decided that I wanted to take up a niche area of my interest.
Knowingly or unknowingly the above three mantras worked and within few months, I was in Demand and got offers from top 5 companies that I knew. Instead of sitting and becoming complacent, I took each day as a challenge and tried to be the best in my own space and within my own limitations. Decisions That Mattered
The most important decisions that I took were frankly not well planned. Taking up QA direction when I had so many Development side jobs, I think its a great move because being good in what you are doing is much better than being average. And more so, I liked it!
The other decision that I always took and do it every day is to challenge myself and this gave me a lot of advantage over a lot of other folks. Whenever things in my present area became streamlined, I decided to take up more challenging pastures and in the process, learnt a lot.
The most coveted thing in my resume, Patent, was a result of in-numerous failure attempts, but I didn't gave up. I used to see people around me giving up after thinking of a few ideas, I failed 31 times before I got my 1st patent approval and thereafter many more patents!The Turning PointsThere have been two major inflection points in my career:
Work and Role: Then and Now
- Joining Adobe: Way back in 2003, when I decided to make a company switch, I left bigger and more popular companies offers to join the company size of 150 people, Adobe. This proved to be a crucial inflection point. People around me were innovating, they were thinking bigger things than just on - job performance, they were writing the future of computing, and they were becoming company owners. I just decided to blindly follow them, my way (sincerity, innovation & positive attitude)
- Leaving Adobe: A dream job, the dream company and great work - life balance, Adobe gave everything. I was shocked when I decided to leave Adobe and start from scratch. I had long wanted to start something on my own, something which I could build as my own baby, so started with Hexaview, and till date it has been a roller coaster - ride.
My new job requires me to do "everything". When its your own work/ company, you cant escape anything. My earlier jobs required me to ship top notch products, with top notch quality and only see the technical side of things. My present job (running a company and the testing services division) requires me to think about Company Strategy, Hiring, Business Development, Company Vision, Next Growth Opportunity etc., so its a broader role.Two Years Down the Line
Couple of years from now, I am planning to grow my current company (Hexaview Technologies) and make it best in the Software Services space with expertise in niche domain and technology. By that time, I will probably be enjoying the challenges of different nature. If you enjoy your work, you can do it day - in and day - out without getting tired.What I Learnt Along the WayFollowing are the important lessons I have learnt in my Professional Life:
Changing Days: Lessons Learnt
- Be open to new ideas
- Plan, but dont over plan
- Be good to people
When I started, I used to work on smaller modules, solved problems at minimal level. Now, I look at a bigger picture and try to solve broader problems and execution part is done by my team.
Trends to Watch Out For
Technology is changing day by day and becoming a market leader is not easy, three quarters back Nokia was the telecom leader, next quarter it was Apple and last quarter it was Android. Changes mean new challenges to entice and satisfy customers, which is good. My focus is on Mobile Technology Testing and building out tools in these areas.My Advice If You are Starting Out
Irrespective of domain, be passionate about things that you want to spend more than 1/3rdof your life in. I see lots of folks from IIT/ IIMs feeling frustrated their super high paying jobs. The great thing about today is that there is a multitude of careers available. I have friends who are in niche areas and doing very well, not just stuck to the usual engineering / Medicine / Management. Do what you like and you will find & one can excel much easily.
QA domain wise, one should keep learning things outside the job, learn to add value to the resume by learning new tools and then implementing them in his/ her current job, just learning would'nt be of as much help.Must Focus Areas For the Future
Testing till few years back was considered only as means of checking things once things come into shape. In future, lots of testing will happen before things get into shape. Tools which test code than just user actions will become the norm.
In coming years, testing will become more intelligent and people wouldn't want to invest in testers as a recurring expense but as a one - time expense and let the tools (as talked above) take over. Also, the relevance of open source tooling will increase. A very good site for open source tools is www.opensourcetesting.org
Not just use it, extend the tools and contribute to the community.
Do We Need Certifications?
One must remember that the tag of certifications helps to highlight your resume, but conveys a bigger negative perception in case the certified person doesn't have adequate knowledge in the field he is certified in. So, do study well for a certification so that you actually know the area really well.
Books/ Websites I Recommend
World is very dynamic right now, my recommendation will be to join good QA centric groups on LinkedIn and similar websites. Also, in this age of communication, contribute your bit of knowledge so that others benefit.Last But Not Least
Testing is an area which is gaining a lot of traction and will continue to do so. My amigos, you should think of scaling up your skill set to adapt to the fast changing technological landscape. Instead of just execution, think of techniques and methodologies to simplify your job, thereby developing new skills.
Best of luck friends for your career! I hope you have a great career ahead!