We are thrilled to launch our new interview section known as ‘Meet a Leader’, where we will delve into discussions with distinguished experts from the Software Testing sector.
We believe these interviews will be of significant motivation and assistance to our audience.
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Today’s guest of honour is Neeraj Tripathi, the Vice President of global QA at Infor.com
It is an honour to converse with you today, Neeraj. We value the time you have taken to answer our queries. Our audience will be eager to get to know you and gain from your thoughts via this 14 Questions series.
So let’s commence.
Question #1: Hello Neeraj, could you give us more information about yourself and your journey?
Neeraj: Of course, I have been in the IT sector for over two decades. Like many others, I have observed and actively participated in the transition from traditional technologies to the world of IoTs. I consider myself lucky to have started my professional path by developing software in several technologies for international clients and spearheading large-scale software projects and programs.
In the past ten-plus years, my focus has shifted to assisting enterprises in establishing, fostering, and transforming their software quality assurance divisions.
One of my recent experiences includes directing and transforming QA professionals from diverse sectors into an enterprise-shared services QA organization for one of the Fortune 10 companies.
Question #2: In your view, how has testing developed over the past decade? What can we anticipate moving forward?
Neeraj: The landscape has indeed changed significantly.
Ten years ago, many businesses did not even have formal QA/Test team members to verify and validate software. Presently, we see the relevance of quality acceptance criteria, the shift towards initial-shift quality, regression testing for incremental releases, emphasis on defect leakage, and more.
There are now courses and certifications available for QA experts offered by various institutions.
We also have a plethora of tools available for various testing purposes, such as test case management, defect management, automation, device testing, browser testing, and more.
Question #3: How can testers adjust to these modifications?
Neeraj: In the technology field, you have to comprehend that change is a constant, and software testing is not exempt.
For QA professionals/testers, it is imperative to understand the development of software and, more importantly, its application by end consumers. Keeping pace with developments in software production technologies and available QA tools is crucial.
I inspire testers to attend software testing conferences, read industry-related blogs, and actively engage in software testing communities to stay updated on trends and solutions.
Question #4: From your perspective, do QA groups still have difficulty demonstrating positive ROI to management? If so, what works to our advantage?
Neeraj: I don’t believe QA teams struggle to validate their importance, but as a value-added service, it is essential to support your claims with data and metrics. It is also pivotal to set objectives for team members and display their contributions as QA professionals to the organization’s overall success.
During this journey’s initial stages, gathering information on the issues we were attempting to solve (such as time-to-market, security, quality, customer retention) and how QA could assist in resolving those problems worked for me.
Question #5: Do you believe that traditional, waterfall-like processes are now outdated and irrelevant in our current context? Has Rapid/Agile testing solved more problems or created more?
Neeraj: You may find it surprising, but several organizations still primarily follow waterfall methodologies for their large-scale programs. The most important aspect for a QA team is to align its processes and deliverables with the company’s software development life cycle.
For waterfall projects, early and proactive involvement of QA is critical. For agile projects, while active involvement remains important, having a robust regression testing strategy for frequent deployment is absolutely essential.
Question #6: Do you anticipate an increase or decrease in testing job opportunities in the future?
Neeraj: Software testing is a fundamental part of software production and will continue to be in demand as long as we continue to create software. QA professionals need to constantly upgrade their abilities as these roles develop over time.
Question #7: In the testing industry, resumes often highlight exaggerated experience and skills. How do you fish out the best candidates for a role during the recruitment process?
Neeraj: The recruitment process is critical to all positions, including QA, BA, PM, and development. In addition to evaluating cultural fit and skills, hiring managers should gauge candidates based on their responses and their problem-solving approach towards realistic scenarios that pertain to the role they are being interviewed for.
Question #8: With your vast experience, you must have come across numerous challenges. Were there any specific challenges that tested your abilities more than others?
Neeraj: Indeed, there have been many challenges, but what struck me the most is the potential that QA teams now have given an organization’s brand image exposure through social media and digital transformation, coupled with growing concerns about security breaches.
Question #9: Conversely, what has brought you immense professional satisfaction all through these years?
Neeraj: My main sources of professional joy over the years have been making clients satisfied, reducing penalty costs, and retaining more clients by delivering high-quality products. Additionally, assisting and educating organizations on quality and using existing talent to produce quality software has also been rewarding.
Question #10: If you could advise testers to acquire three skills, what would they be?
Neeraj: There are numerous skills to consider, but if I were to choose three, they would be:
- Customer Experience – It is vital for QA/test teams to comprehend the end user’s perspective. This extends beyond user experience and includes understanding how customers consume or use the information provided by your software.
- Automation Skills – Owing to the significance of speed to market, QA/testers should always be on the lookout for ways to increase test coverage and decrease the testing cycle time through automation, redundancy removal, automated data creation, continuous integration, etc.
- Analytical Mind – Although this quality is necessary for all IT resources, it is particularly important for a proficient QA/tester. An analytical mind aids in data analysis, logic challenging, problem-solving, and more.
Question #11: What keeps you motivated in your role?
Neeraj: What intrigues me the most is the implementation of novel concepts and strategies in SDLC, particularly in QA, and witnessing their successful deployment. I derive the most satisfaction from constructing Centers of Excellence, enabling QA resources, and modifying QA organizations to demonstrate their worth. Working for excellent companies and with outstanding leaders has enabled me to perform at my highest capacity.
Question #12: Could you recommend some reliable resources for testers to boost their professional growth? Do you have any preferred personalities, books, or blogs?
Neeraj: Websites like StickyMinds.com, James Bach’s Blog, among other available testing resources, have been of great value to me. Participating in testing conferences is another excellent method to stay updated on industry trends and expand your professional connections.
Question #13: If you were to consolidate your success mantra in the IT QA field into a single sentence, what would it be?
Neeraj: Keep up with industry trends and persistently strive to solve problems.
Question #14: On a lighter note, do you think work-life balance is a myth or a reality? Do you have any advice on this topic?
Neeraj: Work-life balance can fluctuate for each individual based on their perception. If you have a passion for what you do, it can certainly contribute to achieving better work-life balance.
Once again, we appreciate your time Neeraj for responding to all our inquiries. Your insights will undeniably inspire our readers!
You can connect with Neeraj on LinkedIn here.
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