19 Jun 2021
My Testing journey & I am still traveling….Come along😊
Hi there, my name is Mukta Sharma. I am from northern part of India but since few years, I have been residing in London, U.K. If you are a testing professional, I am so glad to meet you as I am also in the same profession. But, if you are not from testing field and curious to know about my testing journey, I welcome you to connect with me on LinkedIn to know more about me. Thanks for the connect!
I have spent more than a decade in testing industry. I have truly cherished each and every day of my software testing journey. This journey where we meet many people from different sphere of life, your team members, your clients, friends, mentor and a guide who are always there to support you no matter what. They help you in standing back up when you fall. They provide a helping hand when you need it most. As I am writing this, I am feeling nostalgic, it is taking me back to the memory lane when I had started my first testing job.
So, let’s start by flipping pages of my career and discover what all it had. Before that, if you are wondering where I am currently working. Let me tell you I am working with a product based company in London, U.K as a QA Automation Test Engineer where my work is to do manual testing as well as automation testing using Selenium with Java as the programming language. I contribute towards API testing and Mobile testing as well. I am also responsible for many other testing related activities.
Along with that, I write and speak from my heart for my testing community (based upon my own real time experience) to share my knowledge and learn from people who are reading this post.
** Why I Choose Testing & What Motivated me?
To be honest with you, I have not had chance to choose what I should have done. In School, as every other normal student, I had various other dreams to pursue. Sometimes, I wanted to be a News Anchor & sometimes I wanted to be a Teacher or in fact a Professor. I had interest in Singing and Dancing as well. But, never had I ever thought to be in testing field. Interesting, isn’t it? You must be thinking how did it happen then?
After my education was completed (I have done M.C.A, if you want to know), I started working as a recruiter in some small level company for very short period of time but soon after I realised, my skills could have been better utilised in IT field. Some of my friends had started working in Software Testing in big MNC’s. Some opted for Development. I always hear each and every opinion I get and the value I get from their suggestions. I considered my friend’s opinion, choose Testing and decided to work towards entering in Software testing. (Yes, that’s the turning point).
--- Value each and every opinion that you get and then choose depending upon your common sense.
** Turning Point:
In order to fulfil this dream of mine, I joined one software testing course in Delhi, India which made me understand the essence of testing. Then, I attempted ISQTB Foundation level certification and added the certification in my career basket. I learnt test fundamentals, test design principals, test models, Black box techniques, White Box techniques etc. I also read few testing related books which my friends recommended.
While I was busy in upgrading myself, I decided to give interviews parallel. I would rehearse in front of mirror before going for interview. (Trust me, this technique helps). By god’s grace and my hard work, I was able to fetch my first testing job in an MNC. (Yay!!!) My dream came true on that day. I was so elated and danced with joy.
--- Joy of continuous studying, perseverance and dedication towards my work which
made me realise the true value of hard-work and the power of hope.
** Best moments or achievements:
When you put your best efforts in making something happen and you get result of your choice that is the real achievement for me. I have had many good moments in my career. Not only every project taught me some important things about testing but also the people whom I met on the way and who are still there to help you, to guide you, to mentor you and to show you the path. I am so grateful and thankful to all those people whom I have worked with and those from whom I always get uplifting vibes.
For me, those all were the best moments when I learnt web application testing, API testing, Mobile testing, Project Management, Team Management and much more. There is learning everywhere. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open to grab the power of knowledge. In Accenture, I got a chance on work on Accessibility testing which was a great learning in itself. I have changed multiple trains in the form of companies (Oracle, SLK Software, Unisys, Accenture and Collinson) to continue my testing journey which is still going on…
I remember when my first article was published in one testing magazine and received accolades. I also remember the day I was awarded with “Tester of the Quarter” in one of my previous company.
--- I am happy to recall all the comments, likes and feedback which I have been receiving from people all around the world. I am thankful to those negative remarks which made me to go back and check and improve my skills.
** Challenges faced in the testing field and how did I overcome it?
I believe, when you do not know something, then everything looks like a BIG challenge to overcome. Starting with Requirement analysis, Test planning, Test writing, Test execution, Defect tracking, Defect closure, discussion with developers, Agile development, Pipeline, CI/CD,AWS,DevOps all brought their own challenges with themselves. You need to have a learning mind-set. Once you make a routine, set deadlines for yourself, love your work and dedicate towards your work then nothing is impossible. Let me give you one example from my career.
When I was in initial stages of my career, I was timid, quiet, introvert yet ambitious person. I would not speak up when people asks me any question/ or in fact my suggestion on something. I had low self-esteem. I would not raise any concerns in team meetings. I would just sit on my desk from 9:00AM-5:00PM, finish my work, send daily status to my manager, log out and go home. I followed the same routine for a long time. This was hindering my career progression and not giving me any sort of happiness.
After self-retrospection, I realised I need to work on myself primarily to progress ahead in my career. I started reading self-development and personality development books. I started talking to my team members. I started talking to developers more. I tried to understand their perspective of writing the code and how do they fix those bugs which we raise while test execution. I started asking questions.
I started digging deep into the application to know the project better and in an efficient way. I started to analyse the project from end user perspective. I started contributing in the project discussions. I started writing technical blogs related to software testing. I started reading and have been reading motivational quotes almost every day until now coz I believe this gives me instant energy and fills me with so much of positivity with less or no negative thoughts about myself or my
Eventually, I became a better version of myself over a period of time. Also, a better software testing professional. You know yourself better than anybody else.
** Best Practices to follow during testing journey:
Have an open and growth mind-set. As I said, when we start talking to different people/team members, you learn a lot from them which helps you in improving yourself as a Software professional.
Communicate what’s on your mind. Think before you speak and then speak with confidence will take you places in your career.
Critical thinking, Analysis of the project requirements, raising questions/concerns/contributing to meetings/Keen to grow and learn more/Interest in learning new things always helps.
Consider each project as a gift to you, treat your Team with respect and value their opinion. Treat them equally and appreciate their small tasks. Encourage them, motivate them.
That’s all my testing journey is about and I am still traveling.
Have a great day everyone! May you be safe and healthy where ever you are!
Thank you to be my co-passenger on this journey!
Note: All quotes are solely mine. 😊