To connect our Tribal Qonf Speakers and Audience better, we interviewed our speakers over a few important questions. The conversations we had were just amazing.
Geosley: Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to become a tester?
Ajay: When I was offered my first job as a software tester, I had no idea that there existed a profession known as software testing. I am a graduate in Printing Technology and was hired as a future/budding subject matter expert to assure the quality of the software to be used by the printing industry. After 15 days of training, I had to find bugs in the application. Then, I searched for “How to become a software testing expert” and landed on James Bach’s video – Becoming a software testing expert. One thing led to another and testing has become an integral part of my life now.
Geosley: What or who has been the greatest influence in your professional life?
Ajay: Every interaction has taught me something useful. Each influence has been great in that context. If someone has taught me how to test, someone has helped me improve my communication skills, while some have helped me manage projects, some leading teams, conducting workshops, some teaching testing. A lot of people have influenced me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family here to help me sharpen my skills by taking care of everything else.
Geosley: You are a passionate learner, Why do you think learning is important? Could you share your major learnings from attending testing workshops like BBST and RST?
Ajay: The pace at which the industry is moving, you would be left out if you don’t learn.
Gave a wonderful foundation and helped me understand the context, mission, oracles, heuristics. What I would have discovered in 2 years, I learned in 1 month.
BBST Bug Advocacy:
It taught me everything about finding bugs, test ideas, bug investigation, and how to sell bugs. One of the top three courses that has helped me a lot in my career.
BBST Test Design:
It was a survey of testing techniques and helped me understand the depth of testing. It demonstrated how much more is pending to be learned.
Rapid Software Testing:
How to increase value, how to reduce cost and risk – I learned in RST. RST is like meditation for testing. This helped me tie everything I knew in testing and everything I need to know to be a valuable tester for any team. Exploratory skills were boosted by RST course. And then, I started conducting workshops on Exploratory testing.
Geosley: Tell us 5 most important things, habits, or events that have shaped Ajay Balamurugadas of today.
- Everything is an investment. Look at it that way and work hard to master the subject till you get 3x out of the investment
- The limits are the ones we place on ourselves.
Be free and achieve success. Go for the target with courage and proper planning.
- Say yes first and then learn how to do it.
I have gained so much by first saying yes and then learning how to do it and then doing it.
- Keep collecting dots, they will make sense eventually. As time spent is also an investment, make use of it. I went to calligraphy class, studied typography in engineering, learn from design discussions on Telegram, I now use that combined experience to find UI, UX bugs, and help improve the usability of products. I am part of multiple communities on Slack, Telegram, and one learning feed into another. An exercise from the UX course led me to a marketing course that led to growth hacking to a connect who gave me a freelancing opportunity.
- Investing in learning which has now given me the confidence to conduct workshops on the same topics.
If you succeed, good
If you fail, you learn, which is great.
Geosley: How will your talk motivate the attendees and one lesson they will carry at the Tribal Qonf?
Ajay: I am planning to do something different this time in terms of presentation and I hope it passes the message – nothing is impossible and be courageous. What is one lesson they will carry? I will leave it to them. Once in a testing conference, I learned that I should exercise. So, learning is interesting and personal. I leave it to the audience. I will share probable learning points 🙂