Posted by: Shilpa Venkateshwaran
software development, Software Testers, The IT Files
To learn more about Shrini read on.
Let me explain my day at work in my current job as a test automation architect. My day typically, starts with reviewing pending items and mails to follow up. Review automation deliverables of the projects that I am managing. Some meetings and hallway discussions follow. These days, twice or thrice I get to learn about some new application that needs to be automated. I get to explore and investigate application architecture, testing cycles and current state of testing. This is the interesting part of my job. I get to talk to project managers, testers and business leaders about their views and on testing and expectations from automation. Honestly, I often get disappointed about how people think automation as magic key that reduces the testing that needs to be done. I have worked in IT for over 7-8 years now – this is a standard thinking pattern – I have struggled hard to win the glory back to testing and automation acting a “tool” in that pursuit. Some significant part of my day goes in dealing with tool problems, following up with different teams, preparing/presenting business cases and attending meetings. Having been in automation in IT for last several years – I get minimum time to flex my mind and do some testing myself. I tend to fill that gap by engaging in “meta testing” – set of activities that keep your mind sharp and curious. I read books and articles related to critical thinking, Logic, reasoning, epistemology and others. I engage in debates and discussions with like-minded people on various testing topics. Listen to podcasts on mathematics, philosophy, science, and economics. As day ends, I drive home with many ideas and questions (not necessarily related to testing – but exercise the mind in similar ways) and slip slowly into worldly things like watching TV, helping my kids with their homework, dinner etc.
Personal growth and continuous learning – how important is this in our times?
I am not sure what do you mean by personal growth – there can be many interpretations. Making more money from job/work can be one or creating a public reputation can be another. I realized the importance of learning several years ago when I launched myself formally into testing. Since then I have started approaching everything with an objective “what I can learn here”? I revisited many topics in science, maths and computing that I “mechanically” learned in my college and initial days of work and learning them “deeply” now. To me, with focus on learning – growth comes as a surprising outcome. If you chase learning, then things like growth, money, reputation will chase you. Few words about learning – you can learn from every encounter that you have with world around you. You just need to keep your senses in alert state for receiving. On a lighter note – I don’t have prepare for a job interview – I am ever ready (even at 12 o clock in the night) – thanks to my everyday learning. So much to learn and so little time – that frustrates me more often.