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Jan 3 2011   10:25AM GMT

The IT Files – Ajay Balamurugadas – Part I

Shilpa Venkateshwaran Shilpa Venkateshwaran Profile: Shilpa Venkateshwaran

Ajay Balamurugadas, is a software tester passionate to learn to test any software. He has been awarded scholarship from Software Testing Club and is a brown belt student of Miagi-Do School run by Matt Heusser.
He is co-founder of “Weekend Testing”. Ajay shares his testing activities and learning through his blog” and tweets @ajay184f

How did “weekend testing” start? Who were the people behind it? How did it help you?

I am assuming that you are asking about Weekend Testing (
Weekend Testing (WT) was started in August 2009 in Bangalore, India by four passionate testers – Parimala Shankaraiah (@curioustester), Sharath Byregowda (@sharathb), Manoj Nair (@manoj_mv) and Ajay Balamurugadas (@ajay184f). Few months later, Santhosh Tuppad (@santhoshst) joined us. We wanted to practice testing and we found it very useful to discuss our testing ideas with each other. As of now, we have chapters in India, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, America and we have a European WeekNight chapter as well.
Most of the times, I facilitate the Bangalore chapter. As far as learning goes, WT has definitely helped me a lot in terms of time management, focus on mission, generating new test ideas and learning different products. According to me, the best part of any weekend testing session is the discussion session where you get to know the thought process of other testers. Apart from facilitation which is a huge learning opportunity, participating in other chapter sessions has helped me improve my testing skills. I recommend Weekend Testing to any tester. You can try it for yourself. Test, Learn & Contribute. You can find details of the next weekend testing session here –

Tell us about how you got into testing and what is it that keeps you here in this industry?

My entry into testing was accidental. Right after college in 2006, I was hired as a Associate QA Engineer. My role was to ensure *quality* product by finding bugs. I felt I did not fulfill the mission as I found bugs that were either not important or were unreproducible. Later in 2007, I attended the Rapid Software Testing workshop by Pradeep Soundararajan (@testertested) who inspired me to test better. Slowly, I interacted with lot of testing experts like Michael Bolton (@michaelbolton), James Bach (@jamesmarcusbach), Matt Heusser (@mheusser) to name a few and I am still learning to test better. What keeps me here in this industry? I don’t know. Why am I still in this industry? I love testing.

You were at a testing conference recently. Which one? Can you tell us about your experience?

I was at two testing conferences this year. First one at Vietnam, VISTACON 2010 Sep 20-22. It was a dream come true for me to meet Dr.Cem. I won the bug-hunting competition conducted by LogiGear Corporation and won myself a free ticket to the conference. The sessions were very informative and I shared some of my thoughts here
here and here

The next conference I attended was at Copenhagen, Denmark – EuroSTAR 2010 from Nov 29th – Dec 02nd. I won the BlogSTAR challenge and the prize money was an all expense paid trip to the conference. This was the first time I presented on Weekend Testing in a conference outside India. This was my first trip to Europe and the entire conference was amazing. A conference filled with lots of experience reports and not just best practices, a conference within a conference, the Test Lab and I can just go on. It was great to meet many of my friends whom I knew just by their twitter/skype id. Some of the wonderful posts on EuroSTAR 2010 are at

Any advice for new or young testers?

Work hard, Do not fear failure. Every shot that you do not take is definitely missing the target.
Listen to your heart.
If you win, you gain.
If you lose, you learn and that is even more important.

Part II

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