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Advice Request
Neha Thakur
Neha  Thakur

Neha Thakur

Principal QA Analyst

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Could you tell us briefly about your family background?
I am from a very humble middle class family, my father is a government employee and my mother though she is no more was a woman of extremely strong will and grit determination. And because of her I am what I am. I have 2 little sisters-Nidhi & Niharika, one working with Hays and other working with Airtel. We all struggled a lot to have simple wishes fulfilled and I realized this when I was small that I will have to work really hard to make everything possible for me. I never wanted to end up being small in anyway ever. My husband, Kirti Joshi is now an entrepreneur and is running hopegrower.com which is helping farmers getting what they truly deserve. I have a son, Shreshthh who is now 4.5 and he the best thing ever happened to me.
Advice For New Professionals:
"Change is the only constant". Keep yourself updated with the latest tools, technologies etc. Immerse yourself in the work you are doing,be confident and build a strong network. And lastly Thank people who help you. If the new generation keep these pointers in mind they are likely to be successful.
Plans For The Future:
10 years in IT industry is a long time but I have an urge to write a book of my own.It is definitely a huge leap of faith but I will take the opportunity to settle and do something for community, for our nation and help in nation building. I am a patriotic person from heart and want our country to grow stronger. I believe in "The Secret" and everything that I have wished in my life has come true but yes at the same time you have to work towards it. I would either be doing something which is in interest of our nation or I will close myself in a room and do all the research which is required for writing a book that I am planning.
Required Reading:
1) A Practitioner’s Guide to Software Test Design, Lee Copeland, 2) The Art of Software Testing, 2nd edition, Glenford Myers 3) Follow great speakers and testers like James Bach, Michael Bolton, Anne-Marie Charett, Pradeep Soundarrajan etc. 4) Always keep yourself up to date by reading about latest technology like IoT and others by reading ExtremeTech, TechCrunch, Gizmag.
5) Read a lot about tools and do research, first understand Why you are doing this then get your answers on How you will be doing it? Why is important then How here.
Degrees That Matter:
Now I donot believe in any degree or certification. I am of the view that a person skills and capabilities and above all the will to do things are of utmost importance than having fat degrees or certifications. However I do have my portion of certifications done as I was ignorant of this fact. Some thing comes from experience :)
Job Profile:
Right now I am working with WM as Principal QA Analyst. WM (Waste Management) is a fortune 200 company and has a part of its IT and BPO operations in Indore. I am working as the lead for the team testing WM.com. We are working on the latest tools & technology in the domain like Microservices, Node, Angular etc.
Changes In The Professional Environment:
When I joined Patni Computer Systems, now a part of Capgemini, things were pretty easy and simple. I was hired as Dev for a very short term project. However before joining testing I was reluctant as that time it was not a respectable work in IT. I worked for one of the biggies in healthcare as Automation tester and we had an in house product that we were using for automation. QTP was still evolving that time. Because of my interest in development I liked doing automation. I then joined Deloitte Consulting and worked on multiple projects, both manual and automation. At this time I realised that things are changing and new tools are coming up in market and there is an aggressive competition between these tools. I worked on HP products and at the same time I was on the team who was evaluating IBM products for an organization wide change. We created our own frameworks and one of my paper was selected in International Conference.
Prized Accomplishment(s):
I am proud of writing a whitepaper by doing research with less than 3 years of experience in industry, which got published and I was invited as speaker at an international conference. From there, there is no looking back. Right now I am mentoring new kids on the block how to do research and how to practically implement the solutions in your head, how to love what they are doing by keeping them motivated.
Other Thoughts:
I am also founder of a community "Rising Litera" and is working towards building a culture in Indore for reading, writing and appreciating arts and culture. We are strong 5000+ members across world connected with us via magazine Resurgam, a first of its kind bilingual literary magazine, social networking like whatsapp, FB, Twitter, Instagram etc.
Done Differently:
I have always thought of myself as a techie and I always had phobia that I am missing on something the day I am not reading about latest tools, trends and technologies. I have acquired a lot of information and has created various frameworks using ample tools in the firms I have worked with. I would definitely start a complete techie firm with people who think differently and always have unique solution to the general problems. The solution to any problem is always there but we don't think in that lines, we usually get around and don't ponder over having implemented simple solutions. Even if we would have done then it will be at a personal level. But with the social networking communities building up sharing this information has been easier.
Role Model:
I am fascinated by Steve Jobs, why he does what he does and how he does that. He was definitely wired differently than most of us and thought differently. He thinks on solving problems in a simple way cause anyone can make complicated solutions but it can't reach masses. At the same time he knew how to create a brand and he did pretty well at that even though there were so many ups and downs in his life. I am highly inspired by him.
Professional Strengths:
I can now say that I am able to analyse people around very quickly as I have been working for so long. This definitely help me in getting equipped with the situational circumstances. And I believe being logical and talking your heart out is very important. Do not keep questions to yourself, they may sound stupid in your brain but they may be potential threats to the system later. Take it out and keep minimal things in your head. Learn as much as you can. Never stop learning. I make a point to learn something new everyday.
Working Life Management:
My family including my in-laws and my husband are my backbone, I can't do anything without them. When I am in office I do not need to think about my kid as I know he is in safe hands. I make a point to maintain work life balance by following a protocol of Come early, Leave early. I get peace time when noone is around and I urge my team to do the same as well. Once I am in office I only think about my work, and once I reach home I just take care of my family. This is the basic mantra that I am following and I am happy doing that way. My family appreciates my work pattern a lot and are happy with it. My colleagues too support me.
Career Profile:
As a lead working on WM.com is different in terms of always having something to do. There is never a break, although sometimes we do have lean period. But as it is a product based I need not worry about projects pipeline. We always have work. My roles and responsibilities here includes right from understanding each & every requirement, finding gaps, analysing the best possible ways to test, finding loopholes. Sharing statuses, closure reports etc, recently we have started working on Agile, however I have previously worked on agile methodology when I was in NYTimes as well. The most important part is that the team is very supportive and I am really lucky to have them.
The Journey So Far:
For me exceptionally the journey has been pretty smooth and I don't hold any grudges against anyone. I have got what I wanted always, in terms of learning, support, money, friends, family support and the projects that I have worked on are always the most complicated ones. I love being a tester and till now I do testing and love to break code. That is how I feel myself, I am an elated tester and always having that there is something which is there (the bugs) and we need to keep searching, keep exploring different ways to make our life easier by finding them early in testing cycle.
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