Vinay Srinivasan : Test Automation Engineer
Test automation engineers have a very crucial role to play in any technology-oriented company. They work on products whose purpose is to test other software for defects and inefficiency. They do this by developing and implementing various kinds of automated tests using different "test tools". Creating such tests requires excellent programming skills in C, C++, Java or any other scripting language. We got talking with such a professional, Vinay Srinivasan, who gave us an insight into this job profile:
I am at present working as Senior Test Automation Engineer in Opex Software, Pune.
I am a cohesive team player and have worked on software test automation and performance testing. I have gained self-acquired knowledge in e-security, software and system security testing. Overall I have more than 12 years of experience in the IT industry. My career's focus has been on programming skills in coding, software test automation, performance testing, team coordination, contribution towards project management, risk profiling, risk mitigation and resource management.
I started my career as a C programmer which exposed me to the intricate world of coding and helped me mold my career in test automation and performance testing using testing tools like WinRunner, QTP and software testing tools such as LoadRunner.
This career involves hectic work schedules involving a lot of coding and rigorous testing.
A normal work day includes software testing majorly where one has to ensure that the defects in the software are identified before any issues are uncovered or escalated.
My journey from my first job to the second was full of zeal to learn new skills for self-improvement. I see myself working as a senior consultant or a senior test architect 5 - 10 years from now.
I graduated as a Electrical and Electronics Engineer from Bangalore University (now separated as Vishweshwaraya Technological University or VTU). This has laid down the foundation towards my career as a person with engineering skills. Later on I pursued Master of Computer Applications (MCA) from IGNOU which strengthened my expertise in this field and exposed me to the world of computer science. I went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in IT Management from AIMA, which added value to me as a resource capable of team coordination & management, latest maturity models, agile methodologies, risk profiling, risk mitigation and resource management. I have also done a Post Graduate Diploma in Finance from AIMA so that this knowledge gained can stimulate my role towards projects in the banking and financial sector and also act as a catalyst for shaping my career towards roles in calculating pricing for projects, ROI, earnest income methods, resource billing, cost of delivery and infrastructure costing techniques.
I find coding skills as the most important and helpful. Additionally, software architecture design along with Agile or Scrum methodologies will be the most important in the future. It helps to be well educated and experienced enough to select appropriate tools and programming languages to expedite the process of delivery to the market. This will help us to survive the competition in this field to a certain extent and build our confidence level. The other important areas to focus on are quality, pricing, resource handling and infrastructure management.
Sometimes the choice of our tool may not be 100% perfect. To overcome this challenge, I had to code wrapper libraries or plugin packages which are made as reusable in-order to enhance the coverage and scope of the chosen test automation tool.
As competition increases, your education and skill-set will become the key differentiator for getting chosen over other candidates. Youngsters can focus on an engineering degree in computer science or information technology or a basic graduation followed by an MCA degree or a M.Sc. in Computer Science or IT.
Additionally, focus on skills in coding and quality as both are like the two eyes of a software professional - i.e. very crucial! To improve such skills, one can get certified as a Microsoft Certified Programmer or Oracle Certified Java Programmer and in addition an ISTQB or CSTE certification will be a bonus. Later on one can go for advanced certifications from BrainBench or Microsoft like MSCD, Oracle certified Java Developer, and Architect related and other certifications like ITIL, CSM etc. These will certainly provide valuable exposure and open up a world of opportunities. I am myself a CSTE, CRM, BrainBench certifications holder.
Always one has to think and realize that knowledge is like an ocean of wealth. To attain wealth one needs to dive into the ocean. And to survive the dive, one should know how to swim. Swimming is like the rightfully endured education and how we attain the wealth and sail forward is our skillset.
Vinay can also reached at his LinkedIn profile - https://www.linkedin.com/pub/vinay-srinivasan/27/70a/24