Q&A with Santhosh Tuppad

Welcome to Q&A! Each month we catch up with someone from the testing community or beyond, to talk about testing and quality in the world of technology and software development.

Some guests you may know well, and others might be less familiar. I hope you will learn something new about each of them, and something new from each of them. Each will bring their own perspectives and insights on quality and testing.

The format will be the same each time:

  • a little information about this month’s guest and what they are currently up to
  • some questions for them to answer
  • some answers for them to question (the ‘Jeopardy’ section where I will provide the answer and ask the interviewee to give me the question)
  • finally, the ‘Pass it on’ section with a question from last month’s participant and the opportunity to pose a question for next month’s guest

Our guest this month is Santhosh Tuppad – Exploratory Tester, Security Researcher, Context Driven Automator and Managing Director at Test Insane.

Santhosh fell in love with computers when he was 12 and since then his love has only increased exponentially for computers. After his graduation (Santhosh puts it this way, “Somehow, I graduated” :)), he worked as software tester in one of the organizations in India and quit because he was bored with the kind of job he was doing. He started his first startup in 2010 and grew the company to nearly 80 people. Alas! He got bored again in his first startup and was not happy so he made a choice to quit and started his second startup. He is going to start his next startup soon. In Santhosh’s words “Getting bored is a sign of something new to be started and it excites me”.

In short, he is a passionate software tester, a security researcher (starting as an unethical hacker and transforming to ethical hacker for good), entrepreneur and badass in following his heart come what may!


Welcome Santhosh! Would you like to tell us about anything interesting you’ve been involved in recently, any exciting upcoming ventures, or just what you are working on at the moment?

After being a founding member of Moolya Software Testing Private Limited and TestInsane, my visceral is game for my next startup ‘We Love Testing’ which will focus on core functional and security testing services along with test automation services for web, mobile and IoT. The beauty of this new venture will be based on lean startup with highly skilled test professionals. The world has seen the testing mindmaps repository from TestInsane, and now with ‘We Love Testing’ there will be many such initiatives for the testing communities apart from running my testing services company.

Also, I would love to step into the software development business and I have been building a team of passionate web, IoT and mobile app developers. The name of that startup will be ‘Work 2 Code’. The combination of ‘Work2Code’ and ‘We Love Testing’ will be amazing in terms of learning and delivering world-class products to my customers.

In parallel, I will also be focusing on creating videos for testers about Technical testing. In short, I am all excited for these new ventures.

If you encountered a version of yourself from earlier in your career, and talked about how you approach your work, what would you disagree on?

I cannot remember any such situation. Nevertheless, I have seen myself progress with thoughts about testing and coding from the people around me from several communities across the globe. There has been a tremendous change in my life in terms of understanding, improvising, unlearning, trust, clarity, being at peace and being wise (with stupidity at times or most of the times).

When you look back at your career so far, what do you consider to be the highlight(s)?

  • Tester of the year 2010 by uTest
  • Being bug battle winner in several testing competitions
  • Starting my first testing services company Moolya Software Testing Private Limited
  • Quitting as Director of Moolya Software Testing Private Limited
  • Starting TestInsane Technologies Private Limited (Testing Services)
  • Helping healthcare industries by finding security vulnerabilities (this was not a commercial project)
  • Learning and adapting to better ways for a better life
  • Speaking at numerous conferences and doing my first keynote at Romania Testing Conference 2017.

More reading about accomplishments which I consider highlights can be found here.

When you think back to these highlights, what were the most important lessons you learned?

Kindness, humbleness and goodness about life. I also learned about priorities and dealing with day to day life situations. Most importantly over these, I learned how communication makes an impact based on the context. Communication is beautiful with ingredients of politeness, kindness and clarity.

When you consider the many organisations around the world involved in developing software and technology, is there an example of one which stands out for you as having a focus on quality?

I am not being a pessimist here, but somehow I feel there is a lot we as professionals can achieve and maybe someday I will get such an example. Having said that, I have enjoyed some experiences on products, but I cannot give a specific example. And that’s because maybe, I have a goal of setting higher expectations to achieve better results.

What do you think is the most common misconception about testing?

Automation can solve the testing problems. Mind you, it’s just a Ferrari for your ideas.

And now, the Jeopardy section. I’ll provide you with some answers and ask you to suggest the questions…

Quality

What is it called when users enjoy the experience and can achieve their goals through the usage of software?

Testing

What is the synonym of “investigation, analysis, critical thinking, bug-finding, bug advocacy”?

Lastly, the ‘Pass it on’ section. The question posed last time out, by Danny Dainton was:

“What drives your passion and enthusiasm for testing? What keeps you doing what you do?”

I go low on passion at times as I believe that passion is a variable, but I don’t see it as a problem as I am a human-being too and these are various emotions I go through which are good for me. The reason I go low is to understand the triggering agents and think over it in order to rise high with more energy. Passion needs nurturing and I do that through learning activities. For instance, being a passionate tester and coming from a geek culture, I recently learned CSS3 and I can develop front-end for web applications or web views.

Learning is my drug to keep the passion alive. And also, the testing community stories play an important role in my testing profession. They do motivate and the community is beautiful. And most beautiful is knowing the community members and meeting them at conferences, meetups, discussion forums and wherever there is an opportunity.

Also, my lovely wife Gina Enache (A Psychologist) helps me to lead a better life in terms of mental health apart from being a great life partner. I am very thankful to Gina. She is one person who can understand me deeper and we spend time communicating and learning from each other for a better life. A better life keeps me highly motivated to do great things as a passionate software tester.

Further reading: Passion wanted to quit on me, but I convinced it to stay! (I delivered this keynote on passion at Romania Testing Conference 2017).

And finally, what question would you like to pose for next month’s participant?

What does “Testing Community” mean to you as a test professional? How has it helped you and how have you helped the community or intend to help?


Many thanks to Santhosh for taking the time to participate in Q&A… see you next time!


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