Monday, August 29, 2011

Me and my Work

In this post, I would like to draw you into yet another sphere of my life. This part of my life is kinda responsible for building up my character and making me into the person that I am today. I am talking about my professional life that’s been with me for the past 7 years. I was working as a lecturer (*Ahem, Ahem*) for the first one and half year. And all though I loved teaching, it was not the kind of job that I was aspiring to do. Most of my friends were in IT, and it was my dream to become an IT professional.

My dream came true on 13th February, 2006 when I joined a small start-up IT Company called Invenger in my hometown, Mangalore. I started off with a paltry salary of 6k per month. But it was a hell of an experience working in this company; I learnt a lot, made huge mistakes but overall fine-tuned my IT skills here. I owe a lot to the people who worked with me in Invenger. I joined as a software tester and today I work in Dell as an “Application Management Advisor”. Funny thing is, my designation has nothing to do with my job. I am still a software tester. What exactly software testers do? We test software applications and raise defects against any anomaly we find, and once we are satisfied that the product is relatively bug-free (duh! There is nothing like 100% defect free products), we give a green signal that the product can be released in the market. Now before you call your lawyers with plans to sue me for all the flawed software you use, let me clarify that I test software that only our Dell Customer Representatives use. I am safe (Phew!)

This leads me into another realization that I have on myself. Have you noticed how your professional attitude often defines your character? For example, as testers we need to be excessively pessimistic. When we get software to test, our main goal is to find many defects in it so as to break the system completely. We are trained to think negatively in our domain. And that attitude kind of spills out into my life too. Given any situation my first thought is, ‘Naaah, it will not work’ or ‘This thing will never happen in my life’. NO, NEVER, CANNOT are the testing mantras. Also, most testers have an aggressively defensive attitude. This is because when we raise bugs, most of the developers do not agree that their code can be defective. So more than often, we testers need to argue our case and provide ample proof to validate the issues we raise. In fact, I have thought up of an alternative career choice for myself, if ever I require it. Lawyer! I have considerable skills in arguing my case and proving my point. Don’t believe? Talk to my husband :-)

Like most typical people, I crib a lot about my job. The stressful hours, the practically nonexistent hikes in salaries, the inconsiderate managers, the manipulative co-workers, the unbelievable deadlines and the late night meetings/conference calls, everything makes my miserable life more miserable.

 I am grateful that I have always shared good rapports with my managers, but I have also had a fair amount of exposure to extremely rude and manipulative co-workers. These people think nothing of trampling on others to work their way up in the corporate ladder, and I have learnt to be extremely wary and cautious of such people. Despite all this what is it that makes me get up every day and punctually let myself into my air-conditioned cramped cubicle (Apart from the paycheck at the end of the month, I mean)? The adrenaline rush when I am on the verge of finding a potential issue that others may have missed is a thrill like none other. My heart beats a wee bit faster and my brain goes dizzy due to overload in cerebrum activity. That’s what keeps me going and all though I have thought like zillion times of quitting my job, I don’t think I can do it cause I love my job too much.
I am a sucker for praise and appreciation and if I have to cite one day in my professional life that I’ll always remember, then it will be the day I received the “Most Valuable Player” award in my first company Invenger. It was a great honor for me. Your first job and your first love will always remain unforgettable and for me, my job in Invenger will always remain a golden memory to be cherished forever.

I'm signing off with few Dilbert strips. It says all :-)


  1. first jobs are always memorable and leave a deep impact

    that was interesting - the point u made abt link b/w job and personalty trait...being a pessimist n seeing negatives....hmmmmmmm

    ur alternate career - lawyer - LOL

    last year, i had written abt my 1st (Blore) job experience too. chk it out:

    and another one on bosses

  2. Hey Prasanna!
    First time here :-)

    I started out as a developer and them moved onto testing. Hence I can soooo relate to your post! I was always a pessimist to begin with and I too have often wondered if being in testing is making it worse! lol! And yep-defensive too. How much we need to argue to make ppl except one little bug! bah!

    Finally I quit and moved onto something which I find fulfilling now :-)

    I'm glad that you like your job though. Just working for the paycheck alone cannot sustain us in a job we dislike for long - as my case shows clearly!

  3. Thanks Sujatha... I know that you are a wonderful writer and will surely have a look into these posts too...No matter how many companies we change, first jobs are always special :)

  4. Thanks Anne. It takes a tester to understand another tester :) I hope you moved onto a job that you like now. And yes, its difficult to sustain in a job that you dont like.

  5. Nice post. Life, work is all an experience to cherish. I love my work - I can remember the first day I entered this corporate world. 7 years and 3 companies yet I'd say first is the best. Liked your blog and sure to come back often now..

  6. gud one

    small companies teach us better.
    even my first company was a small one and i learnt many things and able to appreciate the good things about big companies

  7. Thanks Gowardhan. I definetly agree with you. In small companies we take full ownership of all tasks assigned to us. But in big companies we dont have much exposure. Also your hard work gets easily recognized and appreciated in smaller companies.

  8. Hey, here after a long time! Nice post, reminds me of all those olden-golden days:)
    Hope you are doing fine.

  9. look at the date you started off... you couldnt have gone wrong... :)

  10. Nice write up ma'am.. First of all, if there was a fav. teacher award chosen by the students then I am sure you had a very good chance of winning. At-least I would have voted for you. (No am not bluffing!) And you are a software tester? :) :) WELL, SAME PINCH :P ... I think we all knew you had joined invenger then, but didn't know about what you were doing. In fact, at that time, I didn't even know that there exists a testing profession!!

    And as for our profession, well you are more experienced and you have said it all.. :) And I think each and everyone are big time suckers of praise/appreciation/award! Some express, and some don't. It can make wonders at time. Good to know you had got that award. I am sure it would have been a wonderful moment... Something that I am still waiting for! Anyway, I wish you get more success ma'am. Who knows, some day you may find me in your own team! But I assure you one thing, I won't be rude and manipulative... And yeah, even I have come across such people!

  11. Thanks Sunil.. You are really kind with your words.