Leaders in Tech: Maria Elena Zuluaga Aristizabal

Welcome to the next feature of our Leaders in Tech editorial series. Speaking to leaders in the industry to capture their stories, career highs and lows, their trials and successes, their current company and their role, most recent projects, advice to others, and the individuals who they most look up to in the industry.

Today, we talked to Maria Elena Zuluaga Aristizabal, Quality Assurance & Test Manager at TD Insurance, to find out more about why she joined the tech industry, what her role entails, what are the challenges she faces, and her advice to aspiring engineers and testers.


Could you introduce yourself and your current role?

I am a QA-Test manager with 12,8 years of experience delivering projects without bugs in the production environment. I have also participated in decision-making on projects involving different areas.

Can you tell me about your journey?

As a System Analyst-Programmer As400 and Client Server, I decided to specialize in Total Quality and Improvement Processes because I believe in these two  powerful mantras that I always apply in my personal life

What inspired you to get involved in the IT industry?

I was 17 and good at sciences and I needed to earn money fast to help my family because my Dad passed away.

Why did you decide to specialize in Testing and QA? What do you like about it?

I wanted to share my personal knowledge in Quality Assurance.

Do you have a favorite part of your job?

Plan and track progress to meet deadlines by applying my mantras.

What are some of the challenges you faced during your career?

Manage the microaggressions that some people do to me because I am an emigrant and/or a woman.

What are you the proudest of in your career so far?

Bug-free projects.

What have you learned from your experience so far?

Always do your best and be confident in your knowledge.

What are you aiming for in the future?

Keep learning!

Do you have any advice for aspiring QA Analysts? 

Know the business versus applications very well because the ultimate goal is to find the severe and high bugs as quickly as possible.

Finally, do you have a memorable story or anecdote from your experience you would like to share with us?

To reintroduce the compliance certification process for test environments ( I did for water-flow Projects) even for agile projects which use emerging technologies, in order to improve performance and velocity in projects. If the environment is not functional and in sync, there will be delays in the projects so, we need constantly replanning.