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 Nidhi Bansal, Lead testing engineer at NatWest Group, 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?
My name is Nidhi Bansal. I have a master’s degree in computer science and have more than 10 years of professional experience in Software Testing. Currently, I am working as a QA lead in one of the top banks in the UK i.e. NatWest Group (RBS) where I lead one of their key projects. Prior to that, I have worked with FIS global in a similar role. Throughout my career, I have received many company-level awards and recognitions.
Can you tell me about your journey?
I have struggled a lot at the beginning of my career. Being a graduate at the time of the recession made me struggle to find a suitable job. So, I joined a startup and from there, I learned a lot and prepared myself for any kind of situation. All the studies and experience received at the beginning of my career helped me in securing a respectable job.
What inspired you to get involved in the IT industry?
Since my childhood, I was fascinated with the evolvement of technology and I could see the future of the IT industry so I choose my studies according to that and obtained my degrees in the IT field. Being the topper of my institute, I always received appreciation from my family and my teachers and that inspired me to make my career the same.
Why did you decide to specialize in Testing?
I am a keen person with good attention to detail so I was always interested in finding the mistakes and correcting them. Once we did a project during my college time and I spent more time testing it rather than building it; this made me interested in testing. I love everything about testing. It is a demanding job that has so much to learn and progress.
I always like the whole testing phase where we work hard for a common interest of the company as well as the project and once, we deliver it successfully, it provides me a sense of accomplishment
Do you have a favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is the feeling of ownership of the project. The ultimate approval given by testers gives us the power to decide if the project is suitable to be released or not.
What are some of the challenges you faced during your career?
Just like any other person, I also faced so many challenges. Firstly, I started my career at the time of recession so finding a job was difficult. Additionally, surviving in a startup with very less processes and additional working hours in the company was a struggle. Furthermore, moving from a small firm to a big MNC was a challenge but because of the experience and knowledge I gained, I could do it. Also, learning/working in a new domain was quite a ride.
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
I have successfully delivered so many projects so far in all my companies. Those projects were so big and important that they made huge impacts. I still remember a time when we worked for 4 days without any rest for a successful release of a project ie. DNB. I also have worked for so many evolving technologies in the banking domain i.e Real-time payments, Mandate systems.
What have you learned from your experience so far?
I have learned many valuable lessons so far. One of them is that evolving with the latest technologies is key to survival in the future. Secondly, if you consider it a job, you will be an average performer but if you will love it and do it with passion, you will rock it.
What are you aiming for in the future?
As I love my job, I would like to continue working in the same field with different roles. Additionally, I am planning to open a forum that can help aspiring testers in preparing themselves for IT jobs and help them in finding one.
Do you have any advice for aspiring testers?
My first and topmost advice is to always upgrade yourself with the latest technology. Software testing techniques have been changed a lot and keeping yourself updated would be the only way to survive in the IT industry.
Secondly, testing can’t be just studied, it’s the experience that makes you good testers so the more you test, the more you learn.
Finally, software testing is not just a regular job, it’s a passion that makes you love your job.
Finally, do you have a memorable story or anecdote from your experience you would like to share with us?
The most important day throughout my career was on the 3rd day of my job. I joined a startup that used to work on small projects. From the very first day, they started my KT for a project that was already delivered but in their beta testing, the client reported a few bugs which were not getting reproduced by the company’s in-house tester even after trying for several days. So, the owner of the firm gave me the challenge of reproducing at least 1 bug out of 7 bugs in two hours, and in return, he promised to give me an award and company level recognition. As I had this passion for testing, I reproduced 3 bugs in 2 hours and, later that day, I reproduced all 7 of them.
Therefore, I became the most competent tester of that company from the 3rd day. This day changed my life, I become more passionate, more confident, and a famous employee of that company.