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 Zubair Mohammad, Senior Quality Assurance Analyst, to find out more about why he joined the tech industry, what his role entails, what are the challenges he faces, and his advice to aspiring engineers and testers.
Could you introduce yourself and your current role?
I am Zubair Mohammad, currently working as a Senior Quality Assurance Analyst.
Can you tell me about your journey?
If this question was asked about 9 years ago, it would have been a straight and simple answer but in the last decade, I have learned more about life and everything than all of my life. I come from India where I did my bachelor’s degree in computer science like many in south India but then I decided to pursue further studies. I was looking for options in the USA, Canada, and Australia. I finalized Canada and that was the best decision I ever made in my life.
Landed in Canada 4 days before my first day of college. I had so many emotions going through because I have never lived away from my home city let alone a Country. Trying to navigate through the city and reaching college was a challenge at first then eventually fell in love with the city. Completed my studies in Toronto and started working at a firm as a Help Desk Analyst as my studies here were Computer Network and Technical Support. A couple of years later, I am an expert in software testing and system analysis.
What inspired you to get involved in the IT industry?
Growing up as a kid of the 90s in India I did not have that exposure to computers. I was first introduced to a computer in middle school during our computer science course. We got to play some Tetris, dave after a great MS excel, word class. I was so fascinated by how the games and other programs worked and all the behind-the-scenes. A couple of years in the future questions to my curiosity were answered when I selected Computer science as my major in Engineering.
What do you like about working in QA?
The best thing about my job is I can point out flaws and get paid for that. On a serious note, the best thing about my job is getting to learn different technologies, applications, and processes. Working with people from different backgrounds like development, business, and stakeholders. This gives me the opportunity to understand business and development perspectives.
Do you have a favorite part of your job?
When we change the process or applications or move from legacy systems to the future that excites me because I get to be a part of the future and define what the future generations can use or take that as a base and improve it further
According to you, what makes a leader in the industry?
Communication, team player, and open to learning new things. Software is an industry where learning never stops. Getting certified with ISTQ, CSM, agile training, etc.
What are some of the challenges you faced during your career?
I faced a lot of challenges in my career, like getting familiar with the work culture here in Canada. Understanding which area to select after your bachelor’s. Learning to work as a team and understand different perspectives
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
One of the biggest achievements is getting interviewed by 31 Media because testing is a huge industry and being interviewed for 31 media means a lot. Other proudest memories are when I got to lead a team that I joined as an intermediate QA in a 2-year time frame. In one project I was the first QA and got the chance to build an amazing team of about 6 people
What have you learned from your experience so far?
When a person is great at communication and a team player it goes a long way than a person with the most knowledge of applications or technology. Be patient, persistent, and open to critics
What are you aiming for in the future?
I aim to be the best at what I do, that is what I have done in the past and it got me to so many places with great roles and teams.
Do you have any advice for aspiring testers?
Believe in yourself, think outside the box, and always be open to critics.
Finally, do you have a memorable story or anecdote from your experience you would like to share with us?
I have a funny story about how my friend became my boss:
I interviewed a guy to be a part of my team. We worked together for a few years during that time he reported to me. After a few years, I switched companies and referred the same guy, and soon after he joined as my manager!
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