Meet a Test Lead: Syama

In our series, Meet a Test Lead, we feature passionate QA experts from our network who help our testers’ community thrive while delivering amazing customer experiences to our clients. Syama is a Test Lead from the US.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I call two incredibly scenic places in the world home: Kerala, India, and California. I am an ex-developer, avid hiker, amateur astronomer, coffee addict, and mom to 3.  

What is your educational background?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Master’s degree in computer science. I am a firm believer in Leonardo Da Vinci’s words “learning never exhausts the mind.”  I am very analytical by nature and love a challenge, so I often find myself exploring something new.

How did you begin working for Testlio?

I started my IT career as a software developer building components and frameworks in C++. After becoming a parent I took a rather long break from my IT career so I could travel and explore the world with my family.  Once my youngest child started kindergarten I started dabbling in tech and writing. I learned WordPress and started taking freelance projects. But I was still not ready to take on a full-time role. That was how I came across crowdsourced testing.

What are your specialties?

I prefer Apple and Windows O/S, but I work with a wide range of devices. Currently, I am working on network analytics projects involving various media streaming devices.  I’m quite good at getting apps, devices, and people to work together.

Why do you Give a Damn about software quality?

QA is often underrated because when executed well it’s meant to be invisible, but a great concept poorly executed will not succeed. I started as a developer so I understand how the developers and architects see the product. . In software QA, the real job is to ensure that the gift box does not reveal a lump of coal when the shiny wrapper is removed. Quality in software is about the value it provides to the end-user.

How do you balance testing and personal life?

The distributed teams and inclusive atmosphere of Testlio make setting schedules and sticking to them easy. There are days and weekends when I am swamped, but there are other days when I have more personal time.

The key is to find that balance, and of course a good calendar/scheduler is a great help.

Here are a few things that help me:

  • Timeboxing
  • Viewing perfection as a moving target
  • Always making room for some chaos in life 😊
  • Delegating
  • Asking for help when needed

What’s an interesting fact about yourself?

I have multiple projects going on at any given point in time. When I taught myself web design, I started blogging. One of these has grown from a hobby blog to a rather sizable website. I am also a baker, primarily a bread baker. Here is one of my favorite bakes:

What are some of your favorite apps?

In my opinion, the native apps that smartphones come with are under-appreciated. I use Calendar, Reminders, Notes, Voice Memos, and Health heavily. Other than these here are a few of my favorites:

  • Netflix: binge-watching, of course
  • Adobe Premiere Elements: video editing
  • Nikon View NX: photo editing, especially great if you shoot in raw format 
  • YouTube: for a little bit of everything
  • Pinterest: ideas and inspirations
  • Grammarly: for a writer’s sanity check

How would you convince a friend to join Testlio as a Test Lead?

The biggest draws of Testlio are the flexibility and supportive community. The network is more collaborative than competitive, creating a community that appreciates and values your time. For the curious, there are opportunities for learning something new every day. Projects require different levels of commitment and there are opportunities to scale up or down as you like, and of course, among crowdsourced testing apps, Testlio’s pay rate is competitive.

Are you interested in becoming a Tester?

Join us! 👇