Meet a Tester: Ambika

In Meet a Tester, we feature QA experts from our community who share their love for quality and Testlio. Ambika is a full-time professional freelance QA tester with over 15 years of experience in manual testing. 

Ambika with her husband and daughter

Where are you from?

I am from Hyderabad, India. My native language is Marathi but since I was born and brought up in a Telugu speaking state, I am fluent in Telugu as well. I am also well-versed in Hindi as it is a widely spoken language here in India.

What is your educational background?

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Application – something I have my father to thank for since he was the one who made the suggestion.

Opportunities in Information Technology had started to grow rapidly while I was studying in college. I had chosen a Mathematics and Science stream during my twelfth grade and was thinking of continuing along the same line after my graduation. However, my father suggested that I go for this bachelor’s degree in computer applications instead. He was confident that this would be a challenging field that would never go out of trend and jobs! And he was right – after graduating, I immediately got hired in a major multinational corporation. My first project was in testing actually!! Similar projects followed later. And, that’s how I fell in love with testing 🙂

How did you end up testing for Testlio? 

After working 6 years for an MNC here in Hyderabad, having a full-time job became increasingly difficult as I had a small daughter to look after but had to travel long hours and spend a lot of time away from home. So I decided to quit my job to be able to spend more quality time with my daughter. It was the best decision ever! 

At the time, I never considered the possibility of freelancing – that came later when I came across a freelancing website while casually browsing the internet. I registered and I’ve been working on different freelancing platforms ever since (almost 10 years now). So when I was introduced to Testlio, I immediately signed up and so it started.

I love working with the amazing Testlio team. It feels great to be around such wonderful people. The team is so supportive and everyone here is always ready to help. They all make me feel so good about working that it almost never feels like work! The projects are interesting and there’s something new to do or learn each day. The project allotments, communication, and approvals are very smooth, and never ever require follow-ups! The test cycles are flexible and give you enough time to plan your schedule. I was looking for such an opportunity where I could work according to my own convenience and so, I couldn’t ask for anything better!

What are your specialties?

I specialize in cross-browser and usability testing. Helping to improve the end user’s experience as a whole interests me a lot. I also love working on localization testing projects as it gives me immense pleasure to connect to my native languages this way.

How does Testlio’s pay compare to other crowdtesting platforms?

I’ve worked on a number of other crowdsourcing platforms and Testlio’s concept of work and pay is way better. All efforts are compensated appropriately. Testlio respects testers’ time and skills, and doesn’t take them for granted at all!

How do you manage the balance between testing and personal life?

I am a mother to a beautiful 11-year-old girl. My husband works for an IT-service provider. Managing the balance between home and work wouldn’t have been possible without their support. Their positivity keeps me going!

Freelancing has opened up a lot of opportunities for me and given me the flexibility to work on my time. But it has its own set of challenges too – time management being the main one. So you have to be really clear about what you can or can’t take on and maintain full transparency with the people you work with. I always try to take on the workload I can actually handle! That helps me in keeping things sorted as well as gives a “me time” which is very important. It doesn’t stop me from taking up new challenges though. Having a sense of your current situation makes things a lot easier. Else, you will end up doing yourself an injustice on both professional and personal fronts. 

Most of the time, I listen to a lot of music (Bollywood and regional) while I work. It’s relaxing and makes me more productive. That way, I finish up the work quickly and have more time at hand for my personal life. It’s been a wonderful journey so far. 

Ambika and her lovely daughter

What motivates you professionally?

What motivates me is that I get to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I don’t have to travel across the globe to talk to people from around the world!

I’ve done a lot of other types of work other than testing – like translations, voice-overs, research, etc. So, the feeling that I need not stop myself at a particular specialization also keeps me going and wanting to try out different things. And of course, positive feedback keeps me motivated to give my best!

What’s an interesting fact about yourself?

I love cooking and experimenting with new recipes. Apart from this, I like having long conversations with family and friends. They say that I am a very good listener.  
I also love traveling with my family, especially going on road trips and trying out different types of food along the way.

What are some apps you use that you can recommend?

I use the app Gaana a lot. It’s got some great radio stations and it’s my favorite app for music. I also shop a lot, so I use BigBasket and Amazon very often. They provide a great user experience and have been developed really nicely. For work, there has been nothing better than Google Drive!

How would you convince a friend to join Testlio?

I already did 🙂 Testlio is the best place if you want to work on interesting projects and get fair pay. And most importantly – you get to be part of such an inspiring and amazingly huge community of great testers!

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