Meet Ajay Garg, the Lead QA at Sarvika Technologies, a cheerful personality whose go-getter attitude is an inspiration for all. He has over 14 years of QA experience and still feels that he’s only one percent done! We got the opportunity to get candid with Ajay and asked him to share the secrets behind his outstanding and flourishing career. In conversation with the star QA.
- Hey Ajay, thank you for giving your time. You are a Lead Quality Analyst at Sarvika Tech; could you walk us briefly through a regular day at the job in your life?
As Sarvika Tech is a global company and our clientele is based in the US and the UK, I work in two shifts. But before getting to the work part, I like to start my day with a 10-12 kilometer run to get some blood pumping. Running not only keeps my body active but also clears my mind and provides the much-needed headspace to sort and compartmentalize thoughts.
Once I am done with my morning routine and chores, I hop onto my work desk at 10 AM to start the day. Client servicing is the core of everything that I do, hence checking emails and resolving any queries is the first task each morning. I have been with Sarvika Tech for the last 3 years and client satisfaction is at the prime.
After work, I take out some time to study and keep myself in touch with new changes and updates in technologies and the industry. This habit has helped me achieve a lot throughout my journey as a QA.
- As you just mentioned, studying is important, how did you spend the lockdown period?
Thankfully, the IT space did not face major setbacks like other industries. We transitioned into the WFH phase last year in March 2020 when the first lockdown was announced, and I was working as usual. But yes, WFH provided a lot of extra time as I did not have to go to the office and struggle with the traffic. I directed that available time into studying and completing many certifications.
I completed the JMeter certification during the first lockdown. Now, I am in the process of completing API and Salesforce certifications.
- Was becoming a Quality Analyst always a goal from the moment you started working?
I didn’t even know the term Quality Analyst when I started my journey as a working professional. My native place is in Jaisalmer, the Golden City and the Thar desert, which is near the India-Pakistan border. Growing up there were not many facilities, knowledge, and opportunities where I lived. I completed my high school and two graduation degrees: business and law.
But in the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to do something in the field of computers. I moved to Jaipur after graduation and here I got exposure to the IT industry. One thing led to another, and here I am today, having worked as a QA for 14 years. J
- Like you said, 14 years of working experience in IT. What did you do to keep that fire alive towards the job?
When you are working in one field for almost one and a half decades, it is obvious for feelings like monotony and irritation to sink in. I tried changing jobs to renew the sense of excitement. However, every time I sat for an interview, I came across some new tool and technology that was in trend. It encouraged me to keep updating my knowledge and tech stack according to the market demand.
As a result, today I am well-versed with tools like JMeter, Load Runner, UFT, etc. Also, I am experienced in many content management systems like WordPress, Sitecore, Magento, Kentico, and more.
IMO, everyone should study what all new things are happening in their industry and keep updating their knowledge accordingly. It is important for two reasons: first, it will fuel the excitement towards the job, and second, you will achieve significant growth in your career.
- What advice do you have for someone just starting their career as a QA?
Have patience and be receptive to learning. Patience is necessary because a QA has to often perform the same tasks, day-in and day-out, which can kick temper and irritation into motion. Also, getting acquainted with new tools and technologies is a must, otherwise, in the long run your tech stack will become outdated and irrelevant.
- There often comes a phase in an individual’s professional life where they question whether the work they’re performing is making an impact or not. Did you ever find yourself at this crossroad? If yes, how did you overcome it?
I started working as a Manual QA and went on doing the same thing for the next three years. As one would expect, I started to question my choice of career because I was not well-versed with modern technologies due to my non-technical education background. I had two choices, either I move back to my hometown and build a life again from scratch, or I could stay here, learn, and chart my way ahead.
I chose the latter and Thank God! for that. I started with the UFT automation tool for self-learning, implemented it on my projects, and the efforts paid off when the implementation turned out successful. So, one must look at the opportunities in the challenges and never give up!
- Can you share one good experience and one not-so-pleasant experience in your career – and what did you learn from them?
Learning Sitecore CMS was an uphill task that I took up in 2014-15. But with the support of my seniors and their guidance, I was able to overcome the challenge. It boosted my confidence and is undoubtedly the most memorable experience of my career.
My not-so-pleasant experience was with the previous organizations where the QAs were not given due credit and recognition during the SDLC process. Thankfully, that is not the case at Sarvika Tech, where each part of the software development phase is considered crucial to efficacious project delivery.
- Based on your vast experience, are there any particular soft skills and hard skills every QA should possess?
A QA should be able to communicate well, have a strong command of written English, be confident in taking challenges and decision making, be cooperative and humble, and most importantly have patience.
I can only think of one hard skill, rather it is again a soft skill that helps the QA gain much-needed technical skills: willingness to learn. The IT industry is forever changing, and you should know the tools and technologies that are currently in use.
- What keeps you going outside the work?
My love for running, which has transcended into my participation in countless city and state-level marathons. Social services like joining blood donation camps, etc. also make me happy as it is my way of returning to the community.
- Lastly, is there any mantra that you follow at work?
To always stay calm. And to laugh when people say that anyone can do testing.