In these exclusive interviews, we want to present specialists in the industry and capture their stories, career highs and lows, their trials and successes, their current company and their role, most recent projects, advice to others. Today, our focus is on Rogerio da Silva, a Contract Test Analyst Lead who recently worked for Natural Resources Wales.
So, we talked to Rogerio 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 developers.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself and your current role?
I’m a Test Analyst, in the most recent years, specialized in Microsoft Dynamics 365 products for large public sectors, and currently providing consulting services for Natural Resources Wales.
Can you tell me about your journey and how did you get where you are now?
Well, it has been a challenging journey. When I look back to where I did start, and how it happened, I had never dreamed of getting to where I am now. I am grateful for all the people that came into my life when I was making the decision to start over after my business did not work well.
I started as a junior tester, trained from zero to none knowledge on Software Testing to get ready for the ISTQB test. I did have a fantastic manager and coworker. They taught me the foundations of what’s needed to become an excellent tester and all I did was pay it forward by sharing my knowledge with others.
What inspired you to get involved in the IT industry?
I always liked computers but did not know where I’d fit in. At first, I thought by repairing PCs and installing anti-virus was the type of work I would do. Perhaps creating my own software, even though I am not a programmer. This is until an attempt to have my own computer shop with a wholesale distribution became my entry to this world. This is when I learned that there’s so much more to it. The business back then did not work well, mainly due to my lack of business knowledge and maturity. Still, I have met had amazing people during my career and had many opportunities along the way.
I got involved in an ERP franchise software house and learned a lot from the owner, who I admire, and am still in contact with. Due to other factors, I had to shift my attention to other things and end up working in a logistics company where I was introduced to the software testing field.
What is your expertise?
I would say my expertise now is Analyst, with profitable business and user experience relationship. In terms of actual applications, I would say Dynamics 365 and web apps with data integration/validation and process flows.
Business process improvement.
UAT (User Acceptance Testing).
I work really well with Business Analyst as well as closing the bridge between the project development team and the business users.
Do you have a favorite part of your job?
The relationship between the development team and the business for me is the best part when working on a challenging project.
I seem to work really well with rescue missions and tricky situations in projects alike. I find it fascinating.
What is a typical day for you?
Before lockdown, I used to work from home on Mondays and Fridays and travel to clients, currently two offices, one 2 hours’ drive and another 4 hours’ drive from Leeds, West Yorkshire in England to Wales, Bangor and Cardiff. I did not think I’d miss the office as much as I am now. I haven’t been allowed to go back into the office for 7 months now. As I write this, we are going into another lockdown in Wales.
Now that I’m working from home, I like that as well. I have a cozy office with all the setup that I need. I typically wake up early in the morning, around 04:30 for my morning routine. I then read, meditate, exercise also work on my business before starting with the client tasks throughout the day with plenty of meeting with the team and various stakeholders. It is fun.
I tend to go for a walk or a 5k run at least 3 times a week during the lunchtime hour. Then try not to go more than beyond the 17:30 mark so I can spend time with my family without doing anything related to computers and work. It seems to have worked quite well.
What is your favorite part of testing?
Preparation, doing the thorough scrutinization of the information given prior to start testing. Working on the test plan and test scenarios, so when it comes to the test execution, I have all the information and the setup ready upfront. It is not always easy, but I try to get as much as possible. I like the perp analysis best then the conclusion with the test exit report after capturing all the outcome, having a nice closure with all the necessary information exposed, and signed off.
What are the challenges you faced during your career?
My own mind. In the beginning, I did know what to do. I did not know how to deal with challenging people. But something within me, after the failure with the business, made me think deeply about my emotions, feeling, and insecurities. I worked hard on that, invested in the psychology side more than the technical side, and to balance that between work, life, relationship, and leisure is not an easy task. Still, I can indeed say that it is the best possible outcome and, if you choose this path, everything else becomes easy.
What are your current goals? What projects are you currently working on?
Expand my business. I want to have more people working for my clients and expand the knowledge side of the company, training people and help people providing work for them. I want to assure my clients that working with my team will be beneficial for any of their projects.
I like to invest in people and ideas, and I want to have my own products and services.
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
Step in critical projects that were left incomplete by others and have a positive outcome. To help with process improvement and influence the new procedure and work ethics in the team, directly and indirectly. I believe this is the best possible thing that has happened. I am happy when customers are happy with my work and this helps define future standards.
What do you think is the best thing about being a tester?
Providing service for a customer, which helps giving confidence in a product the team has been working on.
Help to provide an understanding of asking the right questions and face challenging moments with an unbiased opinion.
Build the knowledge and documentation of a particular piece of work and empowering permanent employees to carry on with the legacy we, contractors/consultants leave behind.
What have you learned from your experience so far?
Always be honest. Always be frank—respect people’s feelings. Be mindful of other people’s problems away from work. Be resourceful. Resilience is also a key element I learned so far.
Networking is one of the essential things I’ve learned as well, always leave the door open, make friends, not enemies.
Ask for help when needed. Be open and apologize when wrong. Sometimes it is not as a big issue as it seems.
When feeling overwhelmed, close your eyes, have a couple of deep breaths, count until ten, go for a walk, and come back to it again. Maybe it’s not that bad.
When losing your cool, apologize, but without too much drama, and move on.
Do you have any advice for aspiring testers and engineers?
Learn the basics and master them.
Invest in your mind, in your emotions. Soft skills, in my opinion, are much more important than technical skills. With a bit of training, some online courses, you can acquire technical skills. Still, a good character and likable person is much more challenging if you don’t invest in yourself, in your insecurities, in your way of thinking. Do that, and you are making yourself valuable.
Finally, do you have a memorable story or anecdote from your experience you would like to share with us?
I remember well people who, when I did first start in my testing career, provided me with some advice. A few people without whom I would not have become who I am today – a contractor (consultant), with my own company, who has written my own book, recorded my own training, and have had my own blog.
I know I am not the best tester out there, but those few that appreciated me have helped and inspired me. That makes me happy. Thanks to them, I keep on with consistency, learning from my mistakes, and being who I am. Recently, one of the people I admire contacted me and said that I now inspired him to have his own business.
This makes me happy. Happy that others who I appreciate are happy.
We have to realize that we can never make everyone happy at the same time and all the time.