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 Sudeep Chatterjee, Head of Testing and Quality Assurance at the London Stock Exchange Group, 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.
What is your current role and responsibilities?
My current role is to lead the Quality Assurance, Testing, and Quality Engineering division of the London Stock Exchange with a focus on strategic development, innovation, transformation, and delivery.
What was your journey like?
I started my career as a member of a software engineering team focussed on delivering specific modules of a product.
Over later stages, Testing and Quality specifically interested me particularly for the large enterprise-wide programs as I could work with multiple parts of the organization and learn how software products are so much more than lines of code.
I also started to understand the importance of Quality (or lack of it) and how Quality is the competitive advantage/success criteria for any product.
What drew you to the tech industry?
Growing up I was always fascinated with the engineering aspects of life, be it trying to fix home electricals or learning about engineering marvels of the world.
The technology was coming through everyone’s life as I was growing and it was clear for the next decade(s), it will be the focus and even the baseline that underpins everything so I was naturally curious to learn more.
Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?
Not anyone person in particular but I like to draw inspiration from everyday life. This can be in form of events in public life where a specific person achieved something extraordinary, a person I know in my personal life who have gone through hardship and achieved a high accolade, Leaders in my current and past organizations whom I am working with or worked within past and to learn from them on how they conduct themselves and to understand how they approach a situation.
What do you think are the most important qualities of successful tech leaders today?
To be a successful tech leader, it is first and foremost important to have humility as any single person cannot be an expert in everything and so it is important to understand that a successful team makes the Leader and not vice-versa. The other qualities which are important as well are initiative and responsibility. For new problems coming to the team, a leader needs to be at the front and take the initiative and responsibility to deliver the solution to the team
How do you keep your team motivated despite conflicts and obstacles?
Communication and focus on the big picture are important to keep the team motivated. The age-old adage of Keep Calm and Carry On is so apt even today particularly in the difficult Covid pandemic times and so fewer opportunities for face-to-face interactions.
What is expected of you? What are your expectations for your team?
I am expected to deliver the QA, Testing, and Quality Engineering service for our business so that our end clients have total faith in the high quality and resilient products and services of the London Stock Exchange
I expect that each team member is aware of their specific role in the overall vision and able to deliver on this relentlessly
What are your current goals? What are you currently working on?
I am currently completing the transformation goals set out for 2020 and building the strategic roadmap of aligning our business and technology objectives with 2021+ Goals and Objectives to make the testing services more effective and efficient
What are you the proudest of in your career so far?
I do not spend much time thinking about past laurels but more about what I need to achieve next and I am sure there are many things I still need to do which when I would like to reflect back, I will be proud of.
What is the favorite part of your job?
The favorite part of my job is the interaction with other colleagues and how we all work together to solve common goals. It is fascinating that people from different parts of the world, different cultures and learnings, different values and language, still remain so focussed and committed when in a Team environment to resolve complex business and technological problems. The possibilities of what humans can do amaze me each day.
What has been your greatest challenge from working as a tech leader?
Challenges are part of the reason why I work as a Tech Leader and each day brings its own share. Challenges help me be focused, be creative, keep me humble, ensure I keep learning, and work closely with all my colleagues to solve the challenge.
What’s the most important risk you took in your career and why?
In any career growth, change is inevitable and with each change, there is a risk though I do not see them as risks though more as opportunities and I proactively look for opportunities to grow.
How do you continue to grow and develop as a tech leader?
I try to be focused on the big picture and keep investing in myself to develop as a tech leader. This includes learning new technologies, collaborating with industry leaders to understand the trend, learn from my seniors on various leadership styles and skills, focus on my health, and most importantly spend time with my family.
What have you learned from your experience so far?
I have learned from my experience that there are endless opportunities and anyone with the passion to learn and grow can succeed.
Do you have a memorable story or an anecdote from your experience you’d like to tell?
I would like to share a story about a health scare I had a few years back and how it made me take time off from work. It made me realize that we should never lose focus on the big picture of why we go to work. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and spending time with family is equally if not more important than being a successful Tech Leader.
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring engineers and testers who want to grow in the tech industry?
I would like to say to all aspiring engineers and testers that Testing, QA, and Quality Engineering has shifted gears over the last 10 years and it is clear for each organization and product companies that High Quality drives the bottom line and this has brought in large investments for Testing, QA and Quality Engineering.
It is an absolutely fantastic place to be and I am 100% that current aspiring engineers will shape the technology world of the future!