Each of our FailQonf Speakers has years of experience behind them and a crazy amount of knowledge acquired over those years. It would be bad on our part if we restrict their stories to only their FailQonf sessions. We are as eager as you all to know them and their journey better, and hence this Interview Series.

We had a few questions in mind which we wished to get answers from all of them, and there were questions we designed based on the little research we did on their work and life. We so enjoyed the process and now as we have the answers with us, we are enjoying it even more. We are sure you will enjoy this interview too.


In this Interview, I (Sayali Kulkarni) took the opportunity to ask our FailQonf Speaker Aprajita Mathur a few questions about Failures, Lessons learned, and a part of their amazing work in the Industry. We thank Aprajita for their time to answer these, and for sharing a part of their life with us.

About Aprajita Mathur: Aprajita Mathur is a mom, inventor, mentor, and international speaker with an engineering background in Bioinformatics. She has more than 10+ years of software testing experience. She has worked on a wide range of products like instrument software, LIMS, integrated solutions, and data analysis pipelines which are used in the fields of agriculture, transplant genomics, forensics, and oncology. Currently, she leads the Bioinformatics Software Test team at Guardant Health, which builds the world’s leading comprehensive liquid biopsy. She also leads the chapter for “Women Who Test” in the bay area and hopes to grow this community. In her spare time, she loves to catch up on sleep and write new songs for her son.

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Sayali: What are the top five challenges in Risk Analysis when it comes to the software products related to transplant genomics, forensics, and oncology?
Aprajita: 

  1. Technology and science in this space are changing very fast, but our users don’t adapt as fast.

  2. Predicting what talent pool and resources you will have available.

  3. The success matrix of a project can change quickly.

  4. Data, Data, Data.

  5. Usability.

 

Sayali: If you recall your first professional failure, what was it and how did you respond to it? 
Aprajita:
My first failure was when 2 months into a banking project, the team followed a waterfall model back in the day and I missed finding a printing error. I remember being asked about this in a very open space and having to explain why I did not catch the issue.

I also remember feeling overwhelmed and leaving early that day. 2 days later we found that the specifications from the client had changed between the dev and test phase.

 

Sayali: What are those top three things that you think are missing from the testing communities?
Aprajita: 

  1. Fundamental understanding of testing principles
  2. Creativity in everyday work
  3. Being proud of your craft

 

Sayali: What is the state (Quality, Pace, Adoption, ROI) of innovations in testing as compared to 2010?
Aprajita: I think I have access to a lot more information and tools, I have more options as well. For the factors you mention, I think we have not improved much.

 

Sayali: What is the most interesting failure you have experienced, which kicked hard, but once you learned from it you achieved double of what was expected in the next attempts.
Aprajita: Assessing risk associated with a change, and when I don’t know enough about this change to escalate so that it can be evaluated by the correct stakeholders. In short, escalation is NOT A bad thing and neither is asking for help.

 

Sayali: Any experience you would want to share wherein you learned from someone’s failure and based on that lesson you actually avoided a similar failure at work?
Aprajita:
I don’t remember anyone sharing their failures from me to learn from. I do think people share this information as Gottcha’s or warnings or best practices. I have benefitted from the later in may forums.

 


We hope you enjoyed reading this amazing interview. Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.

We can guarantee that you are going to enjoy FailQonf even more. Have yourself enrolled here if you have not done it so far. Please note there is a Free Pass option for the ones who cannot afford the Paid one in these difficult times. See you there.

 

About the Host:

Sayali is working with the iLink Digital, Pune as Senior Technical Specialist – Software Testing. She is a dedicated, passionate tester with a curious mind.

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