Interview-with-Jay-PhilipsJAY PHILIPS
Organization: Project Realms, Inc. & TeamQualityPro
Current Role/Designation – CEO & President
Location – Minnesota, USA

Jay Philips is a highly experienced leader with a focus in business intelligence and software development team building.
She has successfully completed multiple large and small projects in a variety of industry domains including strict regulated financial & health care environments.
Over the years, she has concentrated on learning more about the entire software life cycle, quality process, and controls for a project. She is familiar with a variety of testing tools which support a full software and system life cycle including requirements tracking, configuration management, defect tracking, test team management and automated regression test tools. In doing so, she has used metrics as a means to measure a project’s success.
She founded Project Realms, Inc. because she saw a need for leadership, creation, maintenance and execution of development and testing activities.

1. The usual question. Tell us about your journey to becoming a software tester. How did it start and how this has been so far? Was it planned or by accident?
I originally started as a Network Administrator – I never knew software testing was even a field. I was at a client site setting up their authentication system when I found a very critical bug within an application that they had planned to go live with that weekend. While the client had a test team, the issue had gone undetected. I was asked to stay on and help with testing the application until all the critical issues were resolved. Not only did I stay on, testing became my passion because it felt great knowing that I was finding bugs before the end user did.

2. Do you regret being associated with software testing today? Given a chance would you move from testing to any other field in IT or any other non-IT domain?
I do not regret it at all – I love it! I actually owe it all to that one critical bug I found more than a decade ago or I wouldn’t be where I am today.

3. You founded Project Realms in 2009. Was it because there was a need for such type consulting firms? How did it start and how are response so far?
I founded Project Realms so that I could put the client first. Many of the firms I know of are more about their own bottom-line and are not necessarily about the success of their clients. I also noticed that they didn’t focus in on the entire project lifecycle, which is what I believed was really needed. We have had a great response on how we conduct and manage projects from start to finish. We have experienced significant growth each year based on our approach and commitment.

4. You recently released the TQP platform. How is it different from other dashboards that we see in the market?
TeamQualityPro (TQP) is currently the only dashboard system that allows a user to see the entire application development organization. Other dashboards focus on singular items such as: defects, test scripts, etc. Therefore, the only way to get a full view, if you’re not using the same tool, is to export to excel and create metrics manually. TQP is code agnostic, built on lean architecture, automated and mobile ready so you can get updates anytime, anywhere. The product has been very well received.

5. You recently attended CAST 2013. What was your take away?
As always, CAST was a wonderful conference. I am on the Leadership SIG, so my biggest take away is to start getting more traction on the SIG.

6. How are you associating with other testers around the world apart from attending testing conferences?
I am very active on Twitter and Facebook, so I am able to keep connected with other great testers all the time.

7. According to you, what is lacking in today’s commercialized training industry, especially in testing?
Most colleges are still not offering stand-alone courses in software testing. I think more people would come into the field if they were told about it. The AST Education SIG is currently working on a SummerQAmp, which will help get high school students more involved but I think it needs to go even further into private and public colleges.

8. What qualities will you look for in a candidate when you want to recruit someone for software testing job?
The ability to think outside of the box. There are so many testers that will just follow a detailed test plan or do point & click scripting. I wish more testers were more context-driven.

9. What will you suggest to people who want to join IT industry as software testers?
I wish there was a course I could recommend but instead I’d say spend some time reviewing some of the testing blogs & videos, join one of the conferences to get a better feel of what software testing is, and job-shadow with a tester you know.

10. Name few people you would like to thank, people who helped you directly or indirectly in your career as a software testing professional.
I thank my husband for putting up with my very long hours and crazy travel schedule, the entire Project Realms & TQP team for joining me on the path we’re creating, and all our clients for being wonderful partners.

11. Jay Philips minus testing is – This is a tough one since it’s my core background.
I guess I’d be a Project Manager. Project management is a great field but it is just not as much fun if you do not have testing experience.

12. One last question – Do you read Testing Circus Magazine? If yes, what is your feedback to improve this magazine?
Yes, I do. I think a section on what I learned from a previous magazine article would be great.

Blog/Site – http://www.projectrealms.com
http://www.teamqualitypro.com
Twitter ID – jayphilips

 

 

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Ajoy Kumar Singha

Ajoy is the founder and editor of Testing Circus magazine which is read and subscribed by thousands of professional testers around the world. He is associated with various testing forums such as NCR Testers Monthly Meet as a founding member. Follow Ajoy on Twitter.