Track Talk W15

Secret Life of a Leader in Testing

Brijesh Deb

15:15-16:00 CEST Wednesday 14th June

The North Star shines bright in the sky, giving directions to everyone around. It helps people navigate through unknown paths towards their destination. Every team looks for that north star to guide them towards success. Leaders are that north star in every team. A leader is the glue that binds the team together, and shapes the team socially and culturally.

Culture is at the heart of every successful test team. Though the team may be socially diverse, a common vision is often the driving factor. When working with global teams in multicultural environments, it’s critical for leaders to identify the strengths in every team member. They also need to understand how these strengths can be used to feed these capabilities, to achieve the shared objectives and goals, keeping in mind the individual aspirations.

With testing being a social activity, the role of a leader becomes even more crucial in the current workplace to build a team that’s inclusive of cultural differences. While skills such as problem solving, decision making, active listening etc., and qualities such as empathy, authenticity, humility etc. are important characteristics of leadership, there are a few extra dimensions to leadership in testing.

When I moved into leadership roles, I had a few realizations that I did not think of earlier. As testing has evolved over the years, we have seen testers being embedded as a part of large teams which sometimes makes them feel as though they have lost their voice. They are constantly worried about the loss of their independence, and fear that their careers might be under threat. They work really hard but they cannot voice their concerns. They need a psychologically safe space that allows them to voice themselves. They need an environment that gives them the necessary freedom. They need visibility and assurance in their career.

This is my story of how I became the North Star for my team. In this talk, I will share my challenges, and share my experiences of how I enabled and empowered my teams to deliver great results. I will provide real examples and tools that allowed me to establish better rapport with my team by fostering a culture of trust and candor. I will also talk about how I built a psychologically safe environment that powered the team’s self efficacy so that they achieve better results. I will share the secret to my happiness and fulfilment.