[Interview] Meet Nabil – Consulting Engineer

World, meet our colleague... Nabil

"I like to think of the tester as a journalist, a field reporter who conducts an investigation to tell the story of how things are done by going where we wouldn't necessarily go."

February 13th, 2023 | An exhange with Nabil 

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Passionate about computers since I was a kid and a former freelance developer, I joined QESTIT a little over a year ago as a consultant and a trainer. Today I am part of the QESTIT Academy and the French Audit & Consulting Business Unit.

I have several passions besides computer science, design is one of them. In the past, in parallel with my practice as a freelance developer, I was a designer. I also trained and graduated from the Art Deco school in Paris and the Political Sciences school. These two schools have been major in the development of my critical eye and my analytical skills.

What is the main goal of your work?

Strive for quality at all levels. For myself, within the department, for our colleagues and consultants, for the people we train and who trust us and for the clients we support.

What advice would you give to achieve this goal?

The first one, which for me is essential, is to ask ourselves: why do we want to strive for quality? There may be many reasons, but identifying them is crucial to maintain confidence and to implement the right actions.
Then you have to take stock, identify where you are and where you can go to reach this quality goal.
Finally, we must set a prioritized and realistic action plan in stages with, if possible, the first quick results, even if they are minimal, which can prove that we are on the right track and encourage us to continue our efforts.

Why did you choose software testing?

As a freelance developer, I was often doing projects alone in back and front. I used to test but without any recognized methodology. I wanted to specialize in this area and better understand the best practices to improve and add control to my work.

I chose testing because of its transverse vision in software development with a particular emphasis on critical and objective analysis. I like to see the tester as a journalist, a field reporter who conducts an investigation to tell how things are going by going where one would not necessarily go.

How do you see software testing in 10 years?

Having done machine learning a few years ago and having seen the possibilities of AI in the analysis and generation of scripts in all languages with speed, I see these practices becoming more democratic and improving while keeping a large part of the unexpected with the need for a human eye to validate the results obtained. I therefore see testing as having evolved but fully integrated into the new IT practices with still a few layers of validation reduced in time but a more advanced risk analysis.

Considering this, what do you do to keep learning about testing advances?

Attend webinars, conferences, do digital intelligence, shadow members of the department who have different or more experience in certain aspects of the business, and sometimes take advantage of my free time to continue to self-train and certify.

What is the one misconception that annoys you the most about your job?

The idea that testing comes later or is secondary. This is a real mistake that has been made for so long and continues to be made today, when testing brings a real and major benefit, in terms of collaboration, costs and time, if it is sufficiently anticipated

If you had to give one anecdote about your job, what would it be?

A person whom I trained on a tool during a reskilling program and who recommended me to her husband. I supported him in an informal way outside of my working hours because I really enjoy passing on the knowledge. Seeing him later become a client and recruit consultants for us revealed to me the importance of training but also of the relationship of trust that is built with all the people we meet in our business.

What are your personal experiences that are useful in your job?

All of them. I continuously draw from my different experiences, whether they are professional, personal or even sporting. I am fortunate to have been in many different fields and to have met many different people in different areas. For example, when I was working for the MoMA exhibition in Paris at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, I had exchanges with Jean-Paul Claverie, the director of the foundation. I continue to do so today. I also remember discovering the articles in the Tester’s Tavern (French QA blog) last year and I am delighted to be able to work with the editor: Marc Hage Chahine today. A new experience that will be useful in my job and even beyond.

Why did you choose QESTIT?

I chose QESTIT for its ambition. To help consultants and clients strive for quality and improve through our activities. These missions are also an opportunity for me to pass on knowledge, to continue to learn, to build relationships of trust and to be proud of everyone’s success.

Last but not least, manual or automated testing?

Very good question! I would say automated testing. The one that is anticipated, that is written by several hands before the development and that has very clear objectives.

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