An interview with Sunil Kumar : 1 year @ Moolya

It is my pleasure to post this. For a company as young as Moolya, it is important we have people working with us enjoying the journey and all of a sudden when we look back, we find, 1 year has passed by. Sunil Kumar and Chandrashekar B came together to meet me over a coffee. I feel Chandrashekar (Chandru) was the one who brought Sunil to Moolya.

Services industry in software is like the chicken-egg game. To get projects, we need people and to get people we need the money and to get the money we need projects. Where do you start from? My answer was, let me start from people who believe in the purpose of why the service exists. Sunil is one of our earliest members who believed and continues the belief in the purpose of why this service exists.

As Sunil has told in the following interview, he was game for anything that the organization needs because he was excited to learn about many different things. He handled a lot of operations work initially (although he came for testing) during our garage days and that gave him exposure to many different things and he was smart enough to recognize the value of it.

There were moments I hugged Sunil and said a Thank You for the support he had been offering and also felt sorry at times for making him work on some operational needs for the organization. I promised him he wouldn’t handle operations for long and ever since we moved out of the garage and when we hired someone for operations, Sunil has been “testing only” type of guy 🙂

Technically he learnt everything that came on his way. Linux, our secret Tipper Project, PHP, Mobile Apps Testing. Over the last 8 months, he is a Lead Exploratory Tester for a large client who values value.  Sunil has helped his team do so well that our client renewed our contract for a year more and also replaced a large IT services company from India to Moolya as their sole testing partner. This isn’t easy. Success like this is phenomenal and important for Moolya’s future. He has a great heart and we are fortunate he chose Moolya.

Sunil also started a blog during his days in Moolya and is catching up with the consistency needed 🙂  More in his own words:

1. Can you tell us what was going on in your mind when you quit your job at Accenture to come over to Moolya?

Having worked in an MNC where there is always stress on best practices & working only to the tunes of the client, it was really hard to try new things. Having been a follower of testertested for months before I quit, I never had a speck of doubt that I would get a platform where I could implement new things & directly use what I had learned.

2. How were your first couple of months of working in Moolya? What assumptions went wrong and what went right?

Starting days at Moolya was full of surprises to me. The assumptions that I had were that I would quickly be put on a project where there is too many things happening where I could start working day-in & out. But that didn’t happen for a couple of months.

I had never expected that I will be put in an operations role to a certain extent in the initial stages of my tenure. It did happen for nearly 4-5 months & it was very exciting to handle the stuffs that I had never imagined. It could be matters like representing Moolya in a public tech meet events OR going out to buy inventories for the project requirement – everything was a surprise. On the other side, the assumption that went aptly right were the guidance from the top testers of this part of the world. Having people likeParimala HariprasadDhanasekar.S & Santhosh Tuppad it was not hard to get anyone among them to help me learn how to test better.

3. Tell us what you think are your accomplishments in Moolya?

‘Accomplishment’ to me is what is learned in a hard way & then put into practice which would result in an enormous amount of further opportunities for growth. And this came up to me only with a constant value that I have tried to add to every client/customer that I had engaged with, which is in fact the Vision & Mission of Moolya.

4. How has your life improved overall after working in Moolya?

It was always fun to interact with people while representing Moolya in any of the forums/meets & conferences. And this eventually lifted up my overall confidence towards life.

5. What do you plan to do to help Moolya’s future be super bright?

Build the team which would be unbeatable by any other in the testing community. Spread the words on how good testing could make a difference.

6. During our “garage” days, you had to do a lot of heavy lifting and take care a few operations for Moolya. We thank you very much for that. However, didn’t you want to quit and runaway during those times? :

“quit and runaway?” No. That was not why I had come over to Moolya.

7. Moolya has had a great growth in the last year and you have seen it grow with respect to customers, project, people, infrastructure, business, revenues and more. How has it been for you to be a part of it and observe the growth happen?

Awesome!! It was amazing to see how the company progressed steadily while sailing through the rough tides during the last 18 months. Having observed Moolya since the newborn stage, would love to help it grow to a mature adult.

8. In all projects you have worked so far, customers have been delighted working with you. How do you do that?

It was all the result of learning that I did from the colleagues around me here. Be it using a mindmap as a tool for brainstorming/ reporting the testing activities OR the importance of knowing the customer before you test OR the questioning skills. All put-together was reasons behind each delighted client that I was/am working with.

9. How do you lead your team?

I do not encourage my team to imitate my style of working, rather I always encourage them to come-up with their approach on any task/work & then make them understand the impact of working in that fashion.
I do not say “This is exactly how you should test this” rather I ask “How do you think we should test this?”
Make teammates remind that there is always new things to learn, hence explore everyday.

10. What would you like to say as your accomplishments when we interview you for 2nd year completion?

Perform public talks/workshops/seminars on web-app testing
Build a team within Moolya which has rockstar testers around the country
Be a well known giant in the testing community

11. What’s your advice to Moolya and testers across the world?

I have been mentored & have mentored while at Moolya & the one important aspect that I have learnt from that process is how important for us is ‘Change’ in our lives. “Progress is impossible without change” – by George Bernard Shaw. So if you want to make progress, make sure to do things beyond the way you have known/done that in the past.

_ end of interview _

Dear Sunil,

On behalf of Moolya, thanks for choosing to work with us and giving us an opportunity to experience working with a great person like you.

The pic posted above was intentionally chosen from our garage days to remind you of your own great work that has got us far ahead of where we would have been without you. BTW, did you check if there’s water in the tank? 🙂

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