Breakpoint Speaker Spotlight: Priyanka Halder, GoodRx

Breakpoint 2020 is a 4-day virtual summit on everything testing. We're bringing speakers from the best dev and QA teams to talk about building QA processes, automating at scale and best practices for success with tools and frameworks.

Priyanka Halder is a Senior Manager of Quality Engineering at GoodRx. Priyanka is a passionate software QA lead with over 12 years of experience in the industry. She has spoken at multiple conferences and specializes in hiring, training, and mentoring new QA members. In her spare time, Priyanka loves spending time with her daughter, trying out new food, and traveling.

Can you give us a sneak-peek into your session for Breakpoint 2020?

My session is going to be about Modern Automation Approaches. This includes A/B testing, feature flagging, debugging capabilities for mobile testing, accessibility ID parity, dynamic capability generators, and how you can integrate them into a project efficiently. I will also go over how you can leverage various tools/frameworks to adapt to modern approaches.

What is it like to be a Tech Mom?

It's a bittersweet experience to be a Tech Mom! Being in a leadership role in technology is challenging and demanding at the same time.

I sometimes feel superhuman as I try to strike a balance between my motherly duties and handling a large team at GoodRx. It is even more challenging to be a tech woman of color. But my daughter looks up to me and calls me 'super mom,' which gives me the assurance that she will grow up to be a strong, independent woman one day.

One thing that helped me was finding my tribe and staying connected with fellow tech moms of the industry—and sharing experiences with them.

How did you first take up public speaking?

My first public speaking assignment was when I was chosen to be part of a diversity talk panel in 'Wonder Women in Tech Nov 2018'. The panel was called 'We are innovators.' I took it up as I had a lot to share with fellow women who doubted themselves or thought they were not good enough.

I felt proud telling them how I started my journey with computer science after high school, how I came to the United States, how my first paycheck was a $5 gift card—and how I now lead a whole department in a multi-billion dollar disruptive startup.

But my growth as a tech speaker happened in 2019 when I decided to share my story about achieving the extraordinary at GoodRx within the first 6 months of joining the company. I was selected by the Test Leadership Congress and mentored by the Chair. I never had to look back afterwards. I kept getting invitations to speak and have since spoken at over 12 national and international conferences.

Have you worked on any side-projects recently?

I volunteer as a quality advisor to multiple small companies in Los Angeles. I brief them on industry trends on quality engineering and together, we brainstorm solutions.

I have also been chosen as a Conference Chair for CONTEST NYC this year. So I'm organizing that conference (while overcoming COVID-19 challenges). It's been eye-opening and challenging.

What are you reading/learning right now?

I just love learning things! Last year, I read 16 different books on leadership (using Audible, thanks to my long commutes in Los Angeles). This year, due to COVID-19, that's not been an option, so I'm using O'Reilly media to read 'Inspired' by Marty Cagan. This book is about startups going through anti-pattern spirals—and how best to overcome it.

Other than books, I like reading tech blogs written by industry leaders. This helps me stay up-to-date with the current quality engineering trends and tools.

What would you tell someone new to testing?

Understand what excites you about testing/quality engineering and jot down the top 3 things you want to achieve this year.

Follow influencers on Twitter—there is so much content to learn from!

Don't be disheartened if it takes longer than you anticipated. Focus on one thing you are passionate about and master it before moving on to the next one. Be nimble and change as the industry changes with time.