Spotlight - Priyanka Halder

Priyanka Halder's journey in the realm of Quality Assurance (QA) is a remarkable tale of dedication, innovation, and global perspective. With Indian roots and a Californian identity, she brings a unique outlook to her work. Priyanka's career is a testament to her ability to tackle intricate DevOps and QA challenges using cutting-edge technologies while championing modern tech solutions like Kubernetes, visual validation, and CI/CD.

Champion of the QA World:

Priyanka's prowess in QA was underscored when she secured the prestigious title at the "World Bug Battle Championship 2014." Her voice resonates in the tech community through her appearances at various platforms, including Automation Guild, TestFlix, Star Canada, Star East, and more. Beyond her professional life, she is a passionate traveler, food enthusiast, and a dedicated mother to her daughters, Ariya and Adrika. Fitness is not just a hobby for Priyanka; it's a commitment, as evidenced by her achievements ( won 5 weight loss championships in the last 4 yrs) at F45, a renowned Australian gym.

A Trailblazing Career:

With over Two decades of experience, Priyanka Halder has made her mark as a QA leader. She has held pivotal roles in major corporations such as Oscar Health, GoodRx Inc., Heal, Homeme Inc., and Truecar, showcasing her expertise and adaptability.

Two standout achievements define her career. Firstly, her talent for rapidly building complex quality engineering teams for public corporations, often within just three months. Secondly, her recognition as a quality engineering influencer, sharing insights alongside industry leaders.

Innovating at Oscar Health:

In her current role at Oscar Health, Priyanka was tasked with establishing a quality engineering organization for a team of over 300 engineers, managing intricate microservice architectures. Leading a dynamic 30-member team of tooling and DevOps engineers, she focuses on developing cutting-edge automation tools. A recent milestone included her leadership in designing a new version of change management for Oscar Health, ensuring compliance with SOC SOX standards. Her role is intense, often leading to long workdays and a race against time that leaves her wishing for more hours in the day.

Tools of the Trade:

As a seasoned QA Engineer, Priyanka maintains her industry expertise through continuous learning. She engages directly with industry leaders, participates in webinars and conferences, and stays updated through tech blogs and Twitter threads. Her toolkit includes a diverse set of tools tailored to specific roles and technologies, such as JIRA, Selenium, JMeter, Jenkins, Git, BrowserStack, Postman, Docker, and Kubernetes, among others.

Transforming Testing with BrowserStack:

She's been using BrowserStack since 2018, and it's made a huge difference in how she approaches testing. Before using BrowserStack, testing was a bit of a mess with lots of different devices, and tackling compatibility issues, especially testing Internet Explorer on a Mac, was a big headache. She still remembers the days when they had to juggle between various mobile devices or even carry a Windows laptop just for specific browser checks.

Back in the early days of BrowserStack, when she was looking for a cross-browser testing tool, she compared it to several others. To her surprise, BrowserStack came out on top in every category, including speed, cost, and customer support. She took a chance on this newer company that was challenging the big players, and it paid off. Ended up, running over 2 million tests every month on BrowserStack, supporting a team of 700+ engineers.

But what really changed the game was BrowserStack itself. It's super convenient because it lets them test on a wide range of devices and browsers, all from one platform. Plus, it's easy to integrate with automation tests, which has cut down on the time they spend fixing issues. They can access logs and get real-time feedback, making it a breeze to find and solve problems.

Reflecting on my two-decade-long career, I often wonder how I navigated the first ten years without BrowserStack. It hasn't just simplified our testing approach; it's revolutionized it.- Priyanka Halder

Anticipating the Future:

Priyanka Halder is not only a practitioner but also a visionary in the world of Quality Assurance. She anticipates three key trends: the role of AI & ML in testing, the importance of accessibility testing, and the rise of QA in production environments.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) in Testing: AI and ML can make testing smarter by using past data to predict potential software issues. This means tests can be more focused and precise. AI can also help with tasks like optimizing test suites, predicting future issues, analyzing logs, and even automating the creation of test cases.

Accessibility Testing: Ensuring that software is accessible to all users is essential. This aspect is sometimes overlooked, and there's a need for tools that can easily check if software meets ADA(Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) standards. In sectors like health tech, this is especially important because it ensures that everyone can use the software.

QA in Production: Testing in real production settings is becoming more crucial. This approach involves continuously monitoring applications in live environments, collecting data on how they perform and how users interact with them. This data helps guide further testing and development. In complex systems like microservices, testing in production is gaining popularity. While it's not without its challenges, having out-of-the-box solutions would be a huge help.

These trends, she believes, will shape the future of QA, making it more efficient and effective.

Tech Communities: Catalysts for Growth:

Priyanka emphasizes the importance of tech communities in professional growth. She lauds the collaborative spirit of the BrowserStack Champions community and highlights the diversity of expertise it brings together. Direct access to experts, exclusive content, and a sense of belonging make such communities invaluable.

Advice for New QA Engineers:

For those embarking on a QA career, Priyanka offers practical advice. She emphasizes learning the basics, gaining hands-on experience, acquiring coding skills, staying updated, engaging with communities, seeking real-world experience, developing soft skills, and setting personal goals.

In a nutshell, this has been Priyanka's remarkable journey

Priyanka Halder's journey in Quality Assurance is not just a story of personal success; it's a testament to the ever-evolving landscape of technology and innovation. Her commitment to excellence and her ability to harness the power of tools like BrowserStack exemplify the spirit of innovation that drives the QA industry forward. As she continues to lead and inspire, Priyanka stands as a beacon of achievement in the world of Quality Assurance, illuminating the path for those who follow in her footsteps.

Connect with Priyanka: Linkedin | Twitter | Website

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