To celebrate the relentless passion of testers, BrowserStack is honoring some of the icons in the testing space—those who push the industry forward by sharing their knowledge with the community at large through their thought leaders.

John Pourdanis is an experienced software engineer currently working as a Lead Software Quality Assurance Engineer at VMware. He's passionate about software quality and is an avid speaker who shares his knowledge with the community through trainings and workshops.  

Tell us about your role as a Lead Software Quality Assurance Engineer at VMware

At VMware, I am leading the effort for the UI QA, working on an extremely cutting-edge project called Tanzu Service Mesh. Tanzu Service Mesh provides advanced, end-to-end connectivity, security, and insights for modern applications across application end-users, microservices, APIs, and data. It enables compliance with service level objectives (SLOs), data protection, and privacy regulations. Technologies that we are using: Kubernetes, Istio, Cypress, Typescript, GitLab-CI, and many others since the project is based on microservices architecture.

What innovations/trends in the space of software development are you most excited about?

Since I am working on a project that has microservices architecture, I am excited to know more and more about the testing approaches on microservices, complex DevOps-related processes, and of course, Kubernetes.

What are some passion projects you're currently working on?

I have a passion for continuous learning, so now I am working on setting up a QA Academy for people who want to join the Testing World or extend their skills in a specific area of Testing example, Test Automation. The academy will include topics about technical and non-technical skills that you need to have if you want to follow a career as a Software Tester.

What are you reading/learning right now? What made you interested in this?

Nowadays, I am reading books for personal improvement like "The Greatest Salesman in the World" by OG Mandino, and in parallel, I am reading "More Agile Testing" by Janet Gregory & Lisa Crispin. The first one helps me understand the world better, and the second one helps me grow my testing skills

What's your favorite software testing quote of all time?

I actually have 2 favorite quotes. The first one is because I am Greek and Greek Philosophers said then before 2000 years ago, and it's still valid:

"Quality is not an act, it is a habit." ~ Aristotle

This means that if you want quality in something, you don't need to do several acts to gain it, you need to make it your habit. The second one is:

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking." ~ Henry Ford

So If you want to have quality on your product or whatever, you always need to do it right even if no one cares, the recognition of quality comes after.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in entering the QA space?

It's a world of bugs, after all (just kidding). For people who want to enter the QA space, I have only one piece of advice: "Do it with passion or don't do it all."

If you are entering the QA space for job opportunities, a good salary, or security without loving it, it will not work. You will get bored soon, and you will be trying to find the root cause.

What's a fun fact about you that most people don't know?

I always say to myself that I need to start going to the gym on Monday, but this Monday never comes.

What are the things you wish you knew about software testing when you started your career?

I wish I knew more about soft skills and how important those are in your day job. Hard skills can be learned easily in some amount of time, but soft skills are something that you need to evolve always. For the testing part, I wish knew more about the Shift Left Testing approach and how valuable is to the entire process of software development, and makes the work environment enjoyable.

(Responses have been edited for clarity.)