JULIE: With the magnitude of State Farm’s IT department, do you really feel like you have the opportunity to make your mark in a place that is so big?
CHAD: It is a vast organization. It’s very, very large but our particular part of it is organized into a much smaller group, so while you do have lots of different application areas, those teams are still pretty close-knit and there’s still a lot of interaction between the teams, and they’re not as big as you might think they are. And there is an opportunity for you to make your mark there. You definitely have an opportunity to show your expertise and especially for somebody like me that came from an area that wasn’t IT. I had an opportunity to obviously showcase how I can learn new skills and be able to illustrate that. And so it’s been a real positive experience.
DEWAYNE: I’m in a test manager position so I have the opportunity of managing a persistent team of test analysts, focused on different aspects of testing that we do at State Farm. My persistent team is primarily focused on technical infrastructure-type efforts, which is really fun and unique because it really gets into how big we are at State Farm and how we touch so many different areas from an IT aspect. So it’s pretty exciting to kind of be part of that and have a testing flavor to that which is really neat in the market today from an IT standpoint.
TEJAS: Primarily my duties right now – I’m working with claims systems, so the days are filled with handling all different things. Coordinating, getting the data ready, meeting the deadlines, making sure, all these things, so your test conditions, test cases, test data, and your automated scripts are ready to go so the test execution team can pick up on those and start testing.
DEWAYNE: That’s just unique background being that you’ve been a test analyst technical (TAT) and a test analyst business (TAB), how would you compare the difference between wearing those two different hats?
TEJAS: The key difference is that testing this business as the role would say, is working closely with your business analysts, so all the acceptance testing, the user acceptance testing, working with your business analyst to make sure all the requirements are covered from the business standpoint versus the testing of the technical folks. They’re focused on your system testing, integration testing, primarily your system testing, and delivering the product to the end. So focusing more on the technical side of it so the functionalities are working okay, all the background calls are making proper calls to database, so on and so forth. So you get exposed to that technical side of it.
DONGMEI: Well, I’m a test analyst technical (TAT) and I work on only one project and our project’s developing a software application that supports State Farm interacting with the customers, so it’s a very important project and our project also uses an agile software development approach. I love it because it’s not only that you talk to people, you’ve got an opportunity to understand the technical side and then you also have to organize it the way that you know is the better fit for your project and to get your project moving forward. So it’s an exciting job experience.
JULIE: Good. When you have an idea that falls outside of those responsibilities, do you feel like that idea is listened to and heard and actually acted upon in some cases?
DEWAYNE: It’s exciting to me when I see one of my test analysts working on a project and they get in there and they understand what they need to test and maybe there was a traditional way we always had, we had to test this change. But they work with the developers, they got a better understanding and then they modify their approach. So that’s always exciting to me to have those stories come back and the PMs come and kind of share that and then the test analysts are always excited about that too, so they hear that, that’s good.