Meet UKSTAR Speakers – Rick & Paula

UKSTAR Speakers Rick Tracy & Paula O’Grady are next for their Meet the Speakers Blog Post.

Their Conversation Track ‘Skills Changes‘ will be presented Tuesday the 28th at 2:00 p.m.

Rick’s track is titled ‘Mind the Gap

Paula’s track is titled ‘How to do More with Less Time and be Happy About It‘.


How did you get started in software testing?

R: Well, mostly by necessity. I did quality control for my own little start up in the USA before I went to University in the Netherlands, studying Business Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Public Administration. No one was hiring,  unfortunately (should have tested for that) so I joined a small outsourcing company as a general IT professional.

They needed testers, and I (literally) tested in high enough, and like that was hooked. Beginning my assignment at Rabobank during the Christmas break gave me time to explore everything in the system, from documents to technology, but especially people. Seeing all the complex pieces arrayed before me gave me a hint at what I could expect to explore as a tester.

Ever since I’ve followed my curiosity wherever it led, testing every potential path and path not taken.


P: I got started in testing as a summer job while I was studying Information Technology at University.  At the time I never expected it to be my “real” job.  However, as I progressed in my career, and moved between industries, I discovered that most diverse and interesting roles were in QA.  No two jobs have ever been the same.


Who inspires you?

R: Many people inspire me, and they all have three qualities in common:

1) They are deeply curious about their world.

2) They never accept an answer as obvious or final

3) They are genuinely interested in making the world better through knowledge and communication.


P: I am inspired by people who are passionate about what they do, regardless of their profession.


What do you see for the future of software testing?

R: I see Testers growing out of the need to set our role apart. I imagine we will profile ourselves as experts based on our interests, i.e. content, context, and/or process experts.


I’m hoping more people will see testing (the practice) as a vital part of any software development process, and I see our role as ambassadors to a fascinating world.

P: The future of software testing is definitely an integrated one, to the point where ‘software tester‘ may not even be a job title anymore. Long gone are the days of the QA silo, but going forward I think the software tester will have to be comfortable wearing even more hats.


Rick Tracy

Paula O’Grady

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