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A Test Automation Architect's Tale of Excellence and Resilience

Neelam's tech journey began when she earned her B.Tech in IT in 2005. Shortly after, she joined NIIT as a technical trainer, teaching Java and SQL. But Neelam always dreamed of diving into the corporate world as a Software Engineer. This dream came true in August 2006 when she landed a job at Wipro Technologies through an off-campus recruitment drive.

Neelam started with mainframe training and support projects, but her defining moment came six months later when she stepped in for a departing colleague. This was her first taste of test automation using QTP and QC. Thanks to her coding skills and problem-solving knack, Neelam mastered the tools in a day and started contributing immediately. This experience ignited her passion for automation testing, where she quickly grasped the nuances and selective nature of automation in the full test life cycle.

Despite her rapid rise, Neelam faced setbacks. One major challenge was a critical project where her automation scripts failed just days before release. The pressure was immense, and the client was anxious. Her initial scripts, though technically sound, couldn't handle the complex scenarios of the real environment. It was a potential career-derailing failure.

Instead of giving in to the pressure, Neelam showed her resilience and problem-solving skills. She worked tirelessly, often late into the night, to identify the root causes and devise robust solutions. Her meticulous approach and calm demeanor under pressure enabled her to revamp the scripts, making them more adaptable and resilient. This not only salvaged the project but also earned her deep respect from her team and clients.

Neelam's dedication and expertise didn't go unnoticed. In June 2007, she received the prestigious "Feather in Cap" award, followed by a letter of appreciation from British Petroleum for her exceptional work.

Between 2006 and 2014, Neelam's roles evolved from team member to Team Lead. She became a mentor, trainer, and interviewer. When she relocated to Pune, a new chapter began. She became the go-to person for automation tool assessments and market competition analysis. Though she advanced to team manager, she found more fulfillment as a Test Architect and discovered a new passion for sales.

Neelam's humility, excellent communication skills, and unwavering commitment to excellence have consistently earned her admiration from clients and colleagues alike. What sets her apart is her ability to handle failures and setbacks. She approaches challenges with a positive mindset, viewing them as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles.

A pivotal moment in her career happened during a visit to the UK. An unplanned dinner conversation with a Royal Mail employee led to a successful business acquisition for her company. This sparked her interest in direct sales, and she has since been instrumental in securing additional sales within the accounts she manages.

With over a decade of experience, Neelam is not just a Test Architect but a dedicated mentor and coach in test automation. She's passionate about making a difference in people's lives, mentoring over 100 testers, and equipping them with the skills to lead test automation projects effectively.

Neelam also shares her knowledge on LinkedIn and through whitepapers, writing extensively about test automation tools and processes.

Neelam's journey is a testament to her passion, resilience, and continuous pursuit of excellence. As she continues to mentor and inspire the next generation of test automation professionals, her story stands as a beacon of dedication and success in the tech industry. Her ability to overcome failures and turn them into stepping stones for success highlights the qualities that make her an exceptional coach and leader.

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