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Pearl Oguchi

QA Engineering Lead

Facebook Inc

And - Dacorum Borough Councillor

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Don’t be discouraged. There are many different ways to accomplish the same thing.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a software quality engineer. I work with engineers and the product team to help launch stable software that people will enjoy using. I also remind teams about the importance of quality in the product and i influence the quality culture within product teams.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

I think the field chose me. I was a customer service rep for an online gaming company and was occasionally asked to test new features that were planned for release. This was my introduction to software testing, though I didn’t know it at that time. I thought it was an interesting role. Before that, I didn’t even know anything about IT or software - I had my BA in Media and communication.

When I left that job, I started to explore software testing and that is how I got in and my husband pushed me to seek qualifications and enter into the field. I guess I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for him.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

In order to get in, I thought the best way was to take an exam to gain qualifications. I took the ISEB exam but I narrowly missed the mark. After studying so hard, I didn’t feel like I had the strength in me to re-take it, so I decided to seek experience instead. I still have no software testing qualifications, but I have more than a decade’s worth of experience under my belt.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I wish younger me took the role more seriously. I started it as just something to do so I did not put much effort in it to begin with. If I had, who knows? I’d be much farther in my journey than I am now. I wish I had taken more risks to expand my knowledge.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

When I first started, I was ignorant in the field. I have been in the industry for more than 15 years and it wasn’t until 5 years ago that I saw several female engineers or testers in one place. I started to realise that we were minorities and that I could give back in some way by encouraging more women and black men and women to join.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

I would say, don't be discouraged. There are many different ways to accomplish the same thing. Find someone, if you can, to guide you through the obstacles and rough paths because we all need a little help. Be bold.

INSPIRATION

I believe in never doing anything that is worth doing alone, so "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” - An African proverb.