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Elaine Tao: Supervisor from Solution Quality in TSC Nanjing #WomenInIT

4 years ago, Elaine joined the TSC Nanjing as a test engineer. Now she has developed into a professional supervisor. In 2019, Elaine was also recognized as the Value Ambassador of DB Schenker. However, Elaine was majoring in English Literature in university. How does she make progress and drive achievements during these years? You may find some clues in this interview.

  • What’s your first step into IT field as a Testing Engineer? Why?

I had no testing background at all when I decided to be a test engineer in my last job. It was a decision purely out of my own interest.

So, the first step was, and could only be, observe. I did not get too many assignments at first, which was normal, and it gave me a lot of time to observe what and how other testers were doing things. Luckily, I was in a team everybody liked to share. Therefore, I learned quite a lot from my colleagues.

And also, with sufficient time and fresh experience, I could observe from an outsider’s point of view, which allowed me to think over and reflect if there was anything that could be improved.

  • As a supervisor what is your work every day?

The most important part of my work is communication. In the morning, the first task is to check the status of each task or release. Then I will spend most of the time communicating with testers about work progress and find solutions when coming across impediments.

After lunch, I will have meetings with partners and colleagues in the head office. We check the status together, we review things in the past, and we also make plans for the next steps. It’s quite different from being a test engineer, for which most of the time you are communicating with a “machine”, instead of human beings.

  • Since joining the TSC Nanjing 4 years ago, have you experienced any significant differences?

I think it’s the role transformation. I used to be a test engineer, focusing on developing my technical skills. However, after having transferred into a management role, I must care more about the business logics and program design, instead of just systems.

Besides, I also need to pay more attention to team coordination and communication, in order to guarantee the whole project progress and motive members to develop further.

  • When you were chosen as the Value Ambassador of DB Schenker in 2019, what’s your feeling at that time?

Actually, I was surprised because nominees from other departments are all excellent and I have a barely any possibilities. I also felt excited because it was the first time for me to attend this kind of activity in our Head Office. 

When I was in the award ceremony, I felt honored to be awarded as the representatives of our Company’s Values. It’s essential for all employees to take these values into our daily work practice.

  • Do you have any success recipe?

I would say it’s “open mind”. Of course, you can work hard by yourself alone, and do everything in your own way. But by opening your mind, you are able to see a larger world, where you can listen to others, try to understand the reasons behind their actions, and learn from them. It will help you grow faster, in a more harmonized environment.

  • Any difficulties in balancing life and work?

Life and work are not always on the opposite side; it will help each other in a way. For example, as a mother, my kid will be a witness of my capability and attitude to work, and hence get influenced. On the other hand, the after-work time will relieve me from the pressure and tension. It’s necessary for me to restart.

So, the question is, how to be good in both? From my experience, in most cases, I prefer to draw a line in between. This means when the office time starts, I would focus on the work; and in my private time, I try to forget about the work but to focus on the leisure things. This enables me to concentrate on whatever I’m doing and ensures my efficiency. In both ways, I think I’m trying to “seize the day and live it to the full”.  

  • What’s your career expectation for coming years?

The most important expectation is, I’m not ready to stop. I wish to learn more and to go further in the IT world. It’s a quite dynamic and interesting world, where magic things are happening every day. I want to grow with this world.