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Coffee With Narendra Babu – Testing Team Manager @ Google Bangalore

25 June 2008 6 Comments

Hi All,

Its my proud priviledge to host Narendra Babu, Testing Team Manager @ Google Bangalore for a show in Coffee with Sundar. In this special episode, Narendra Babu clarifies some myths about what Software “Testing” Profile is all about.

Narendra completed his B Tech Computer Science from PESIT College in Bangalore. He then worked with Microsoft Hyderabad as a test engineer for 3 – 4 years. Narendra subsequently joined Google as a test engineer and has grown into a position to Manage testing teams.

Its over to Narendra Babu

Coffee With Narendra Babu

Brief Description of testing profile:

Test Engineering is a broad area and different companies/products approach Test Engineering in a different ways. To enumerate the approaches I am aware of
Model 1) Some teams decide to have very good unittests (written by developers) and engage test teams only in end to end testing.
Model 2) Some teams involve test teams in the complete software development cycle, right from the design to end to end testing.
Model 3) Some teams take a middle path where testing teams have some insight into the design/code.
The testing team act as consultants to manual testers and developers and ensure that the product is tested properly

Test engineering titles typically fall into two types
1) Software Engineer in Test/Software Design Engineer in Test
2) QA Engineer

The understanding in most cases is that category (1) test engineers are more into test automation and white box testing. Category (2) test engineers are more into manual testing.

As a test engineer you need to understand what model your team follows. Model 2 is preferred from a technical learning point of view. Model 1 is the traditional approach to testing in most organizations. Model 3 needs you to be pretty agile and proactive to make testing successful.

Typical education qualification required:

S/w Engineer in Test – Typically needs a engineering degree in comp sc or electronics from a good college
QA Engineer – Engineering in any branch or MCA (or equivalent) with good communication skills

Profiles with which this is confused with:

Normally the confusion is b/w SET and QA Engineer. Usually it is not clear as to how much of engineering work a test engineer does versus manual testing. That is the key to understanding a good test engineering profile.

Skills required to do well in this profile:

A good SET should be very good in communication and should have leadership qualities. Leadership qualities are needed to persuade the development team to adopt good testing practices, which strangely is difficult πŸ™‚

Also one should think destructively. I have seen a few engineers excel very well as test engineers because their instinct is to find faults. Some others are not so good because they like to see things working. Not a good trait for test engineers πŸ™‚

Recommended Materials.

How to break software – http://www.amazon.com/How-Break-Software-Practical-Testing/dp/0201796198
Code complete – http://cc2e.com/

Thanks a lot Narendra!

For previous episodes of Coffee With Experts, click here.




  • Karthik said:

    man cool πŸ˜€ nice article but I would have liked a bigger article about how crucial Testing is and about its importance, challenges in Testing which demand very unique engineering skills, especially in an organization like Google, where the bars are really high.

  • Vatsala said:

    Interesting collection of information you have here… Keep it going.

  • amit said:

    nice arctile ………..i am also in this field only …i feel good to know more about testing

  • Vinu said:

    You did a great job Mr. Narendra Babu…..even i am also working for this same field only, i did lot of testing in our application, as what you said my first intention is to break our application, i did that also…. if you dont mind, shall i tell you something about your products…i mean gmail and orkut….if i got free time i used to work with these two products, but i used to find some bugs in orkut and also in gmail….i want to share that with you…if you want to know about that bugs, just give me your mail id or contact number…otherwise you just not down my mail id and mobile number, if you feel free try to contact me…i am also working for one software firm in bangalore only….keep in touch and take care…god bless you
    mail id : vinumnc@gmail.com
    mobile : 9886324059

  • Karthick said:


    This is Karthick working in the Recruitment team of a fortune 500 product development company.

    Since we are also hiring SDET’s it would great if some can provide Narendra’s contact details to get more clarity on this job family.


  • sunilkumar t c said:

    hey intreSTING collection .i like to know something more about google’s agenda.