Meet Alvin Sumter – The Dedicated Professional and Cigar Aficionado
Alvin Sumter, our Senior Managing Quality Engineer from Atlanta, US, is a highly motivated individual, whose distinctive trait is his patience.
Alvin Sumter, our Senior Managing Quality Engineer from Atlanta, US, is a highly motivated individual, whose distinctive trait is his patience. His love for teamwork and his problem-solving attitude keeps him motivated. He is driven towards assisting his colleagues in achieving their goals and celebrating success as a team.
During his university years Alvin studied Industrial Engineering, and there are two lessons he says prepared him for every job in his career so far.
“The first is making the resources available to succeed. Many people were not aware that they had everything they needed to succeed or did not realize how to reach out and grab those resources to succeed,” says Alvin. “The other area was the group presentations. There was a level of frustration with some of the groups throughout the years, and this made me realize that not only does everyone have a different expectation within the group, but every person also has a different perspective with the group.”
Areas of Expertise
Regarding his technical expertise, Alvin says, “Many of the technical skills and programming languages I’ve learned throughout my career such as Assembler and COBOL have been replaced with languages such as Java and Python. Each day I lean on my analysis skills such as performing gap analysis, project management, and influencing and negotiating in my day-to-day work.”
Software Testing and the Qualitest Journey
Alvin failed to find his stride in IT even after switching several roles throughout several years in Software Development, until he found an opportunity as a Test Lead and started enjoying software testing from his very first project.
“It has become a passion where the product, as well as the organization, can be influenced from the Design with tools that promote success extending to the far corners of the business customer’s operations each day” says Alvin.
Alvin’s principal focus lays on driving results, building respect and trust among our clients and his team members at Qualitest.
“With our clients and my Qualitest team members, I focus on driving results, building respect and trust, navigating the value proposition for our delivery services, and helping our team focus on building a great reference of their efforts,” he adds.
Working in the Delivery Area of the Enterprise Practice in Qualitest, Alvin remarks, “In my time in Delivery, it has evolved for the better, from making the relationship with Sales sooner and working to continuously listen to the clients in order to improve our ways of working with our process and accelerators. At the heart of this experience has been the teamwork of so many individuals that I know I can reach out to at a moment’s notice with the same level of reciprocation.”
Advice to the Future Generation of Testers
For someone interested in a career in Quality Assurance, Alvin offers some good, practical advice to future testers.
“The first thing to do is join the local Quality Assurance user group in your area. This would assist in learning about the various areas of quality assurance as well as developing your network. Secondly, investigate ways to gain experience while still in college. Visit the Career Planning Office and investigate opportunities such as internships and cooperative education. And lastly, join student organizations that have a track in quality assurance such as the Institute for Industrial Engineers (IIE).”
Life Beyond Testing
When Alvin is not busy solving problems in his Enterprise Practice world, he finds time to relax with friends and family, while partaking in his two favorite vices – Cigars and Travel.
“Whenever I travel for business or personal, I try and locate a small cigar bar in the middle of the city. Through my travels, I have collected over 200 cigars from various ports all over the world and would say safely say my favorite is the Niagara’s Drew Estates” he says.
Professional development and education responsibilities form other parts of his extra-curricular activities. Occasionally Alvin aims to speak at a conference to share ideas and network with like-minded people in the fields of software quality and testing.
“On the weekends, I find the occasion to volunteer my time in my community where I have focused my attention on Habitat for Humanity, United Way’s Red Shoebox Project, and Military Veteran Programs. I also serve as an officer on two university boards in the North Carolina and Washington D.C. area” he adds.
Alvin loves reading and some of his recent favorites include “Think Again” and “Give and Take” by Adam Grant. Alvin has also started learning the Spanish language.