Meet Tony Troup – a Retired Navy Captain and Experienced Quality Manager
Right from a young age, Tony Troup, a Qualitest Associate Vice President, was motivated by leaders.
Tony , a retired Navy Captain, loves being a management consultant, helping customers and clients to improve and strive to reach their potential. He is a man of precision and loves attention to detail. However, above all, he loves his family the most.
Regarding this dream of being an oceanographer, Tony says, “I didn’t quite hit that mark, but did end up with a great career in the US Navy as a nuclear trained Submarine Warfare Officer, a highly quality centric profession which I loved (mostly) every minute.”
Areas of expertise
After leaving active duty, Tony joined a quality assurance firm in 1998 and learned about manual and automated testing techniques. Further ahead in his civilian career, he also served as Testing Manager and Engagement Lead. However, he prefers Program and Project Management, ideally using Agile/iterative design processes.
“I’m a huge fan of the 12 Agile Principles in the Agile Manifesto, with my favorite being number 10: Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential. That is, only deliver what the customer wants and needs and don’t waste time delivering something they do not want”, adds Tony.
Elaborating more on his areas of expertise, Tony adds that his leadership skills were enhanced during his time in the US Navy.
“I think the leadership and technical experience starting from enlistment to Navy ROTC to being a Naval officer helped shape my expertise with helping clients get better with whatever project I’m assigned to,” says Tony.
He also developed a unique set of technical skills while in the forces. In his military career, before leaving active duty, Tony was qualified as a Naval Nuclear Engineer in the Submarine Force, serving onboard two ballistic missile submarines (USS CASIMIR PULASKI (SSBN 633 Gold Crew and USS H M JACKSON (SSNB 730 Blue Crew).
Software testing and the Qualitest journey
Tony shares an interesting anecdote regarding his first encounter with software testing.
“I was on a Navy Reserve training weekend in 1999 when a fellow Navy LT named Mike Flynn mentioned his brother works for a management consulting firm called Whittman-Hart in Chicago and they are looking for quality-centric leaders,” adds Tony.
It was his opportunity, and he grabbed it with both hands.
“Though I’ve never tested software before aside from my micro-PC FORTRAN 77 code in college, I thoroughly understood testing processes with my experience on submarines. We tested every system, valve installations, repairs, etc. using sets of requirements and step-by-step procedures,” says Tony.
As per Tony, it was pretty easy to move into software testing from that perspective as using requirements and procedures came naturally to him.
Speaking about his journey at Qualitest, he points out that it has been relatively short because he was with Olenick & Associates in Chicago when Qualitest acquired them in April 2021.
However, he shares another Qualitest connection.
“Oh, and the brother of my shipmate I mentioned – that’s none other than our own SVP Kevin Flynn (former Army CAPT) whom I’ve worked with off and on since 1999 and owe the start of my Management Consulting career too – thanks Kevin!” Tony adds.
Tony also highlighted the perks of choosing a career in software testing and at Qualitest and expressed his fascination with technology and its developments.
Tony says, “I love to see the progress of technology and the opportunity to see not only bleeding edge but some not so edgy technology from AS400 and mainframe projects to cloud based computing and the IOT.”
Advice to the future generation of testers
Tony has a piece of straightforward yet very practical advice for future Qualitesters.
Tony always believes in pushing beyond the boundary of perfection.
“Don’t be satisfied with six words I hate ‘We’ve always done it that way.’ Everything has room for improvement – strive to improve a little bit every single day,” he further adds.
A leader you are inspired by and why
“I’ve known many leaders in my career, some better some worse. The good ones are uplifting, they praise their employees for a job well done, and take time to coach and train if there are lapses in performance,” adds Tony.
According to Tony, the one attribute that differentiates good leaders from great leaders is that great leaders are great communicators. He recollects President Ronald Reagan as one such great leader who influenced him from childhood.
“He was authentic, creative and had great tenacity. He was also one of the most captivating communicators I’ve seen when I was in my teen years. I’ve tried emulating fraction of those attributes to the best of my abilities,” says Tony.
Life in US Navy
While speaking about his life in the US Navy, Tony recounts that moment when he first got a chance to serve in the US Navy.“I’ve had the opportunity to serve our country since I enlisted during my senior year in high school in 1983 when a sharp Petty Officer 1st class came to our school talking about the Navy Nuclear Power program and how that in 5 years, nuclear power will be everywhere,”he adds.
Listening to the Petty Officer, it occurred to Tony that joining the forces would be a great career move, and it turns out it was. Tony is extremely proud and delighted that he had the privilege to serve in the US Navy and “wear the cloth of our Country” for the past ~37 years. However, at the same time, he also misses that life.
He adds, “I’ll always know there are outstanding professional Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines continuing to serve and protect.
Life beyond software testing
Tony is a huge college football fan and loves Fall Saturdays from Labor Day to January. Tony also loves target shooting sports and enjoys classic firearm collecting in recent years.
Regarding his newfound interest in firearms, Tony says, “Many pieces are works of art and just mechanically fascinating to me.”
Tony has been married for 32 years now with his lovely and supportive wife (Dianne). They have a daughter (Margaret), a reporter for the “Journal and Courier” news organization in Lafayette, IN, and a son who serves as a Navy pilot (LT Bryan “Frogger” Troup). He mentions that he is truly indebted to his family for all their support throughout his Navy career.
He says, “I could not have done it without my family’s tremendous support and sacrifice, especially my wife, Dianne. She has been my rock that I anchor to daily, and I thank her for her love and support.”