The Recipe for Leadership
Shay Balmas (35) started out as a Qualitester two years ago. He didn't imagine that after six months in Qualitest, he would manage dozens of employees and lead a huge project done in collaboration with one of the world's largest companies in the chip industry. "Qualitest believed in me and gave me the reins, and I returned with a project that draws compliments from the client".
“I knew that Qualitest excels at giving high potential employees opportunities to lead, but I still didn’t think my progress in the company would be so rapid,” explains Shay Balmas (35), a team leader in a groundbreaking technology project that aims to change the world of external peripherals and hardware interface.
“From the moment I asked my managers to lead this high-profile project they showed full confidence in my abilities and gave me all the tools I needed to succeed. The road was fraught with challenges, but we overcame all of them and today the project is drawing compliments from the client”.
Blamas started his work at Qualitest about two years ago as a software tester, after working at HP as a hardware engineer. Only six months later, he asked for the opportunity to lead a new project that opened for Qualitest in a leading global chip manufacturing company and his managers decided to give him the chance to pursue it.
How was the transition from your job as a software tester to a team and project management?
“The transition was good because Qualitest gave me the right tools, but there was no doubt that the process was complex and tough. I had to start the project from scratch: hire 30 employees in two weeks and establish a cohesive team, write the testing process and coordinating between Qualitest’s departments and the customer’s departments. It gave me new experience, skills, and knowledge”.
What was the most complex part of the process?
“One of the challenging parts of the process was recruiting high-quality employees quickly. For this reason, I recruited a mixed team: talented employees with experience, along with employees with great potential to succeed, but with little or no experience at all. I knew that just as I was being given the opportunity to prove my experience and knowledge on a big project, I felt that I had to give high-quality candidates that are eager to learn the same opportunity. I invested a lot of time in training and initiation, but it was worth it because I built a winning team of great testers”.
What can you tell us about your team?
“My team includes employees from almost all sectors of Israeli society. I was amazed by their ability to work in harmony and showcase the beautiful sides of Israel. The differences between the employees are a powerful component that produces diversity, creativity and thinking styles that would never be achieved in a homogeneous team. The Qualitesters in my team are great, with no exception”
Why did you choose to be a software tester in the first place?
Since I can remember myself, I was addicted to gadgets and technology, and especially dealing with networks and cell phones. Those fields always fascinated me. From there, the road to the tech industry was short.
Is there anyone that inspires you?
Definitely. My former manager at Qualitest, Avi Crieff is my source of inspiration. I learned a lot from him. He constantly gave his employees space, responsibility and the confidence that he trusted them. Naturally, this management style makes you a better, more thorough and satisfied tester.
What do most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I am a very spiritual person and love to meditate. I even did a Vipassana workshop, which was very successful. Also, some do not know that I maintain a healthy lifestyle and consistently exercise in the gym: at least 4 times a week.
Rumors say you will be flying abroad soon…
True, I was getting a Certificate of Excellence award from Qualitest and soon I’ll go on a trip to Greece. I was very excited to receive the honor. It is very fun to know that you’re being appreciated.
What advice would you like to give Qualitesters?
My advice is mainly addressed to employees who start their journey at Qualitest: To succeed, you must invest, persevere and never give up. If you do that and wait patiently for the opportunity – be sure it will arrive.