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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Mahesh Chikane, Founder at The Test Tribe


Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Mahesh Chikane: It was a Community idea rather than a Business idea actually. For years I was watching the passive Software Quality Community space in Mumbai. After waiting for all those years for someone else to start some initiative, say at least a meetup group where we can network, we finally took the onus to create the needed platform ourselves. The beginning was pretty simple on paper, as all we had planned to do first, was to repeat what we were doing internally in our Company. When I say we, it is Me and few more passionate folks from my team, by the way, who always believed in going the extra mile and getting people together for a larger cause.


Coming back to the answer, as the saying "Necessity is the mother of Invention" goes, it was true in our case as well. The need for Community was the origin of our idea and whatever followed after that all these years. Back in 2018, we started with Meetup and a Hackathon each in Mumbai and there was no turning back from there. So many Testing Professional from across India approached us and told they also want similar things in their City. As of now, we have done 125+ Events which not only covers all the offline Meetups, Hackathons, Workshops we did across 10+ Cities in India but also included Virtual Events like Conferences, Webinars, AMAs, etc. which saw an audience from 95+ Countries.


Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by The Test Tribe

Mahesh Chikane: We mainly provide Community services to the Software Testers across the Globe, which includes platforms for them to Collaborate, Learn and Grow, and also different types of training which we facilitate via our Events.


We are also connecting the Corporate with Community and creating several win-win possibilities for both of them. For example, Jobs demand and supply, or a Beta Testing Requirement. We are becoming a bridge and connecting them on several use-cases.


We are soon launching many new initiatives with TTT 2.0 launch.


To list a few, our services will include:

  • Beta Testing

  • Hiring Assistance

  • Corporate/Campus Training

  • Exclusive Events Management

  • Advertising Services to Testing Companies

  • Jobs services to both Employers and Candidates

  • Mentorship Programs


Great Companies: What makes The Test Tribe different from many other Software Testers communities/firms?

Mahesh Chikane:

I think it is two things. One is the 'sense of belonging' our 25000+ members experience with our Community, and two, the innovative things we do. TestFlix for that matter, or TestAway, or FailQonf. We dared to do what very few may have done in past and many such small experiments continue to happen on a frequent basis.



Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Mahesh Chikane: Our research says, there would be around 6.4 Million Software Quality Professionals in the World. A lot of these are sitting in the big MNCs, the majority of them unaware of the fact that there are communities out there which if they participate in can benefit them a lot. One of our biggest challenges is reaching these unaware Testers, bust in their own caves.


The other important challenge would be to help the Decision Makers or Stakeholders in the IT companies understand our craft and not get carried away by Marketing campaigns that promise them that AI, ML, Automation, and whatnot, will solve their problem of 'Shipping Quality Products Faster'. We are trying our best to get the facts out through our members in their companies on why Companies need good thinking 'Software Testing' brains with the right set of tools to achieve what they want. Companies who see Testing as an Expense rather than an Investment are tough to convince and may only have to learn it the hard way.


Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for The Test Tribe?

Mahesh Chikane: 5 years down the line we would still love to be known for innovation and a Sense of Belonging. And additionally for a lot of initiatives which will make the life of these 6 Million plus professionals easy while helping the Software Companies achieve their Quality related goals.


We are already Asia's largest Software Testing Community and while we do not run after the scale and that is rather a side-effect, we would surely be a global, vibrant, and most inclusive Community 5 years down the line. Expect the bridge between Corporate and Community also to widen ten folds.


Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Mahesh Chikane: If there has to be just one, it would be: Create Value and try to Create Value at Scale. If I can share a few more that are equally important, those would be: While you create value, be empathetic towards your Members, Audiences, and Customers. Don't get stuck into the Copy game, dare to experiment and create your identity.


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