September 28, 2021 picachui’s Journey From Design To QA – The Topcoder Nation Show #9

If there is someone who knows what it feels like to enter an uncertain domain without any previous experience, and yet excel, that would be picachui. When talent meets opportunity such things can happen. This unmatched wireframe designer decided to try QA and she shared her journey with us.

Exploring options in Topcoder may seem something overstated, but it pays off when there is a commitment to learning such as Sathya has. The rest is history – she landed a QA gig in Topcoder, assuring the quality of all the applications of the Topcoder ecosystem.

Something that strikes me as wise about Sathya is her view of life’s priorities, focusing on what’s important and using the mediums available to achieve that end. She worked for a software development company and quit to take care of her firstborn child. She found Topcoder and never looked back. Working from home has become paramount to her lifestyle as she takes advantage of the flexibility Topcoder offers to arrange her schedule around activities with her family.

“That’s one advantage of remote work, planning your time. You have to make this conscious effort of planning and spending time with your family. For your fun time or whatever you have with your family, you have to make it happen.”

picachui on profiting from remote work.

Without further ado, please enjoy the gems of wisdom she shared with us during the interview.


These lessons, tips, and advice captured my attention, they may also help you:

  • Remote work opportunities were rare back in 2009, but she found Topcoder thanks to her friend, then competitor and now copilot systic.
  • An insightful reflection on how to avoid wasting time as she competes in Topcoder: never waste work, always submit your work even if it is a work in progress, and commit to finishing the work. Developing that good habit made her an effective doer.
  • The UX perspective of understanding requirements at a deep level helped her excel in her QA transition.
  • As a full-time remote worker, she mastered the art of multi-tasking to take care of parenting and work simultaneously. 
  • There are no tools or software that give an edge to a QA competitor. It boils down to being extremely fast and having experience in common malfunction cases.
  • By taking advantage of remote work, she could mitigate the pandemic lockdown by spending quality time with her family exploring board games together, making a conscious effort to make good use of their time.

Topcoder Nation Show #9 is up on YouTube. See timestamps below for a summary.


  • Her current career as a QA gig worker: 03:48 – 04:18
  • Building QA skills from scratch: 04:30  – 05:27
  • Using design skills to onboard and transition to QA: 05:30 – 08:08
  • How to deal with the QA haters club: 08:28 – 09:50
  • Why designers have an edge on deconstructing and finding UI issues: 09:50 – 12:41
  • Strategies for juggling children and remote work: 13:28 – 15:56
  • Challenges and tips for remote workers: 15:57 – 18:05
  • Strategy for investing time in competitions and profiting from your efforts: 19:13 – 22:00
  • Picachui’s habits on a typical day: 22:10 – 24:11
  • Spending quality time playing games with her family: 24:11 – 27:15


We held an AMA (ask me anything) with picachui. Curious community members asked questions for her to ponder. Watch the video from 27:48 to check out the replies to questions such as:

  • Do you use specific tools/software for competing in Bug Hunt Challenges?
  • What is your strategy when competing in Bug Hunts?
  • What are the essential skills a QA competitor must have in order to present him or herself with a SDET profile for interviews?
  • What is the meaning of your handle?
  • What is your favorite place in India?
  • How do you balance your roles in day-to-day life, as a parent and as a QAer, like time management, stress management in both roles?
  • Is it difficult for a designer to move to QA?


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Peace out.


Are you living the gig economy lifestyle at Topcoder? Want to join fellow members? Share your story, your travels, and experiences about the ultimate goal of working at Topcoder; the freedom, the flexibility, and the earnings that make it happen! Join Topcoder Nation.

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