[interview with Pancho Karamanski] Software accessibility testing has two sides
Pancho Karamanski is an Accessibility tester in SAP Labs Bulgaria. Since Pancho is sightless he has a lot of experience with software as a user himself because he uses only accessible software. He shares more about his job at SAP.
Tell us more about your job
In short, I am an accessibility tester. My job is to share my experience of a person who needs to use accessible software all the time. As being sightless, I have no other choice. Along with my work with music and sound engineering, I have used extremely complex pieces of software and I gained a lot of experience that improved my computer literacy. My goal in the Lab is to help in testing the accessibility of our software and to share with the colleagues my knowledge and experience with various screen readers.
What projects have you worked on in the Lab?
My job has two sides. First, I test whether the software is accessible from an end-user point of view. Then, I check if it complies with the SAP Accessibility standard. This standard is very important, it is based on three global accessibility standards, and I was acquainted with it right after starting in the company.
Different teams came to me for accessibility testing and I worked on a couple of projects. Some of the products had developed accessibility very well. I see the willingness of the colleagues to work in this direction, their understanding why they are doing it, and the attempts to find a solution, if there are any issues. This is how the accessibility testing process happens: my colleagues give me a scenario for testing that I follow through, and we comment on the mandatory testing requirements – Windows version, screen reader version, in which cursor mode the test should be made. Then, I give feedback and we discuss together what we can improve and add, and how the software to comply fully with the SAP Accessibility standard.
You have been working in the Lab for almost a year. Would you share your impressions?
My first impression was that I was surrounded by smart and polite people. I am pleasantly surprised by the supporting staff – in the canteen, the cleaning staff, I feel comfortable with them as well. Perhaps not everyone notices how smiley they are and how much work they do. I also have the impression that the company is taking care of its employees so they feel comfortable at their workplace. And what delights me is that a lot of the paper bureaucracy is being avoided in the company. Which is great, particularly for a sightless person like me.
Did the job in a development center of a software giant meet your expectations?
With the years, I have learnt not to have any expectations and simply to let the things happen. Thus in most cases I am satisfied with what is going on. I had not heard about SAP before I met my colleague Denitsa Sabeva but I like it a lot and I am very impressed now. My colleagues help me a lot in my daily work and I am grateful for that.
I have set a personal goal to be an example for other people with disabilities. They can develop their skills as well, if they gain particular knowledge, and work for a company of the SAP Labs Bulgaria scale.