Alumni Spotlight: Tim Barnett
Class of 1998 graduate Tim Barnett attended Vatterott College and Webster University where he studied Computer Technology and Business Management. Tim is now the Vice President of Software Testing & Quality Assurance for Mastercard where he leads teams that are responsible for ensuring Mastercard’s Products and Applications work properly.
“We partner with project teams to test Mastercard applications prior to them going into production to ensure they are ready for primetime. We have tools that simulate how customers will use our applications, and we have the ability to test on real mobile devices... Our goal is quality the first time and to ensure any changes that are implemented into production work as expected.”
Tim has come a long way since he began working at Mastercard in 2003 supporting IT project managers. He’s taken on many IT roles including Performance and Automation testing for some of Mastercard’s digital and security products such as Masterpass, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Selfie Pay.
“What got me here was a little bit of luck, opportunity, and hard work,” Tim says of his journey to his current role. “I started as an entry level, very green young kid, fresh out of college, and within ten years I worked my way up to become a Vice President in a global company as strong and large as Mastercard. I embraced challenges and change, making the most out of the opportunities that were presented.”
Tim is driven by challenges and accomplishments along with his mindset that, “The harder you work now, the easier it will be later.”
“In my position, my team is responsible for identifying and implementing new technology solutions. The solutions we implement are usually a first for Mastercard, and there is no playbook to go off of,” says Tim. “So being able to successfully implement technology solutions that can be utilized by all and seeing such products/solutions being used by friends and family fuels the passion I have and continually pushes me to strive for more.”
Tim looks forward to seeing his industry evolve.
“During the last five years, Mastercard has invested in being a leader in the technology space. Payments have always been our bread and butter, but now with everything being digital and with Wifi and internet capabilities, I see Mastercard continuing to grow in security and digital payments and driving down the reliance on cash or check payments,” says Tim. “The capacity for being able to tap and pay using a card or a mobile device is just the start of some cool technology that will continue making payments and sending money easier and more secure. “
Tim advises students interested in the technology industry to start by taking software development classes to see if programming is a good fit for them.
“Look for intern opportunities that will give you firsthand experience working in the technology space and working with teams to implement technology solutions. There are a lot of internships and summer job opportunities in IT, and I believe everyone should get their feet wet in the industry they have an interest in before investing a lot in it.”
When asked what advice he would give to his high school self, Tim says, “Don’t take your four years at Valley Park [High School] for granted...Work hard, play hard, build as many friendships as you can and just enjoy it.” He adds, “Spend a little extra time studying; it will pay off in the long run, I promise.”