At TradeIX, our people are our most important asset. We are proud of our team so we spotlight our employees in this ongoing blog series.
Where do you come from and for which TradeIX team are you working for?
I’m working as QA Engineer within the overall QA Team based in Dublin, Ireland.
Wait… what is QA and what is exciting about it?
QA stands for Quality Assurance. But it isn’t just about making sure that the software/product works, it’s about making sure it works in as many possible ways that it could be used. Everyone’s way of using something will be different.
The QA role is to test how it will be used in the real world to minimise bugs and to stop any issues from occurring for the user. We try to protect the users from themselves and system from the users.
What attracted you to work in QA besides finding bugs?
I never dreamed of working with software, I probably didn’t even know much about it until college. I’d always wanted to be a vet, but when I found out more about what vets do, (cue image of cow and let’s say, a very long glove!) and what they see, my choice in career became a bit unclear.
I chose a computer course for college as it was becoming so popular and I knew there was a future for it. I had no clue what I was getting myself into! I struggled at times, as did a lot of people in my course, but my eyes were opened to a whole new world of coding and creating programs that were useful for people and fun to make.
My first internship was a Software Testing role. I chose it because it sounded interesting and it was something that wasn’t covered heavily in our course. During the six months of the internship, I realized that I loved trying to understand why something was broken. I felt like a detective trying to solve a mystery! It’s very rewarding when you piece all the clues together and crack the case.
Interesting path. Where do you see the QA function will be in the next five years?
From the moment I chose to work in the area of Software Testing, all I heard was: “There’s no future for testers. Your job will be automated in a few years.”
And now four years later?
I was right. Four years later and I still disagree with these comments. There are so many growing areas such as IoT (Internet of Things), Big Data, Blockchain, Xaas (Anything as a Service), Machine Learning and AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Natural Language Processing, to name just a few!
With so many new paths for companies and developers to take, there are vast new areas to be tested. More and more hacks and leaks are making the headlines today (and with some of the software that I’ve seen), it’s no surprise that QA is being taken more and more seriously by tech companies around the world. Providing functioning software is one thing but protecting people’s assets, privacy and potentially, lives is another.
I think there will be a huge dependence on automation as our technologies grow, security gets stricter and the time-to- market shrinks.
It is obvious that the need for QA is growing. What would you recommend to people interested in a career in QA?
Automate, Automate, Automate! I’m a true believer in automating as much as possible. There are so many reasons to. You instantly have regression tests when you automate and save them as you go. This in turn saves time in the future and keeps consistent quality for new versions or updates of a product.
Not only developers write code. You get to learn new languages, new frameworks and get to be creative with how you use them! Your work will be used by other testers. If you write a script that configures a system for testing, it could be used and tweaked by others for different scenarios later.
How such a great person like you came to choose a great company such as TradeIX?
When I was researching the company, I was intrigued. The service and platform from TradeIX sounded really innovative and cutting edge. I wanted to be part of part of this competitive and evolving industry. Such opportunity to work in an interesting area isn’t something that comes along often and when I saw the opening I jumped at the chance to apply.
My interview only confirmed my initial thoughts, I got the sense that this was a place where people are passionate about their work. There is ambition to create something great and I could tell that people believe in the product that they are delivering.
Working in a larger company, you can sometimes feel like a number and it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. At TradeIX, the startup atmosphere requires more responsibility and versatility from people. There is great involvement from all parties and recognition for people’s work. This close-knit culture is already pushing me to be more reliable and productive as it’s easy to see when I’ve done a good job (or when I’ve screwed up!) and its impact on the whole company.
Aside from this I loved the idea of testing API’s (Application Programming Interfaces), getting to automate with new languages and learn more about the FinTech industry, which is completely new to me. As the company is still in early stage, it’s the perfect time to try new things to find what works best in terms of testing. This also means there is room to grow and who knows what my role will entail in a few years! It’s all very exciting!
My last question… how does your typical day at TradeIX looks like, besides running after bugs?
I usually cycle to work, arrive around 8am to the office and grab a coffee. The office starts to fill up in the next hour and usually a bit of a catch up as everybody arrive. I have a daily standup meeting at 9.30 with the guys in Dublin and in the UK. We discuss what we’ve been working on and plan our work for the day.
There are usually lots of meetings and calls going on throughout the day but we manage to squeeze in some personal chats too! There is a very relaxed atmosphere all round.
The buskers on O’ Connell Street usually start at about 11am so we are provided with entertainment, some days good, some days… not so good! There are countless restaurants around for lunch, we are spoilt for choice! People are free to go out for lunch and take a bit of time out, or bring lunch to the office if they prefer. The afternoon again is usually working away, taking part in meetings or demos of features and can be fast paced or quiet depending on the day.
Thanks so much for the interview.
Aimee Jones, QA Automation Engineer
Aimee Jones is a QA Automation Engineer with particular experience in telecommunications, which she gained in Openet Telecoms. She is well versed in all aspects of QA with a passion for Automation, particularly high performance testing. Aimee revels in the cycle of discovering issues, getting to the root cause, analysing for the right solution, verification right through to deployment and most crucially automating for regression.