Greta is a quality assurance engineer at Zyro. It’s her job to make sure that every part of the Zyro development process and final product is free of bugs and ready for our users.
Having retrained just before joining Zyro, her experience at the company included learning the ropes of a whole new profession.
We talked with her about her first days at Zyro, what her role entails, and how she helps drive the quality Zyro’s products up through quality development processes.
Could you explain your role and what you do each day?
I’m a quality assurance engineer. I have to ensure the quality of the Zyro product, but that doesn’t mean I just click buttons to see if they work; our role has much more responsibility.
We make sure there is quality not only from the product side, but also from the development side, and that the whole development process is efficient and works for everyone.
We concentrate more on preventing bugs than detecting and fixing them. The aim is to make sure the development process is as quality-focused as possible.
Of course, we do test things, we do press those buttons, and we do make sure that everything works as it should. We perform some end-to-end tests and check performance. We are planning to do some API tests related to the back end.
Our day starts with a standup. We have long standups, where we talk about our wins and our struggles. We really talk about things, because, as we’re working remotely, we want to have that pulse of our team, to understand what everyone is dealing with, what struggles they have, and how the whole team can help as one.
For example, this morning one member of my team said that she had difficulties with testing marketing related tools, so we figured out the action points and next steps we need to take to help her.
We also celebrate wins, like yesterday I was able to implement a new tool that will help us in the future.
We have a motto, “think twice, work half”, and because of this, we have a lot of meetings where we decide on a lot of things. Not only us; we work cross-functionally with folks like the Builder and the WWW teams.
We do a lot of manual testing because a lot of tasks pop up. We also have individual tasks; my responsibility is performance testing and my colleagues’ responsibility is end-to-end testing.
What wins have you enjoyed in your role?
One of my core responsibilities in my team is performance testing, so my team lead and I implemented a performance testing approach to Zyro. About 4 months ago, there was no performance testing at Zyro, so this was a huge and exciting achievement for me.
Every day I love when I open my computer and go through the results charts. I find that kind of work very fulfilling.
More generally, though, sometimes I’ll finish a task, and I’ll think it’s a minor job that I’ve implemented or found. Then I’ll share it with your team and everyone will celebrate it like a big win.
That really motivates me to do more and more. I think it’s super rewarding. It motivates, it stimulates, and that sense of winning lots of small victories is really cool.
What are the most common tools you use?
For test automation (end-to-end testing) we use Selenium+Java+Cucumber, it’s like a framework. For backend performance testing, we use JMeter tool and Grafana for charts.
For page load – Speedcurve, Page Speed insights and GTmetrix. For API, Postman. We write tickets for issues on a Github board so all issue management goes through Github.
Basically, that’s it.
What has your experience of remote working been like?
At first, it was hard to set boundaries between work and personal life and I think we were working more than we should have been working. But after some time it became normal, and now we are really able to work successfully while remote.
We talked as a team about when it will be possible to go back to the office, and many people said they might not want to go back to the office full time.
Right now remote-only is working really well for us.
We feel that team pulse, because of our long standups, and know what everyone is facing. We do some team bonding, like when we did an escape room or our Christmas party with the QA Team.
That remote-only work is not a problem for us at all.
What was your experience like starting at Zyro?
Before Zyro, I worked as a physical therapist, but I was unhappy with that, so during my maternity leave, I decided to retrain as a quality assurance engineer.
I took some courses, and when Zyro believed in me and hired me, the first days were a little hard because all the terminology and working patterns were new to me.
During the meetings, I would hear terms I didn’t know, and I’d worry what would happen if I didn’t understand them, so I wrote these terms down and after I would Google them and learn them.
But I’m never afraid to ask things. I will ask developers or my team lead, and I find asking people valuable, as you don’t need to be afraid to ask things and won’t be humiliated.
Now those words are part of my everyday routine.
There’s a lot of information for newcomers when they start at Zyro. You get a lot of information.
Giving QA as an example, a few QAs joined us 6 months ago, and they were worried that in their first few days they weren’t doing anything because they were just reading onboarding information and building websites with Zyro.
My advice is to not worry about that, because those first days are important for building knowledge about the company and its values. You will need to live and work with these values, so it’s crucial that you understand them.
What kind of development opportunities have you had at Zyro?
As a tester, I have been to a few conferences, and you’re encouraged to order a book for your own development or participate in courses like on Udemy.
This year, my team lead wrote down exactly where I want to be in 2 years, and we together decided what I should read, what knowledge I should build, and what skills I should develop.
I see this as really valuable, because you have all these opportunities to grow as a person and as a specialist.
What have you learned at Zyro that will help in your future career?
It’s hard for me to talk about this because this is the first tester job I’ve had. Zyro has made a big impact on me as a specialist, and if I had to search for a new job, I’d be looking for the ability to learn, the opportunity to speak my mind, and a company with similar values as Zyro.
I’m not planning to leave Zyro.
How much do you think Zyro lives up to its values?
I really believe that we are living those values.
It’s not a page on our website saying we have those values. We have those values, we live those values, for example, courage and candidness; you’d never be humiliated or punished if you give feedback on the product or so on, because that feedback lets us grow as a team and product.
Or take customer obsession, I believe that we are really obsessed with customers, because we give attention to all feedback we get from customers, and plan what to implement and improve according to requests from our customers.
So I believe we are really living those values, and Zyro is really based on those values.
What’s your next challenge at Zyro, and how will you tackle it?
Because our work is very dynamic, I see every day as a challenge. We have to take on so many tasks, that every day is a new set of challenges.
A QA’s role isn’t just testing bugs, you have to dig into so many fields, it’s kind of a challenge for us to get that knowledge. So I can’t just point to one challenge.