Irene Gorbatiuk - QA engineer
Irene Gorbatiuk on how Proxify has enabled her to work in a sphere she didn't expect to be in
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It has been more than 9 years since I came to IT and about 3 years since I started working with Proxify, and to be honest, this was not the sphere I imagined myself in at the very beginning.
Nowadays, I’m an experienced and independent QA engineer working on various projects, from ones starting from scratch to others in a complete mess and in need of a severe clean up.
I have experience working with one of the largest media conglomerates in Ukraine. I used to be an office employee there, which I didn't really like so I thought I’d try turning to the world of freelancing and I have now been doing this for several years.
After school, I earned my degree from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature from my university. Back then my parents wanted me to be a translator or an interpreter, or alternatively an English teacher but I saw myself in a more progressive sphere and knew that my English skills were already a really strong part of my profile.
All of this made me try and interview for a an IT company and, gladly, they accepted me and I started soon after. I took up the position of a technical support specialist. I was young and not really experienced in all that computer stuff. But I was given thorough training and worked for 3 years there as a technical person. It was tough work with a lot of people and, ultimately, I got pretty bored with the position I found myself in there. It was an enriching experience but during the same period the QA sphere was really starting to grow and I was quickly interested in finding out more about it. Again, it was something new for me, but I decided to try myself at it.
I sensed that a lot of companies seemed to think that QA engineers were not so important in the whole development process. Developers can test code themselves and the companies don't always find it necessary to spend extra money on additional employees. However, I was fortunate enough to find work in a company that had already existed for 10 years. They had no QA engineers at all. Developers had been testing the code on their own and it required a lot of overtime work for them, which ultimately resulted in them becoming quite demotivated. Hence the company started to hire QA engineers. I was the fourth QA to join the team and it took us almost 3 years to clean up all the mess! This is why I think that QA work is not just necessary but an extremely important part of any project, particularly bigger and more long-term ones - I believe it saves a lot of time and money for companies.
Taking the decision to try and work remotely was a fairly tricky one for me as I had been working in an office-based environment for around 8 years. It was what I knew. However, I wanted to travel and this forced me to start looking for remote work in order to be able to afford to do so. Initially, I thought that I would struggle to organise myself. I thought that no longer working in a group or in a typical working atmosphere, and the fact that I was often alone at home working from a cosy chair would affect my productivity but I have to say that I surprised myself. I genuinely believe that I have become even more organised because I feel a huge responsibility, not just for myself but for those clients and of course Proxify who give me the opportunity to do what I love each day and the ability to do it from the comfort of the place that I call my office, whether this is home, a cafe or a beachside resort!
Before I go, I'd like to share a few QA-related tips for any aspiring QAs out there looking to work remotely. When your team members are situated all over the world, it’s highly important to communicate, to spend enough time in meetings and to maintain a high degree of connection and professionalism with them. Communication is a powerful weapon, especially in distributed teams.
If you don’t want to be a pain or nuisance for the developer by constantly creating tickets in Jira, it is better to be communicate with them in Slack or Skype. Usually, before logging any bug in Jira and in order to avoid a mess with bugs and tasks, I contact the developer or team, whoever is responsible for that exact part of the work or project. We discuss the bug and in a lot of cases, we avoid situations when I have to add tickets to Jira. This saves any project board becoming cluttered and generally ends up with a faster solution to the issue. Sometimes it appears that it was not even a bug, just a mis-communication!