A Q&A with the QA

In this blog post, we will be having a Q&A with our Quality Assurance (QA) guy Julian who has been doing his thing at ClerksWell for nearly a year.

So, Julian, can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?

I’d say the fact that I am an MC on the side by the name of MC_Saabii_boi, which has taken me all over the world from Dubai to the USA (twice in one month!)

If you were given the chance, who would you like to be for a day dead or alive?

Will Smith as he is just cool isn’t, he? His life looks so easy and simple, yet he is working very hard at the same time.

Before working at ClerksWell what was the most unusual or interesting job you had?

I used to work at a betting company as a deputy manager and once between 4 of us we got tipped £1000 as a punter won £250,000!

What is QA? Why do you enjoy it?

Before I go into this I want to address a big misconception that QA and testing are the same thing. Testing focuses more on finding bugs and errors in the software. Whereas QA is more about prevention, and as the name implies it is the process by which you are assuring the quality of a product to the clients’ standards. As QA you are responsible for informing clients that their project is to the standard they requested.

How did you get into QA?

I used to work for the NHS referral team, and they released a new digital application for their clinical services and I used to send loads of questions to the support team about it because of my IT background. One day the head of the support team came in and once I said my name he said "your the one with the annoying emails" and then he asked if I had ever considered being a tester because I seemed like I had a scenario type of brain, and my reply was "what is testing". So I started doing one day a week in the support team which turned to two days to full time and the rest is history.

Why is it important, and what role does it play in a project?

Quality assuring begins at the very start of a project where everyone works to their optimum best to deliver what is required. As QA is at every stage of the project when it comes to the testing stage it is easier as you know that the standard has been high from the very beginning. The role of QA is important as you need somebody to question the product, somebody who has a different mindset and perspective - a user kind of mind. You have to act play devil’s advocate throughout the entire project.

How does it work? What types of testing do you do and what tools do you use?

There are several different types of testing from performance, stress, regression…and you can use an array of tools for them all. An example of one of the tools we use at ClerksWell is visual studios which we use to report bugs. I am a manual tester so what I do is create a test plan and create my test cases based on the requirements of the client. An automation tester is different in the sense that they write a code and script to do the testing for them.

What are the signs of a good tester?

To be a good tester you have to be pessimistic and always assume there is something wrong with the product. You have to want to and have the ability to break things down. When I was younger, I was that kid that when I got a toy, after a week I would start to break it down and see how it works. Unsurprisingly as a kid my toys didn’t last longer than a month. You need to think differently, to create scenarios that everyone else cannot see. You have to have the ability to constantly ask how and why to allow yourself to pick up different perspectives and create different scenarios.

What has been your biggest achievement whilst at ClerksWell?

My biggest achievement would be my client relationships, especially the one from my first project. I created a great relationship with them and helped deliver user education and testing for that project.

Any tips for anyone wanting to get into QA?

You have to be annoying. You cannot take no for an answer as you have the ability to critique peoples work. You have to be pessimistic with an optimistic approach.

Why do you enjoy it? Why do you enjoy working for ClerksWells

I enjoy QA as it means I am responsible for giving the go-ahead and saying that a product matches the standard that we give to our clients. Also, It gets me involved at every stage of the project with developers, product owners, clients etc. Finally, I love working at ClerksWell as you are made not to feel like a number and as part of a family.

If you had to take only three 3 things to a desert island what would you take?

Bottle of whisky, a bottle of water, and a blanket

Feel free to check out any of our work here and get in touch here.

Think quality, Think ClerksWell

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