Navigating Team Quality

On my first day at Abyssal two years ago (July 2018), I felt like every QA feels when they first step into a new company: like a solo New Year’s Eve party! You genuinely want it to be a group party, but experience has shown you that you often find yourself planning everything on your own, as you cannot help but feel excited by the open blank page right in front of you, with so much promise. You have so many resolutions in your head, so much to discover! A mix of old knowledge to exercise, yet a plethora to still experience. If you are anything like me, you also feel this endless rush of curiosity that keeps you living and breathing everything about that company. What’s the state of the product? What do they do and, more importantly, why do they do it that way? What does the client need?

 

Testing, as many people know it – a list of test cases and pre-scripted automated procedures to be run and checked – was never enough for me. To truly feel like a QA and tester and to be able to do my job efficiently, I also need to get to know the product deeply, much like you get to know a person, because as you probably know so well, sometimes a little improvement in one place might change you in other unexpected ways. Getting to know a person is a never-ending continuous process, just like testing for me.

After my first day at Abyssal, I took a little bit of time each day to get to know the products, the management, the clients, and the people behind the code of the products. Most of the time, it is after the first or second month that everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions (or in this case, the QA dreams) start to face adversities or even crumble… but this was not the case.

 

My main mission is not just to test Abyssal’s software, or to come up with metrics that “assure” quality, but to be able to know the products and know Abyssal clients well enough so that I can see these products through their eyes. I want to give back enough information to the team (developers and management) for them to be in the best place possible to make decisions, and for that, we need to know the context and the truth about the products.

 

 

I must confess that, after sitting down with most of the team members, I was pleasantly surprised by how well they knew the products they worked on, but not only that, they knew why the products should work that way. Weeks and months passed, and I found them reaching out for a better (or newer) way to do things, not only in a technical manner but in the way they presented and delivered to Abyssal’s clients. The team always wants to know about the true purpose of the tools they are building so they can exceed expectations. They not only love what they are doing; they care about the experiences they are providing.

 

Working at Abyssal, where new technology is brought to life for industries that are tackling emergent challenges, and knowing some of the answers we’re looking for are not explained in some corner of the internet, only makes Abyssal’s whole team keep quality in mind at every step of the way. This does not mean that all new processes come easily or run smoothly the first time around… sometimes it’s the exact opposite. But whenever it’s needed, we talk, we debate, we reach out and expose our ideas, allow ourselves to be wrong, to fail fast, get more context and get better, pushing the whole team, management, and products to be the best they can be every day.

July 2020 marks two years into my journey at Abyssal. And as someone as deeply in love with quality and being a tester as me, every day still feels like New Year’s Eve. But now I am certain It’s a team party.

And I shrimply cannot wait to see what’s coming up next.

 

Carina Cunha,

QA Lead and Delivery Manager at Abyssal

You may also like