How Curiosity And Self-development Help To Become A Dedicated Professional. Mariia Martynova, QA Engineer at Innovecs
Do you remember the days when you were in the final run of high school days before the pressure sunk in on what to choose for college? Time goes by, and then you realize that the years spent in lectures, were in fact wasted. But that doesn’t mean it’s over! It is never too late to change your area of expertise and find a career that calls your name, to have your heart in it. Mariia Martynova, QA Engineer at Innovecs, shared her own experience with us.
How did you enter IT?
I started my career with a call center. It was supposed to be a summer job and I stayed for 6 years. I’ve always been interested in how various technical things are arranged and how they work. In my work I came across servers for internet connection, telephony, it was interesting to handle things and do the digging to see how everything works. But working in a call center is quite a stressful job, so at some point, I stopped and realized that I didn’t enjoy it, I had enough.
At that time, my friend supported me a lot, she noticed how keen I was in delving into the details and suggested that my capabilities can be successfully applied for good use. At first, I practiced on entry-level mock-ups, screenshots that my friends threw at me. I got interested and began to study the theory and processes of testing: I searched for materials on the internet, books, and courses. I spent a total of three months studying and nothing more, after which I got my first job as a QA specialist and started my career.
What tasks does a QA specialist face every day?
My workday always starts with planning. I try to do complex and long-term tasks first, and I complete simple tasks in the process or afterward. The main task of a QA (Quality Assurance) engineer is to ensure the quality of the software, improve it and prevent bugs at all stages.
As for the testing processes themselves, there are many techniques and methods that significantly improve and speed up the work, if you use them skillfully. For example, trivial test design techniques, in simple terms are a set of rules that allow you to correctly determine the list of checks for testing and significantly reduce the time for the testing process itself. With experience, I have already learned to apply all these rules intuitively. It is the ability to “conduct analytics in the head” that distinguishes a qualified tester.
What qualities should a QA specialist have?
I am a document specialist by training, so my meticulousness and attention to detail help me tremendously in my work. These are the qualities, in my opinion, that a QA specialist should have. In addition, the QA engineer must be inquisitive and principled, have analytical skills and critical thinking. In fact, this role is much deeper than is commonly thought of today.
Now I am pursuing my second degree, and it is in Computer Engineering. Therefore, I urge all testers not to stop learning, to be interested in the new, to be inquisitive — these are the features not only of a successful QA specialist but also of all PROFESSIONAL specialists.
What is it like to be the only woman on the project?
At first, it was very unusual for me, because in my previous job men were the vast majority, but the women were also present. Moreover, I’m the only girl on the team. However, it did not affect the atmosphere in the team. I do not feel pressure or special attention. The problem of gender inequality is relevant for IT, but I am very fortunate with the team and the company as a whole. The SPECIFIC values that newcomers accept and that everyone in Innovecs already has, in my opinion, do not allow outdated stereotypes to penetrate the company’s culture.
Your project works completely remotely, how do you manage to maintain team spirit?
We have daily online meetings to discuss work issues, processes, and consult on tasks. But we try to take a couple of minutes to chat off-work: someone has given birth to a child, someone got a dog, or just had a great vacation. In the remote period, this is very important to me. Sharing personal things helps us stay together, it increases trust in each other, so we become something more than just colleagues.
You joined the company in the “crazy” period and your onboarding took place online. What are your impressions?
This was my first online onboarding experience. In my previous job, I was faced with the task of adapting newcomers online, but I joined Innovecs and did not have time to implement it. So, I was very curious as to how this would actually happen. I miss the moments when in real life you can approach a colleague and ask something briefly. Online you either write a letter or message in the chat, formulate questions, then describe the problem itself which is difficult. But in general, I got engaged in work very easily and quickly became friends with everyone. Quarantine forced us to leave the comfort zone and to try a new not so familiar work format. Things turned out not as scary, as predicted.
You’ve been at Innovecs for six months. What do you like the most?
Many things. First, my trait of getting to the truth only thrives in Innovecs. I see no resistance, no one is offended by criticism and my desire to improve something. It’s awesome because we all work for the same goal — to deliver a high-quality product and maintain it. At Innovecs, I always feel the support of teammates when expressing my opinion.
Secondly, I like that Innovecs is not static and is constantly evolving. The company has many plans, initiatives, interesting, and diverse projects, such as medicine, logistics, fintech, and others. It is important for me to have confidence in the company and here I see where else I can grow, and I aspire to it.
Third, Innovecs is helping me morally endure the pandemic. Thanks to the company’s care for employees, I do not feel the pressure of the global crisis at all. We have WOW Sport, WOW Health, WOW Fun — WOW everything!