QA and the challenges of a new team with Marta, Sandra and Rodrigo

Hey guys! You’re Infraspeak’s Quality Assurance (QA) team. What can you tell us a about yourselves?


Sandra: My career started a while ago. Longer than I’d like to admit! (laughs)  graduated in IT Management in 2008 and, after a brief experience in the US, I returned in 2009 for an internship at Tabaqueira SA. It was an extremely important experience for me, not only because I moved to Lisbon, but because I also had the chance to work at a big international company. I felt like a fish out of water. I wasn’t there for long but I really liked the company culture. After my internship, I had a few other jobs and in 2012, an opportunity changed my career. I started working as a tester for PT, through GFI. At the time I had no idea what I was going to be doing but I learned, evolved and in 2016, Euronext was being relocated to Porto, so I took the chance to come here. Didn’t think twice! Since then, I’ve started working with automation tools while looking for new opportunities that can get me closer to my goal of being a QA Engineer. I have worked for a few companies since, but there’s a lot left to discover.

Marta: I graduated in IT Management in 2017, in Coimbra, and I immediately knew programming wasn’t for me. I had my first QA experience at Glintt and that’s when I found out I really enjoyed it! Two years had gone by when I felt the need to learn more, so I took on a new challenge, in ecommerce, at Jumia. It was a good experience because I had a lot more knowledge and experience now but, during the 2019 pandemic, I was forced to look for a new challenge. I was lucky to find Infraspeak and the whole experience so far has allowed me to learn more and more about QA.

Rodrigo: I finished college as a IT Technician and Network Manager, in Vila Nova de Gaia, with CISCO. I started working in 2014, at NOS, as a call center assistant and in 2015 I started working at Vodafone as a retention assistant. This wasn’t what I was looking for, professionally, so in 2019, I had the chance to visit Vodafone’s headquarters and test an app. This was my first contact as a QA tester and that’s when I realised this is what I enjoy doing.


How did you know QA was just the thing for you?


Marta:  When I was getting my degree, I studied a few programming languages. Most of my colleagues were becoming developers but I knew that wasn’t what I was meant to be doing. One of the seminars at my university was about QA and I confess… at that moment, I felt it could be my path. I was lucky enough to have a good team to support me along the way and that’s something I had the pleasure of finding, once again, at Infraspeak.

Sandra: Several reasons! There’s a lot of demand for QA testers in the market and the profession has been getting increasingly more valuable for tech companies. On a more personal level, I enjoy doing what I do and think that my job truly contributes towards a better product. Oh!  And when you’re a QA tester, no two days are the same. There’s always something different happening — no monotony!


Marta Silva, QA Tester @Infraspeak


How do you feel QA has been developing in Portugal?


Marta: I feel quality assurance in software is becoming more and more relevant across the board. Nobody likes to hear their customers complaining or finding bugs so one of our missions is to minimise the amount of complaints we get, and make our product better.

Rodrigo: There are a lot more companies giving QA a shot these days. Afterall, testing the quality of your software is crucial before delivering it to the customer. Let’s be honest, we all hate finding bugs! (laughs)

Sandra: Personally, I think the market has been valuing QA more due to an increase in automation but also in terms of quality control requirements. An example of that is the ISTQB. It’s getting more common to find people with Foundation Level certifications. Finding additional qualifications and diplomas has also been easier, which is certainly a reflection of the need for QA.


What about Infraspeak? What made you choose this particular challenge and… is it everything you hoped for? (laughs)


Sandra: By joining Infraspeak, I’d have the challenge to contribute towards the creation of a quality QA team and that’s not a challenge that comes around every day. It was too good to turn down! As for my expectations, absolutely! But there’s still a long way to go and lots to do!

Marta: I think the key aspect for me was the freedom to create our own internal processes, capable of answering the needs of the company. The chance to learn more about automation was also important.

Rodrigo: Beer Celebrations! (laughs). Jokes aside, I got hooked on the very first interview when I learned “Infraspeak for Dummies”. On top of that, the overall project and transparency in the company and, of course, the culture. It’s matched my expectations so far but we’re just starting and there’s a long way to go until we get where we’re heading.


Sandra Ribeiro, QA Tester @Infraspeak


We’re looking for more people to join our QA ranks. Now that you have some first-hand information on our recruitment process, how would you describe the perfect candidate?


Rodrigo: In addition to being experienced in web and/or Mobile, I think it’d have to be someone humble, capable of self criticism and, naturally, a great sense of humor, considering the QA team is the funniest at Infraspeak.

Sandra: I think the right candidate would have to have mobile and/or web experience and some knowledge on automation or certain programming languages. I don’t think it’s mandatory but, with the right potential and enough time, we’d be ready to give that new team member the right onboarding towards his or her first steps in automation.


What are the main challenges faced by someone who just joined the team?


Sandra: I’d have to go with the complexity of the product. Infraspeak has been developing it for a few years and the sector isn’t the most intuitive one. On top of that, Infraspeak is growing rapidly and work has to keep up. It’s challenging but fast-paced!

Marta: Definitely the product. It’s a complex sector, so it might be a little harder to understand at first.


Rodrigo Osório, QA Tester @Infraspeak


Taking a look into the future. What lies ahead for Infraspeak’s QA team?


Rodrigo: I see the team taking huge steps towards automation. We want to have a much bigger coverage of automated testing so we can build a safer product.

Marta: Constant evolution! If we think a certain process can be improved, we’ll propose it, discuss the solution and, when that’s the case, get to work to implement it. Without lowering the importance of manual testing, I think automation will also be an important part moving forward.


Are QA teams becoming an integral part of every tech company?


Sandra: To me, the biggest challenge has to do with the qualifications of the people in the quality assurance sector and the need to integrate automated tests within the path towards CD/CI. Development cycles are shorter and shorter and the “speed to market” is longer so, it’s imperative to resort to technology, while having the right people to operate them. There’s a large demand for these kinds of profiles in the market and I get asked very frequently how to take that step towards automated testing. The good news is that I feel companies are getting increasingly aware of this new reality and are investing in the development of their QA testers.


What would be your advice for someone just starting out in QA?


Rodrigo: Understand the responsibility that comes with the job and with each “ok” and look for people with different levels of experience within the area so that you can keep learning and not get bored.

Sandra: The best advice I can give is to participate in any interesting QA communities, talk to other people about their experiences and share your own. You’ll find as many different “origin stories” as the number of people you’ll talk to! Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck in your daily routine and feel like QA is boring or limited but, with the right motivation, there’s a lot more to learn.

Marta: QA is an area where people don’t usually have in-depth programming knowledge so it can be a very good opportunity for those who want to get into the tech sector but feel like they don’t quite have the right set of tools yet.


Marta Silva, Rodrigo Osório and Sandra Ribeiro are Infraspeak’s QA Team and are currently looking for other like-minded testers to join the team and help our product grow! Check Infraspeak’s career page and apply today!