Inside the Life of a Seven Peaks QA Engineer
What it is like to be a QA engineer at Seven Peaks Software
Alisa “Meow” Srikachar
Senior QA engineer Alisa “Meow” Srikachar has more than eight years of hands-on experience in testing, configuration, and team leading activities. A member of the Seven Peaks QA team Seven Peaks since 2021, Alisa has a proven track record of delivering effective quality assurance solutions.
A pivotal phone call
As the phone rang, Alisa hesitated to answer it. She didn’t recognize the number, but had a hunch it might be significant. And luckily for Seven Peaks, she picked up. The caller, a talent acquisition specialist, asked Alisa if she was interested in a QA engineer role. Her curiosity piqued, Alisa applied for the job.
Alisa “Meow” Srikachar is now a senior QA engineer at Seven Peaks Software and a vital member of the quality assurance team. Recently, she shared how she became a QA engineer, why she chose to work at Seven Peaks, and what it’s like to work here.
Alisa’s journey to Seven Peaks Software
When Alisa graduated with a degree in electronic computer technology at King Mongkut’s University of Technology, she was unfamiliar with QA. Her first job at an IT company placed her in a call center, where she took her first steps toward becoming a QA engineer. Although the company’s product changed little, Alisa learned how to write reports, send details to developers, and test issues whenever users contacted her.
In her next few jobs, Alisa gained more experience in QA. One of her positions was at a life insurance company, where she wrote test cases and created functional briefs. This role exposed her to the differences between testing and QA. Testers find issues, write reports, and assign bug fixes to developers. QA engineers, on the other hand, delve deeper into the technical aspects to identify the root cause of a problem.
Finding Seven Peaks and the recruitment process
Alisa discovered Seven Peaks through a Thai QA Facebook group, where she saw a post from Chandra Soegoto from the digital marketing team. Intrigued by the international, professional, yet casual environment, Alisa sent in her CV.
“I chatted briefly with Joseph from the talent acquisition team, and then he invited me to begin the interview process,” Alisa said. “The most memorable part of the process was when the interviewer asked me if I could learn automation testing on the job. This resonated with me because I appreciated the company’s willingness to provide learning opportunities. It also offers a clear career path, which aligned with my aspirations for personal and professional growth.”
Life at Seven Peaks and building a career
One factor that attracted Alisa to Seven Peaks was the multicultural, international work environment. With over 25 countries represented within the company, she finds it stimulating to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. Alisa is especially grateful for the opportunity to learn about different cultures and perspectives while working on projects together.
Alisa began her journey at Seven Peaks Software during the COVID-19 pandemic and initially worked from home. Now that the company has adopted a hybrid work model, she comes into the office 2-3 days a week.
“Adjusting to the hybrid work model during the pandemic was a unique experience,” Alisa said. “But I appreciate the balance between working from home and collaborating with my team in person. It’s also nice that the company lets us dress casually, as long as we deliver the results expected of us.”
Goals and growth at Seven Peaks
Alisa aims to become a team leader and manager, acknowledging that she needs to further develop her soft and communication skills. She’s particularly interested in honing her ability to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical team members. Since joining Seven Peaks, Alisa has expanded her skillset as a QA engineer by learning various QA tools and methodologies, such as Fiddler Proxy and Charles Proxy.
“Seven Peaks supports our professional growth by encouraging us to take courses and get certifications to enhance our skills,” Alisa said. “This commitment to learning and development has not only helped me gain new skills but also motivated me to strive for excellence.”
Challenges and achievements
Transitioning from a QA engineer to a senior QA and an aspiring team leader has been challenging, but Alisa has received support from her team lead and colleagues. She has been given opportunities to hone her leadership skills by guiding a team of five QA engineers on their projects. In that role, she help them create effective testing processes, and offering suggestions when needed.
During this time, Alisa realized the importance of rotating her team members so that everyone could contribute to each other’s work. This approach not only improved overall productivity but also fostered a sense of camaraderie and collaboration among team members. As a mentor, Alisa is careful not to give away all the answers. Instead, she guides her junior colleagues in the right direction, encouraging them to develop their skills independently.
Alisa has also showcased her expertise by giving a talk at a Seven Peaks Speaks QA meetup. In her talk, she discussed what it takes to be a good QA engineer and sharing her insights with the audience. Despite her nervousness, Alisa structured her talk as a Q&A session and engaged the audience in an icebreaker activity. This helped her feel more comfortable and made the event more interactive.
Getting used to the many accents at Seven Peaks has been another challenge for Alisa, but she has found effective ways to overcome this hurdle. For instance, she uses the captions feature on Google Meet during online meetings to improve her understanding and comprehension of various accents. At the office, Alisa doesn’t hesitate to ask questions or request clarification from her coworkers. This ensures she communicates effectively and contributes to a supportive work environment.
Alisa also continuously seeks to enhance her technical knowledge. “Whenever I encounter an unfamiliar concept, I research it online, ask questions, and consult with colleagues until I achieve a thorough understanding,” she says.
Advice for junior QA engineers
Alisa believes that the key to success at Seven Peaks is being proactive, an excellent communicator, and an effective listener. She emphasizes the importance of thinking outside the box and asking well-structured questions. She says that “effective communication, even during difficult situations or disagreements, is essential to fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.”
Drawing from her experience interviewing candidates, Alisa stresses the significance of continuous learning on the job. “If you’re an aspiring QA engineer, invest time in developing your skills and make sure that you can deliver on your promises,” Alisa says. “When an interviewer asks you to complete a task as part of the interview process, you should be able to show expertise in areas such as investigating issues and reproducing bugs.”
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