November 21, 2019
Stories from AQA Team
As a part of quality management, Automation QA is responsible for everything to work the way it should. At CoreValue, Automation testing is a part of services to ensure the best of software quality.
Our AQA department has grown to 34 specialists over 7 years. Every division is defined by the way it hires people, by the type and technical level of projects it works with, and, of course, by the team and environment. The most important part, which influences every stage of workflow, is how different professionals cooperate together. Our Michael Lehinchenko talked to his team to showcase our AQA department through the stories of people who drive it on a daily basis.
How we work
There are both manual and Automation QA departments in our company. Together, they cooperate with the developers to deliver the best product quality. When creating this AQA department, we did not look for any specific experience of other companies. We analyzed our customers needs as well as market-relevant tendencies.
Our Automation specialists always utilize every new technology on the QA market. We don’t overuse a single code and the same frameworks for all projects. Our clients get the latest version of technologies from us, which results in the project’s success. AQA at CoreValue works with all types of testing, be it Web, API, Mobile, desktop, database or performance.
In addition to testing, we collect data and fully support the product, constantly monitor and advise where problems need to be fixed.
The ideology of AQA department is a quick problems detection
We believe in progress by mentoring. All of our AQA team sits together and don’t split for projects. This way we collect one common knowledge base and get constant help from each other, our newcomers are always supported by experienced teammates. It’s a lot faster than any workshops, you just ask what you need and get an answer.
How we hire people
It is interesting to work with those who are interested.
We search for motivated people to work with. If you hire just for the project, people will quit as soon as the project is over. That is why we prefer to search for the people to become a part of our team
We believe motivation is everything. We hire absolutely diverse specialists, both skilled and beginners. The main criteria is the desire to achieve results. When choosing between someone experienced but not motivated and someone who lacks knowledge but strives to progress, we hire the latter one. We invest in those who are ready to learn and progress. It doesn’t matter what you are developing, your technical or personal skills, just don’t stop.
During a job interview, we usually ask basic questions regardless of the interviewee level and the position the person is applying for – similar for both seniors and trainees. After the first five minutes, it gets pretty clear whether this person suits our team. We pay attention to the way of thinking and attitude.
Each member of the AQA team can work on different projects at a time and switch between projects if needed. There is no such thing as “bench” for us, you always have things to work on. There is a rule for this department: regardless of your position and technical level, you don’t overwork. When it becomes hard for someone to work on a project, we redistribute people between different project teams.
There is 37% of Seniors in our AQA team. People come to us from other companies, move from other cities and even countries to have the ability to develop both their technical and soft skills. Many companies cannot offer this as everything is way too stable there. And your professional level is stable and doesn’t change as well.
We strive our people to progress. Here are our three team leads with different backgrounds but a common goal to develop themselves into better professionals.
Sasha started as our manual QA, then switched to AQA and now leads one of our biggest Automation projects.
“Automation is a QA development, so it’s even more interesting. AQA is a part of a lifecycle development and it is designed for the most monotonous tasks. It gives manual QA’s space to work without extra routine.
In the last 6 years the QA market evolved and Automation gained popularity. I worked as a manual QA for two and a half years and barely knew much about Automation. When this technology entered the market, I got interested and started to educate myself in it. At the same time, the company saw the new possibilities and formed a new department of Automation quality assurance. Interestingly enough, though already working in the company, I had to take an interview to start as AQA. For me, it’s a good sign as you have to prove you want and can evolve, not just being transferred from one division to another.
I learned quickly thanks to good mentors and now I’m a team lead at one of our biggest projects. This project is complex, with a big team involved for the web part and a dynamic mobile application.”
Mykyta moved from Rivne to work with our team. He was searching for new challenges and the development of leadership skills was also on the list.
“I used to work for different companies in Rivne. At some point I realized my professional progress stuck. I was searching for a new challenge and got to understand it would be hard to get it there. I needed really competent mentors whom I could get new experiences or learn from.
That was when I “successfully” failed one of my job interviews. What a motivation! I saw things I needed to dive deeper into, all my gaps. After a month of training, I took a couple of interviews again, applying for the companies in different cities and got three job offers. One of those was from CoreValue. That is how I moved to Lviv to work here.
After nearly 6 months at CoreValue I got to understand that I wanted to develop leadership skills. Now, I’m leading an AQA web development team. Being a team lead is pretty hard but interesting. The main challenge is you have to keep switching between tasks and need to react instantly to come up with decisions. In addition to the technical part, I also manage people, organize their work processes and advise them. You can decide how long it will take for you to complete a task by yourself, but often it is hard to calculate how much time other people need. So, planning and time management are my two favorite things now.”
Yura was a professional photographer having nothing in common with IT and then he decided to enter Automation QA.
“The Automation task is basically to select the right testing tool and use it. That’s all. Very simple, like surgery: pick the right instrument and work with the help of it.
I switched to IT from photography. It may seem unexpected, but searching for the most creative and logical approach and creating new things are common for both spheres.
I became a team lead after a fairly short period of time. It is all about hard work and learning a lot. Every morning, before the work started, I took and hour or two to quickly figure out the technology stack and understand the very logic of the process, how it all worked here. So, the secret of the trade is no secret at all – you are motivated, you learn, you work.”
AQA department is rich in talents. Our newcomers are also keen on sharing their brand new experience and illustrate how it feels to be a part of the CoreValue team. For Mykola it’s his first month with the AQA team.
“I switched to Automation from manual testing. At my previous workplace, testing was a mix of manual and Automation tasks though there were no Automation specialists there. We were doing a little bit of each kind, but I wanted to work with just one kind and to do it professionally. That company did not have such an opportunity, so I came here.
I liked this vacancy even before the interview as this was exactly what I was interested in and willing to progress in. I took Java courses and started my career here.
One month is not a long time at a company, but it went very well. I was introduced to the team and our workflows. I like that teammates are really willing to help here and give answers to every question I have. For now, I write a code and develop tests to understand the project and the writing styles. This is exactly the way I expected it to be.”
Our approach to work
Oleksandr: “Every two weeks we make a demo to show our progress to the client. We store the results of our tests in the TestTrail system for everyone to see the type of tests we made, what we actually completed and the result we received. All the processes are Automated, of course.”
Mykyta: “At the moment, we create an Automation testing framework for a mobile and web application. We have been developing a big product for the whole year. The team has increased from 6 to 13 people. The project has transformed from a product to become a platform. I like that our project has grown significantly in technical terms and our competency has grown.”
Yurii: “It is very important to showcase the stats to the client, to illustrate how tests are being run. For that, we create detailed reports with graphics and numbers showing the reasons of the errors, what happened, in which environment, when and how. Also, we try to make use of all the technologies that are vital for the client.
The challenge in AQA work is switching technologies when changing projects. That’s hard because at first, you don’t really grasp the whole scope of what you are expected to do. However, being assigned to one long routine project is a killer for me.”
Yurii: “I switched not just technology but the whole sphere of operation. IT is usually associated with snobbery. That was my main concern. Also, it’s hard to ask basic questions which everyone but you seem to know the answers to. But I work with absolutely understanding and totally supportive people here. It is thanks to them that I am convinced now that entering this profession is not so difficult as some claim.”
Oleksandr: “There are four things that motivate people to change their current workplace. You don’t like the project you are working on; you want to switch your specialisation; you deserve better compensation or a promotion. After 6 years at this company, I don’t lack any of these things. Definitely, your team, the colleagues you work with are the most important. Moreover, the team’s tech and professional skill levels are crucial.
Being a part of the team is the most challenging and hard, yet the most rewarding