Symphony Personas are coming back for season two with more insightful interviews, this time with behind-the-scenes from the projects they are working on. What we love about Symphonians is their fantastic passion that they have for creating high-quality products that make an impact. This is what we want to share in the new series of interviews Symphony Personas in Tech. First on, we’d like you to welcome Martin Kubelka, Quality Assurance Engineer for the Virtualstock project, a digital supply chain and marketplace SaaS platform for Retail and Healthcare markets. Martin talked to us about his job on the project, the perks of closely collaborating with the client, and some tips for newbies just joining the team. 1. Martin, you’ve been working at Symphony Solutions for 3 years already. In your opinion, how did you grow inside the company during this time? What is your lightbulb moment? Apart from the experience that I obviously gained during this period, I grew from Intern to Mid QA. But that’s only the measurable side of the story. On the non-measurable part, I can say I developed a specific work ethic that comes from the challenge to try and find new, creative ways of solving and sometimes making problems :D I also developed domain-specific knowledge related to the projects I was working on. Lightbulb moment – Challenging yourself can be fun! While this might seem counter-intuitive, the real growth comes from getting out of one’s comfort zone, and that’s where the real fun starts. It is then when you realize you’re not alone, and there are people around you to support you and share their knowledge. 2. What are some of your biggest motivators at work? The combination of making an impact, constantly learning something new while working with great people on great products in an awesome culture. 3. You’ve been working with Virtualstock for a year and a half. What would you say is your team’s biggest achievement thus far? What work are you most proud of and why? My work with the Virtualstock coincided with the Covid pandemic. I was aware that this was the greatest risk I ever faced throughout my career, but from today’s perspective I think we did a great job overcoming it. All of us remained professional and made sure we kept the communication channels open, while at the same time taking care of one another. We kept on delivering value for the end users, but not only that – we also managed to meet as a team in real life and this really helped us build even greater trust that fuels our team work. 4. What do you enjoy / not enjoy about your work with the client? I enjoy the team work and the sense of ownership that each and every member of our team has. At the same time, people are really cooperative and we constantly challenge ourselves. 5. What is your Virtualstock team structure? My team has 4 developers, 1 Product Lead, one CTO, and I am the QA. 6. What are the technologies you work with on the project? The product is developed in Python and also we are using the Django framework. For managing the manual and automated tests we are using Testrail. In general, our tests are written in the BDD standard. 7. Do open jobs require 100% of the time? What is the development/debugging ratio? I would say 70% dev and 30 % QA when a feature is in development. But as part of the team I am included in all the processes from analyzing the requirements, detailing the acceptance criteria and reviewing the user stories. 8. How is the communication with the client organized? We work as one team with the client, so I don’t see the client as a separate entity, the team is mixed and we are one. We use Slack for everyday communication, and we follow the SCRUM ceremonies, which allows us to release new product versions every 2 weeks. 9. What do you enjoy about your job as a QA the most? Many people think that being a QA is all about finding bugs and reporting them. But they lose the end goal – which is what I enjoy most about my job – Improving the quality of the product that users will use. 10. What do you think is crucial in order to grow as an expert? Learning fast, testing and implementing new ideas, processes, and tools. Also, being able to understand and communicate priorities with the rest of the team. 11. How do you follow trends in your profession and industry? By following blogs and podcasts, visiting QA conferences, and communication with other people that are in my field of work. 12. What advice would you give to your new team members? Stay curious and ask questions. Never leave a meeting with questions kept to yourself – your teammates are there to enable you. And try to keep user’s and business’s goals at the core of your work. We invite you to learn more about Symphony Solutions’ long-term collaboration with Virtualstock. Read the case study on how we helped them augment their in-house capabilities and secure a partnership with the NHS. What to learn more about Symphonians? Check out some of our previous interviews from season one of Symphony Personas, like this one with Aleksandar Gacevski, who knows all about how to take care of your security at work and in the sky.