A day in the life of a Senior QA Engineer

Introducing Cassandra D’Mello – a senior Software Quality Engineer at PropSpace. Here we get to know more about Cassandra and what a day in the life at PropSpace is like for her. 

I’m Cassandra D’Mello and I’ve been a part of the QA Team at JRD Group (PropSpace’s parent company) for 3.5 years now and counting!

How did you enter this field and then in to JRD Group?
I was recruited as a software developer in another company directly from college. During the first week of orientation, I didn’t feel positive or enthusiastic about the role. After attending a Software Testing seminar which was conducted by a QA manager in the company, it just clicked for me that this is what I wanted to do. I changed roles, gave it a shot and I have been loving it ever since! I moved to Dubai after getting married and came across a job vacancy in JRD Group on LinkedIn. The profile fit my experience perfectly. I called to enquire about the vacancy and applied for it. I immediately got a call asking me to an interview. The rest is history 🙂

What has your career path been like?
I have been lucky to work on projects with renowned companies like Rackspace and IBM. Every new project gave me hands on experience with different technical skills and I got to build connections with a lot of interesting people.

Do you use any of your graduate training in your job, and if so, how?
‎Being an engineering student helped build the base for programming and software concepts. It also gave a birds-eye view of what is needed to work in the industry. However, nothing beats the learning that comes from hands on experience and on the job training.

On a typical day:
What do you do at the start of the day?
I’d like to say I run 5k every morning before meditating :), but in reality I catch up on the news and social media on my phone.

What are your biggest challenges in the day?
We have multiple products under one roof, and shuffling between each product is I think the biggest challenge in a day. There are so many changes happening in every product on almost a daily basis. We stay on top of things with effective multitasking and time management to ensure that existing behaviour is not broken and the clients’ day to day workflow remains unaffected.

What are the toughest problems you have to deal with?
I love that we work with a great bunch of people here, and there is good communication between the teams. So any issues that do occasionally crop up get resolved immediately.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is hearing that a client loved the product, especially after a particularly tight deadline release. Knowing that you had an input in the final product gives a nice sense of achievement and belonging.

Which colleagues (roles) and teams do you interact with typically?
A large part of our day is spent interacting with the developers from each project. We keep them on their toes!

Do you get enough time to yourself (to do some research or think out a problem)?
We have been buzzing between multiple requirements and requests for some time now. However, we do try to carve in a little time whenever we can to check out the latest updates in automation and other testing tools.

Have you progressed in skill sets and learnt new skills?
Joining JRD Group has exposed me to a whole lot more than standard run-of- the-mill testing. I’ve gotten a chance to get involved and provide inputs in planning, design, prioritization of issues and team management. It’s been a good learning curve.

Does your work become more interesting as you stay longer?
It’s been interesting watching the company build its product base. Every new project brings about its own challenges and being a part of that growth has kept things interesting.

If things develop as you would like, what does the future hold for your career?
The future seems promising considering the way things have progressed so far. I see new opportunities for QA, and I hope to use new tools and learnings to help build a more robust product.

If your team were to hire new members, what would you look for?
Our QA team shares an incredibly good equation with each other and we genuinely work well together. Hence when hiring members, aside from skill, I lay a lot of emphasis on personality and temperament. We spend a large part of our day together and it’s so important to share a good rapport in order to function well as a team.