Women in Tech | Refining Code as a Quality Assurance Engineer
Laserfiche was founded by Nien-Ling Wacker, a woman who began her career building custom solutions out of her home in the 1970s. She grew her business into the world’s leading ECM software company, which works to enable the digital workplace of the future. Today, she is recognized as a visionary leader and a pioneer in her field.
This March, the U.S. will celebrate Women’s History Month. To celebrate, Laserfiche will highlight some of the employees that have been inspired by Nien-Ling’s legacy.
While coding for web, mobile and infrastructure is a rewarding career path, there is another highly impactful field for engineers: Quality Assurance (QA). Engineers in QA are the essential partners to software engineers, dissecting and testing code in every way imaginable to ensure that it is functioning properly and meeting end users’ standards. Their work is vitally important to keeping projects alive and moving.
Miruna Babatie, Principal Software Test Engineer, and Tessa Adair, Technical Product Manager, both ended up starting their Laserfiche career in quality assurance by chance. Read on to learn about their journey.
1. How did you find yourself in QA, and what do you appreciate most about your role?
Tessa, Technical Product Manager: I came from a technical background in undergrad and started working at Laserfiche in QA by chance. I was interested in the company but was not sure what role was best for my career. Through the interview process, I discovered that QA seemed to fit. As I progressed in testing I discovered my interest in product management; particularly when it comes to seeing a broader picture of what we do and how we make decisions about the product. Laserfiche encouraged me to pursue my interests in product management while leveraging my testing background.
Miruna, Principle Software Test Engineer: I accidentally ended up in QA in 2002 when I was on the job market. I was teaching when a friend, who worked at Laserfiche at the time, recommended me to the QA team. I was a math major, so I had not considered QA as a potential career, but I have always been inquisitive about how things work. I started as a tester for our advanced capture product, which was an interesting team to work with. We discussed every feature to make sure it made sense to the user and to us. It was fun to see the product come to life. I’m the type of person that needs to know why we’re doing something and the team appreciated that, so I’ve been asking questions ever since.
2. What motivates you to come to work every day?
Miruna: What has kept me at Laserfiche for 15 years plus is that I don’t end up doing the same thing every day. We have gone through many technologies and learned many things. I work with people who are not afraid of change and that keeps me engaged.
Tessa: It is motivating to see the impact that I have on the product and on customers’ experiences. I love that I get to work with motivated people that care about what they are doing and are constantly reflecting on what we can do better. I feel like we are never standing still, or waiting for the next bit of information to come our way. We are always seeking ways to improve and better understand our customers.
3. What makes your work interesting?
Tessa: I love being the bridge between the development team and the rest of the world. I get to understand the whole process of how we move from customer goals to the finished product. Products are constantly changing and the technology behind them is constantly changing. On top of that, consumer expectations are fluid, as they are demanding more out of their technology. In essence, we are never done; we always have things to improve.
Miruna: It is still about making a difference in the product, understanding the users and making it real.
4. What advice did you find useful in your career that you would share with others?
Miruna: Find out what makes you happy. You spend a majority of your time at work, so figure out how to be happy in your job, whether that’s in tech or another industry. For me, it’s the people I work with and the impact we have on our customers’ lives that make me happy.
Tessa: It’s important to understand that tech is collaborative and social. I think there’s that stereotype of the “loner” programmer who is successful due to purely technical skills and therefore doesn’t need to participate in this wider collaborative process. Now, I recognize that collaboration and social ability is an important and valuable skill to embrace. Because people around me valued collaboration, it helped me understand that soft skills are valuable and necessary for success.
As technologies evolve, so do the ways engineers need to test them—which makes QA a dynamic career path that requires a mix of technical capabilities, curiosity, and the desire to work collaboratively. If a role in QA sparks your interest there is good news—we’re hiring for Software Engineers in Test and QA Managers.
Read more from the Women in Tech series:
Helping the World Work Smarter via Marketing
Shaping the Future as a Presales Engineer
Making Her Own History in Product Marketing
Fostering Innovation as an Associate Counsel
Women in Tech: Refining Code as a Quality Assurance Engineer
Embracing the Hustle of the Tech Industry