A Day in the Life: Katherine
I’ve been the Quality Assurance (QA) Manager since December 2014, and I currently lead a team of three other QA Engineers. A typical day for me goes something like this:
I’m not a morning person but as we have flexible working hours it’s fine for me to arrive at the office around this time. I have a cup of tea and check my emails, then I use a combination of my calendar, the company issue tracking tools and my notes to see what needs to be done today. I check that my team have work for the day and that everything is on track for completion on time, flagging anything that isn’t with the Product Management team so we can work to mitigate the risks.
The Product Development (PD) teams and my team have a joint meeting to share what everyone is working on, which is particularly important for QA as every piece of work the other teams do will eventually come to us. After this meeting, I have a short catch-up with each individual team and their Product Manager to discuss the work and any issues in more detail.
If it’s a busy period for my team I pitch in and do some QA work – verifying fixed issues in our products, searching for new ones or updating the documentation. We work closely with PD so a lot of that time is spent discussing issues or working in a pair with one of the developers. If my team can manage the day-to-day work themselves, which is often the case, then I have time to plan some interesting tasks for our regular creative testing sessions.
Lunchtime. I usually bring in a packed lunch but sometimes I join a group of colleagues for a meal at one of the nearby pubs. I also go for a walk along the river as the Vitality health insurance scheme, one of the benefits of working for the company, rewards you for exercising.
Back to work. My job often consists of a series of small tasks so I can switch between them if one becomes blocked or I fancy a change. I keep in touch with the team to make sure I hear as soon as there are any problems, and if any of us needs a break we get tea for the others or go for a game of table football.
Communication is a key part of my job so I often have a meeting with my boss, a member of another department or one of my own team to catch up and share any concerns. Sometimes this will bring up an issue which means I have to change my plan for the team over the next few days, but this is common and no one minds a shift in focus.
I usually manage to leave on time, although if there’s a product release I might stay until it’s been completed so I know there won’t be any unexpected work for my team the next day. Because of the nature of our work it’s easy to see how much progress we’ve made throughout the day and outline a quick plan for tomorrow.