Hi! My name is Nathalie and I’m a Requirements & QA Consultant at Blastic.
Let's see, what does a 'typical day' look like? I say typical, but we don't have that many typical projects, really. And that's exactly what keeps my job interesting.
In the morning, I'll start by catching up on emails and messages. Followed by a stand-up meeting with project teams to discuss the status, deadlines, and goals for the day. Oh, and don’t forget: coffee!
Ultimately, as a QA consultant I have 3 main goals. I make sure that requirements are met, expectations are clear for everyone and that we deliver the right quality to keep everyone happy. Even though we have different project teams, with sometimes slightly different approaches, my goals always stay the same.
The title says “Stop, think, act”. This was first rule I was taught when starting to scuba dive. Don't just keep going, don't just keep doing what you are doing. Be critical and make sure you make the best and most efficient choices possible.
Being both a Requirements Consultant and a Quality Assurance lead is the perfect and most logical combination for me. It allows me to guard the quality throughout the entire project. In the end, I want the project teams to be proud of what they deliver and the end user to be happy with the deliverable.
As a Requirements Consultant I help the customer and the teams to define the requirements for a project. This way, everyone knows what is expected. This ranges from a briefing document to acceptance criteria or a functional analysis.
As a Quality Consultant I translate those requirements into testcases to ensure every detail gets checked for defects and optimization, and to think of all possible scenarios and flows. Detailed testcases help to identify possible grey zones that were not previously discussed in an analysis or briefing yet.
Quality for me is not just thinking: “Does it work or not?”. It's also about making sure something works in the most efficient way for all users. For example, content editors in a CMS, end users on a website, people who deal with reporting, …
You see, aside from daily stand-ups, meetings and emails, my job entails so much more. Let me give you a quick rundown.
Up to date test cases:
Keeping the tests up to date is a large part of the job. This way developers can use them to check their work, and everyone knows exactly what the correct expected behavior is at all times.
Running the tests allows us to find bugs or identify potential problems before the customer starts testing.
Bugs and issues are logged into a ticketing system and assigned to the right people so this can be planned on time to meet deadlines and releases. Here I make sure that all issues are described as completely as possible. This way everyone involved knows what the exact problem is and how to reproduce the issue.
This also makes the re-testing of issues easier for all parties involved, whether it's a QA consultant or the customer.
Reporting & feedback:
With the project teams we hold regular meetings to see how we are doing from a quality point of view. Next to that, we organize feedback sessions on all steps in the project: what went well, what did we learn, where can we improve or change?
For some projects I will help the customer by giving hands-on training. Language barriers, technical barriers, doubts, … we tackle everything by putting together a customized and personalized training. This training supports the end user or customer to configure or use everything and makes their life easier.
Being able to communicate and 'speak the same language' with all stakeholders is a must. give feedback to development teams, discuss issues, budget and planning with the project managers, help the customer with testing or training, confront people with certain issues and ideas, give feedback, brainstorm, …
This really allows me to be involved in all aspects of a project. Both from a technical and more marketing related point of view. And exactly that is what keeps the job challenging and interesting, for me personally.
I don't like being in my comfort zone too long and this job gives me plenty of challenges mixed with new technologies and innovation. That must be why I've been at Blastic for over 9 years and have not been bored ever yet!
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