Tell me a bit more about what you do here?
As QA Lead I oversee all aspects of quality assurance including applying industry best practices and developing new tools and processes to ensure quality goals are met. Or as my partner puts it - I write the code, that tests the code, that makes and sells the dog food, that makes the dogs healthy and happy!
An important part of the role is partnering with engineering teams to stay informed of new technologies being introduced and to ensure that system components are designed for testability. I also mentor QA team members and help to steer their development and professional growth.
How long have you worked at tails?
One and a half years.
How did you get into your current line of work?
I volunteered for a 6-month secondment to the testing team during my second IT Helpdesk role at Clinical Solutions (now Capita). They recognised that I have a knack for problem-solving, data analysis and for asking the right questions at the right time and I soon realised that generating and executing creative test ideas was something I enjoyed. I decided from then that I wanted to pursue a career in testing. Later on, I took time out to up-skill in agile and automation so I could continue to learn and progress in this field.
What’s your most memorable moment at tails.com so far?
There have been several memorable moments so far. It has been rewarding to see QA team members learn and grow in their roles, and it is really satisfying when a software engineer advocates a quality “Test-first” approach. But I have to say, when I first went to the tails.com office and I got to meet all the canine members of the team - that was a really fun and very memorable experience.
Quick Fire Q’s
Dog or Cat?
Outside of work, what do you love doing?
I love gardening (a new passion), swimming and running 5km events, indoor bouldering and City breaks.
What was the name of your first pet and what were they?
Sam - a gorgeous tortoiseshell cat who was my best friend, sadly he got eaten by a snake, but he had a very good long life.
What’s your advice for someone thinking about applying for a job at tails.com…?
Do it! It is a fast pace e-commerce environment and we make everyday count to improve the lives of dogs and their owners. If you are looking for a place to truly be your authentic self and you want to work in a team of amazing professionals who are always learning and developing themselves and their career then definitely apply - especially if you recognise that dogs are not just pets but important members of the family.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Sometimes in order to go forward in your career you will have to stop, rethink, retrain and redirect - it will feel scary but it will be worth it.
A typical weekend for me is…
Gardening, completing Open University module assignments (I am currently studying for a degree in IT and Computing Software Engineering degree), visiting Kew Gardens or going for walks in the Peak District. Watching films and going to art exhibitions with my girlfriend.
One thing people don’t know about you
My first real job was as a Personal Trainer.