I had never coded in high school, while one year of uni had taught me how to figure out the time complexities of a few miscellaneous sorting algorithms, and the basics of programming using functions, loops, variables etc.
But there were many more things that working at Transpire, and working in the QA team, has taught me about building technology. Here’s a few…
The role of QA in the software development life cycle
How are applications made? Software engineers just build it, right? That was what I thought before I knew anything about QA and the many important iterations a product goes through before it is production ready.
Testing is really important. Not only to ensure the sanity of developers, but to make sure a product fulfils all the functionalities and user story requirements. Initially I had heard that developers aim to make it, whereas it is the QA’s role to try and break it. What I saw at Transpire was that devs and QAs actually have a symbiotic relationship in working together to create the best possible product.
Standards of writing good code
Working in the QA team allowed me to recognise the importance of writing testable code. Writing good code that is well architected, modular and encapsulated where needed not only made it easier to test, but it is also more reusable, extensible, easy to understand and debug when problems pop up.
The SOLID principles that I had learnt at university started to make a lot more sense when I saw them in action. Not only on the code that I was testing, but also the testing codebase was designed in a boilerplate way that allowed it to be reused across different projects.
The importance of user experience
Working on projects at uni and in my spare time, I found that the main focus was on creating code that performs well and fulfils the functional requirements. On the other hand, while working as a QA I had to focus on user experience and test the possible ways that a user could interact with the app.
Through my experience in QA, I found that when working on personal projects I began to think a lot more about the user flow, and all the different ways that a user could possibly interact with the website, rather than just how I intended for it to be used. This approach forced me to make designs with much more focus on usability and practicality.
‘People who I love working with and learning from’
I am really grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had at Transpire. I’ve been surrounded by awesome people who I love working with and learning from. Being my first formal job in the industry, starting out in QA was definitely a unique experience that allowed me to see software development from a different perspective. Sadly I’ll be leaving Transpire quite soon for a university commitment, but I’ll always look back upon this experience fondly, as a place where I met some great people, broadened my horizons and was able to learn so much.