Prague calling! One of our SinnerSchrader studios is located in the beautiful capital of Czech Republic and I had the chance to have a call with Jana Veselá for this interview. Check it out to find out about her opinion regarding the difference between a tester and a developer, what keeps her motivated after seven years in testing and much more.
Who are you and what are you doing?
Hello, I’m Jana. I’m with SinnerSchrader for approximately four months as a Quality Assurance Director. I’ve been working in testing for seven years. I remember starting as a junior with no experience in a big corporate company. I walked all the way from a complete junior to a Test manager and Head of QA. Head of QA was more of a business role where I led more than 40 testers and I took care of clients, new projects, sales and marketing of the competence inside and outside of the company. That brought me to a lot of opportunities which I found interesting to jump for - mentoring at Femme Palette, Coaching with Czechitas, being a Programme Committee of Testing United or a co-organiser of czech testing meetups. From the career point of view I decided to step down back to project level and I am happy I found SinnerScharder and I can have a leadership role with an actual testing on a project again.
But it wouldn’t be me to have no challenge at work again so I work on implementing Continuous testing in all of our projects. Continuous testing is a part of continuous delivery/integration pipeline. So if we want to deliver a new feature any minute, we have to be able to test it any minute and secure the quality of the delivery.
If you want more info for other side projects - Testing United is a testing conference and the programme committee is a person who builds the program and chooses the speakers, we are 4 in total. So I work with pretty big names in testing.
Czechitas - they have IT courses for women to help them change the job into IT and I help in a course about basics of testing.
I like supporting other people in their growth because most of the time we are scared of change, we are scared to leave our comfort zone and to go forward. But I wouldn’t be where I am If I didn’t just try. When I applied for the role of Head of QA I had experience only with a small team of five people. And here I am. I survived 40 people (laughs). Everything is possible. And this is what I want to show others.
That’s amazing! What else motivates and challenges you right now?
The biggest challenges are always in leadership. I think working with people and find the right way is the hardest.
The motivation comes from traveling and from the people around me. I love seeing people grow and when they are happy.
What first drew you to a role at SinnerSchrader?
Well, I was looking for a small company where I have the option not to do just testing but to learn new stuff and have a broader range of responsibilities.I saw this job ad saying something about unicorn driving license and I was like okay that sounds cool (laughs). And then, when I went to the interview, it really caught my attention that the Studio lead and the Recruiter started introducing themselves first. They told me what they do - even in their personal lives - and I was like “wow” that’s pretty interesting. So basically I was drawn to the people at SinnerSchrader from the first interview.
I can relate to the unicorn part. So what is your definition of being a good Director QA?
This job has two parts. Being a good QA and being a good director because. I believe that a technical job and a managing job are two different things for which you need different skills. Regarding the QA part, I think good testers are really curious and they still learn new stuff because even for us the technology goes on. Now we have to be more and more technical and need to have a very open mindset to think out of the box. I heard once that a good QA should know the whole architecture of the systems, which is impossible on big projects, but they should know a lot and support other people in the team. So when someone tells us that QAs are different from developers, I don’t agree and I see them as one team. Concerning the director part of the job, I think that any person who wants to do a managing job need to be really good at soft skills and to have empathy for people as well as to be able to listen to them. In the end, you cannot be a manager without those people so it all depends on them.
The Prague Studio is the only SinnerSchrader office outside of Germany. What do you enjoy most about working and living in Prague?
Well I think basically Prague is awesome - I really love it. I wasn’t born here but I live here for ten years and to be honest I’ve just seen one or two cities that are nicer that Prague (laughs). I think people here are more open than in other Czech cities and when it comes to our studio I really like the location. The office has a huge terrasse where you can chill on in summer and I’m glad that we have this mix of people from different countries. You hear Czech, you hear English, Spanish etc. It’s really interesting and just a nice environment I would say.
Agreed, I definitely have to visit you sometime. Random question: If you had the chance, who would you most like to swap places with for a day?
My dream is to fly the helicopter and be a pilot. So if I had the proper skills to fly one that would be cool (laughs).
Exciting! Is there anything else you would like to share?
I just want to say that people shouldn’t be afraid of new things. From my experience when I stepped out of my comfort zone, even outside the job, I was the happiest.