July 7, 2020

Q&A with Laura Vancane - QA Engineer

Louise Naqvi
PR Manager
1. What is your role at Upgrade Pack and what does that involve?
I'm a QA (Quality Assurance) Engineer in Upgrade Pack’s technology team. I work closely with our product and developer teams to ensure our industry first app for exclusive flight and hotel upgrades is built to the highest quality, meeting current, and evolving, product requirements. As the team's QA I review, analyse and implement the best QA processes and practices. This includes both manual and automated testing, analysing bugs and errors found in testing, as well as identifying and preventing any other issues that we might face during the software development life cycle (SDLC). I genuinely enjoy being part of all the phases of the SDLC and contributing to, and taking learnings from, each of these stages.

2. What are the most important skills or qualities to have in your job?
For me it's already in the job title - you have to be passionate about Quality Assurance and testing. The ability to provide quick but comprehensive, constructive feedback is essential as it enables others to take actions based on the learnings - this is particularly important in a fast-moving start up environment. While technical skills are obviously key so too are softer skills, as a QA role involves communicating with people from different teams quite a lot. As such the ability to communicate at the required technical level with developers as well as in more accessible and user-friendly language is very handy. Patience, diplomacy, and an analytical mindset, alongside curiosity and creativity are also necessary in the role.
3. Who or what encouraged you to get into Tech?
During the process of learning more about myself; understanding my personality, and what inspires, drives and challenges me, tech emerged as highly suited to me. You always have to be a step ahead and ready for new technical adaptations, and so the dynamism of the tech industry is something that really appeals to me. I have been fortunate to work with creative, talented and intelligent people who have helped me to learn and grow. Collaborating and learning with the diverse talent you find within tech continues to drive and fulfil me every day.
4. What are you working on at the moment?
Aside of the everyday aspects of testing new and updated aspects of the app, I’m working with the team on an integration process that will allow us to work with some major hotel groups.
5. Do you feel the field of QA Engineering is easily accessible for women? Could it improve?
I feel that within technology, QA Engineering is becoming more accessible for women, especially when there are so many groups that bring tech communities together - not necessarily all of which are tech specific, which is great for wider industry collaboration. I also think there is an increasingly genuine commitment from companies to making the tech sector more gender equal and diverse. It’s one of the reasons I was really drawn to Upgrade Pack, as the company is very open in terms of its commitment to an inclusive culture and workforce.
6. Is there anyone in any field who inspires you?
Most recently I was hugely inspired by Scott Kelly, an American engineer and astronaut, who spent one whole year aboard the International Space Station testing the impact of space travel on the human body and documenting his mission. It was fascinating to follow his journey on social media in real time and I felt so grateful for the opportunity that modern technologies provided to witness his experience.
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