QA Automation Engineering Explained

Senior QA Automation Engineer, Dinara Bekeshova, takes us behind the scenes of this unique role.
Life at Choco Feb 18, 2022
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Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers play an important role in any tech team. Their efforts aid in preventing defects and ensuring quality development of the products. So, what’s unique about the QA Engineers at Choco.

We sat with Dinara Bekeshova, Senior QA Automation Engineer, to learn more about what she does, how it’s unlike a traditional QA gig, and what other cool initiatives and projects she’s been working on.

Where does QA sit in Choco?

Quality is highly important to us at Choco, as we strive to build the most effective and functional tech products for the restaurants and suppliers with whom we collaborate.

Choco’s EPD Department consists of Engineering, Product, and Design, segmented into stream-aligned teams, each equipped with a mix of engineers, product managers, and designers. They are responsible for the end-to-end delivery of an entire slice of the business domain. Dinara is one of the four QA engineers in the stream-aligned teams and a part of the ever-growing QA chapter at Choco.

Dinara, who joined Choco in 2020, is responsible for overseeing the quality processes in the development of our products as well as internal tools.

Not only do they manually check the functionality of the app and work through issues and possible improvements, Dinara and her team also focus on optimizing the application automation. This involves developing tools to automate potential user interactions on the app and getting instant feedback on its functionality.

What makes QA Engineering at Choco different?

Prior to Choco, Dinara hadn’t worked in a stream-aligned team structure. She worked in a traditional team setup, where she, along with other QA engineers, worked in team-based silos. Processes had usually already been pre-determined based on the industry’s tried and tested best practices, hence introducing new ideas or tools to improve the system was always a challenge.

At Choco, things work differently. QA engineers work alongside and in sync with a team of engineers and product managers to develop, test, and improve the entire end-to-end product. Dinara and her team meet daily to discuss and assign tasks—no one team member is responsible for testing the product. Everyday, individuals, be it designers, product managers, QA engineers, or developers, are assigned to test and provide peer-reviewed feedback. For example, this might be a frontend developer sharing feedback on features built by a backend developer during the QA stage.

“The best thing is that you don’t need to be a manager or a team lead to introduce a new idea. At Choco, anyone with a great idea can propose it to the team and be met with great support, feedback, and guidance - you don’t have to be a manager or a team lead to be heard.”

Dinara also shares how motivating it is to work in a team that encourages independent pursuits like research as well as the freedom to pitch ideas outside the scope of her job. This type of environment gives her the opportunity to further develop her skill set, learn new things, and make a positive impact on projects she wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

Recently, Dinara and her team went to Paris for a new product feature launch, where they presented updates, gathered feedback, and got to know their end users (chefs, restaurant owners, and suppliers using the Choco app) personally. Traditionally, engineers collect feedback about the app and solve issues behind the scenes. This unique opportunity enabled the team to gain first-hand experience of their end users’ day-to-day operations. They used this time to gather insights and feedback that they’d later use to make client-tailored improvements to the app.

Internal QA technical projects

Ultimately, QA’s goal is to ensure the best possible experience for our Choco users. A large part of Dinara’s role is to optimize the way issues are reported and handled on a day-to-day basis.

To do this, Dinara and her team actively explore new approaches and develop new tools and technologies to streamline the reporting process. This calls for frequent collaboration with other teams like Sales and Account Management to gain a better understanding of the processes. Gathering internal feedback through set communication channels has proved invaluable. The various perspectives help the team develop the app effectively and address user issues as efficiently as possible, in line with Choco’s focus on user-centricity. The best user experience is THE top priority.

On top of everything else, Dinara and her team are moving towards a native mobile test automation strategy, as the currently used test automation approach and tooling lack stability and effectiveness. With the new initiative, QA engineers and mobile developers will work with the same tech stack, enabling better collaboration while also providing faster and more reliable feedback on the current state of the mobile applications.

As customers spend more time on their mobile devices, it is more important than ever to give them a positive mobile app experience.

Other fun initiatives Dinara is a part of at Choco

The people of Choco, also known as Chocorians, are driven, passionate, and always hungry for new challenges. Hence, initiatives like Dogfooding and ChocoHack were born.

In our first-ever hackathon, our teams identified a few knowledge gaps in our third-party internal bug reporting tool. They wanted to make it quick and easy for users to submit bug reports from the palm of their hand.

Dinara and her hackathon teams took the opportunity to explore and configure the tool’s capabilities and integrate it with the Choco app. They then discovered that the tool not only offers bug reporting but also provides optimized bug reporting directly from the app itself. It also provides insights that are helpful to Choco’s Dogfooding initiative, which aims to improve our app’s user experience.

Dinara’s advice for future Chocorians

Looking back on her past two years at Choco, Dinara reflected on how much she has grown and accomplished in her role. Her voice has been instrumental in the impactful development and application of new tools, and she’s excited for what’s to come this year.

One of the final, most important questions we asked Dinara was: “What does it take to become a successful QA Engineer at Choco?”

“We are always working on something exciting at Choco. Sometimes we get to work on things that are beyond the scope of a traditional QA Engineering role, and it’s truly an eye-opening experience. I get to learn from people who genuinely love to share their knowledge.”

At Choco, we are trailblazers. Ideas that were once deemed impossible have turned into reality due to the tireless support we receive from our fellow Chocorians. We’re constantly growing and evolving, and searching for people who are passionate about technology, and eager to make the Earth a better place.

“If you are someone with great ideas, who is passionate about creating an impact, and up for new challenges, we look forward to welcoming you to our team!”

Are you inspired by Dinara’s story and the good work she’s doing at Choco? We’re hiring globally!

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