Getting to Know... Mirsad Mehanovic, QA Engineer
Have you ever wondered what a quality assurance (QA) person does at a digital agency? Here is what Mirsad Mehanovic, a QA engineer at GRM, has to say about his role.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your role at GRM! Let's begin by explaining what quality assurance involves.
Well, the job title already somewhat reveals what the process is all about. Basically, it means constantly working to achieve and maintain the desired quality of a product, such as a website or mobile app. On a daily basis, a QA position involves testing a wide variety of products, identifying deficiencies, and coming up with and managing strategies to solve the detected issues.
One of my main tasks as a quality assurance engineer is making sure that our clients' products are well-suited for all the latest devices and browsers. To do this successfully and bring each product up to standard, it is vital to keep track of the newest digital trends and establish a strong collaboration with the developers.
So, what are the most important aspects of quality assurance? What does the QA team do at GRM?
Of course, testing is the biggest part of QA and there are various types of testing that need to be done. I usually perform manual testing, while automation testing is occasional and it's normally done on bigger projects.
Testing is not our only responsibility, though. Some of the things that I do as a QA engineer are evaluating product designs and functionality, planning and preparing tests before running them, writing test cases, detecting issues, reporting bugs to developers and performing retests when necessary.
In order to successfully carry out these tasks, a QA team needs a specific set of skills, including an eye for detail, strong sense of teamwork, passion for learning, an analytical mindset and the ability to put themselves in the users' and clients' shoes. Clearly there's a lot of work to do on each project to ensure ultimate client satisfaction, but the QA field is very enjoyable because it's so interesting and dynamic.
Could you share with us what you enjoy the most about your position and what motivates you and the team?
I enjoy solving complex situations, expanding my knowledge and figuring out workarounds. I see my work as a puzzle, and adding just one piece a day is enough if you know you're headed in the right direction. As for my motivation, it's a combination of three motivation triggers: curiosity, goals and risks. Curiosity pushes me to find multiple routes to reach the desired (and expected) outcomes, while potential risks keep me focused on all the key checkpoints that need to be met for a high-quality product.
I think what motivates the QA team as a whole is knowing how significant our work is for the end product. Quality assurance is an indispensable step in ensuring top tier quality, so we have a great responsibility on our hands that always pushes us to treat each project as meticulously as possible. At the end of the day, the clients' satisfaction matters the most, and it feels very rewarding when we receive positive feedback from them.
You're a QA engineer now, but how did you originally get into the world of web development and digital marketing?
Well, my field of study is Business Informatics, which combines business management with the world of IT as it is centred around the digitalisation of business operations. Besides that, most of my friends are active in web development and digital marketing, so I have naturally become interested in learning more about the different branches within these industries. I did research about the wide range of IT roles, and the QA field really stood out to me.
I began learning more about QA as a hobby, starting from learning about different testing types and then learning how to perform them and how to write test cases. I practised at home every day and eventually I reached a point where I could describe myself as self-taught. Just as I was starting to get comfortable with the knowledge I had been acquiring on my own, GRM Digital announced they were looking for a QA engineer. I applied and I have been working here ever since.
Could you walk us through a typical Monday in the QA team?
Mondays are normally meant for catch-ups and discussions. We reflect on the work from the week before and talk about the workflow, the decisions made, and the impact of those decisions on our work. It's a very helpful practice; everyone gets to share their opinion and point out what was done well and what could possibly be improved.
Our aim is to be as efficient as possible in meeting our clients' expectations, so sitting down as a team to discuss potential areas of improvement is very significant for accomplishing this goal. That is why we also make sure to take some time each day to bring each other and the DEV team up to date on the current state of each project.
Once the reflection is done, we lay out a basic plan for the week ahead of us, listing tasks and objectives we want to meet by the end of the week. When each team member has an outline of their tasks, we begin. The first thing to do is gather requirements and produce documentation, and then start the testing processes.
Do you come across any challenges when facing clients and team members?
Facing challenges is an inevitable part of any job. I'd say that one of the biggest challenges is completely understanding the clients' wishes and what end result they really want, which is normally not stated in the documentation. We approach this by having additional conversations with each client. This allows a better understanding of the market(s) they are involved in and provides a clearer picture of their visions and expectations.
We are keen on presenting each client with the solution that is most beneficial for their business, so thorough conversations are an essential step in creating a successful strategy. In fact, we try to keep in constant contact with clients, because that way we can make sure that whatever we are doing at the moment is satisfactory for them, and we can also re-evaluate and make changes to the project early on if the client wants something different.
As for the team, we believe that strong teamwork is one of the most important ingredients for success. That's why we always make an effort to communicate respectfully and openly, look at the pros and cons of everyone's ideas, and most importantly, acknowledge a job well done and motivate each other.
You've got different learning opportunities for employees at your company. How has that improved your work and the delivery to GRM clients?
GRM Digital does provide access to a variety of training programs. I currently hold no certificates, but I will soon complete a CSTE certification (Certified Software Tester) exam and have additional training in automation testing, as this kind of testing is becoming increasingly valuable for efficient QA. Besides formal training, I also develop my skills further on the job every day, which fosters a positive mindset and the confidence necessary for keeping up a high level of client satisfaction.
In my opinion, a satisfied client is one who is aware that we have not only completed their requirements, but also thought ahead in terms of the future of their business. Adding a layer on top of completed requirements means a lot to the client, and that layer is consultancy. The more a team develops their competencies, the better this layer gets.