Software Developers Journey Podcast

#251 Aida Manna went in circles between QA and development


⚠ The following transcript was automatically generated.
❤ Help us out, Submit a pull-request to correct potential mistakes

Aida Manna 0:00
The reason why I wanted to stop in a QA because sometimes for me it feels like a bit of this is gonna sound really bad. But to me it feels sometimes a bit of a distracting this destructive job. Because you go there and tell people, Hey, you did this wrong, you did this wrong, there is this bag. So sometimes it is not a very nice thing to do. Whereas been a developer, I can, you know, look at it in a different way. I mean, I still care a lot about quality. But it is easier for me to convince people that we need to do things from the very beginning in order to improve.

Tim Bourguignon 0:41
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast bringing you the making of stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building you own this episode I receive either manner. I began her career as a QA engineer over a decade ago, starting with manual testing, and then getting experience in automated testing. She later took on the role of a QA manager, where she successfully led the team of 13 QA engineers. And since then, she transitioned to development where she continues to grow and expand her skills. Outside of work, because there is an outside of work, I that works out enjoys exploring different cuisines with a particular love for Indian food. And they're actually a poster of something in behind you as well. So this is on topic. Welcome to the afternoon.

Aida Manna 1:36
Hello, thank you very much.

Tim Bourguignon 1:39
Oh, it's my pleasure. But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up. If you would like to join this fine crew, and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests, then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info and click on the Support me on Patreon button. Even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guest. So, as you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like, and imagine how to shape their own future. So as is usual on the show, let's go back to beginnings. Where would you place the start of your journey?

Aida Manna 2:31
So this is something I've been thinking about a lot, because I always thought the beginning of my career started when I actually became a developer. But then after thinking about it a bit more, I think it started way earlier. And I think it was at university. I started telecommunications engineering, and, and then I was learning things like HTML, C, C++, and I also did a lot of electronics. So I started coding and things like assembly, you know, so I know that that coding is very different from coding a web app. But I mean, it's coding. And I think that's how I got started now into into coding. And as I said, electronics is something that I really enjoy during my studies. And I really thought I was gonna work on that. But it ended it ended up not happening, happening in that way. Because during the last year of my studies, I decided that I wanted to do an internship and and then I got a job in a very cool project. It was for the Basque government. So you can you can imagine there was a lot of investment. And yeah, they were hiring a bunch of interns to do some work with them, too. They wanted to build some were betas, and they wanted to offer the citizens the option of doing some administrative procedures online, instead of going in person to the officers. So, I mean, that was super cool. And what happened there is that, as I said, there were a bunch of interns like maybe 10, or maybe 15, I don't remember. And at the beginning, we spent like three or four months years training, they will give us like a lot of trainings. And then after that they will tell us where we will what we will be doing now some people were doing development, and then they told me Okay, either we think you're very organized, and we think you pay a lot of attention to detail. So we think you're gonna be great for doing testing. And that is how you started, you know, interesting, and I remember thinking, what is testing? I didn't even know what I'm gonna be doing. But yeah, I don't know. I started in that I got into the QA team, and they started me they started teaching me how to do that. And I guess how, this is how I get started. In the QA word. So after that, I wanted to, I really enjoyed doing the part of the job. And I wanted to keep on doing that. However, I couldn't, I couldn't find a job as a QA. And I took like, a bit of a different direction, I got a job for the same project. But it was with a different company and doing something different. I was building these web pages that they needed to deliver. And the thing that it was that I mean, it sounds like I wasn't related to the amount of AV JavaScript or something like that. But it wasn't like that. I just had a word with text and images. And I had to copy paste that text and those images to a tool to create web pages. And I was just basically copy paste and take some images from one place to another. I mean, it was my first job. And it was okay. But I felt like, Oh, I've been studying for five years to copy paste things. You know, it, it was a bit. Yeah. Not what I expected for my first real job. Yeah, and at that point, I started thinking, okay, maybe I could actually do web development. And the way that I thought about it is like, Okay, I'm doing this job to save money. And then with that money, baby, I can do push great on web learning led me in that direction. So that was my plan, I'm gonna save money, and I'm gonna do this first grade, and then I'm gonna get a job on that. But that never happened. Because I got a job offer to be able to work as QA. With, it was a consultancy. And they were especially specialized in doing testing. So I thought it was like a great opportunity for me to go back to this testing work that I wanted to do at the beginning of my career. So they will think that this job is was also in Barcelona. I'm not from Barcelona. So it meant moving. And for me, that was also really exciting, because I wanted to live in a different place as well. So yeah, in a matter of a week, I was there. And I started the new job. Yeah, they needed someone very quickly. And I was, you know, available. So, yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 7:35
Okay. If I may, I would like to come back to you to one thing you said. Or two things. Maybe you didn't say maybe I am one wondering now, let me put it this way. At the beginning, you said, Okay, I think my I, intuitively, I would put the beginning of my curious when I started coding, but then I thought about it, and it started way earlier than this. And then you were describing how those three four interns were organized this first job and saying, Well, I don't you're gonna you're you're very organized, and you have a very good attention to detail. So you're gonna do testing. And after doing some QA, your idea was okay, maybe I'm gonna go back to to to development. And it seems to be a trend, always, always leaving this QA world and going to development. Do you think they made a mistake by putting you in this in this in this box of QA early on?

Aida Manna 8:30
Sometimes I think about it, to be honest. Because I feel that I could have been a developer way earlier in my career. Maybe in this company, I could tell them, hey, I don't really want to be a tester. I want to be a developer. Maybe I can be in that. I don't know. I guess I would be that would make sometimes they think that will make him a better developer right now. But at the same time, I think being a QA actually made me a better developer, you know, so I don't know. Sometimes I regret sometimes I don't, because I think it gave me very good learnings that not all the developers have nowadays, which is this QA part, you know,

Tim Bourguignon 9:19
could you expand on that a little bit? Tell me what you mean by that, because I have some preconceived ideas about this, but I would like to hear yours. Yeah, I

Aida Manna 9:27
guess this goes back to this company, where they move to when I when I came to Barcelona. So there, as I said, they were testing a specialist, and they gave me a lot of training in testing. You know, I got trainings to learn how to, you know, what are the different test types? What are the different ways in which you can test an application, there's design techniques, like a lot of very deep things on how to do the stem. And I think that many developers don't get that Deep train us are learning into how to do testing. You know what I mean? And I think this helped me to, to plan how to approach testing a lot. So for me, right now, it comes very natural. How I should, what test? Do I need to what test? Does it make sense to have, you know, in which level? Should I test this? For me, it comes very natural. But for other people, they are like, wait, but how do you know? And I'm like, I don't know, I'm just having been.

Tim Bourguignon 10:37
Remember, I was working for for a big German engineering company at some point and doing some some heavy work on big medical machines. And I thought I was pretty good at testing back then. So I really was thinking about all the corner cases and thinking about, Okay, what data types? Where am I using? What are the corner cases and the extremes for those data types could go wrong, etc. And I remember being in the lab, because it was really a lab with big machines, running, etc. And seeing when when QA engineer starting to send some packets, and then reaching out under the under the machine and pulling a cable, and then wasting for a few seconds, and telling me your software doesn't end well. How do you come with such an idea? And that's where I realized, okay, that's his expertise. That's where he shines in thinking, what did I did I not think about what are the weirdest scenarios that could happen, it could very much happen, but will break if they happen. And this was his expertise. And this is the moment in my career where I realized, okay, I don't have this expertise. I don't know anything about testing. I know how to unit test myself. But that's it. And I leave it to some other peoples to know exactly where to push on the system to really break it. And is this what you what you're meaning when you when you speak about it?

Tim Bourguignon 12:01
Yeah, this is one of the things I guess I can better think about those corner cases that maybe other people doesn't come up with, and also how to structure everything in a way that it is better organized. Or I also think a lot about what is more performance. So I mean, instead of doing all the tests through the UI, there are some things that you can put at a unit test and maybe others it is better to have as in integration, there's maybe just a few of us and to ensure I think a lot about, okay, how much time my pipeline is taking, and what can I do in order to improve that time?

Tim Bourguignon 13:32
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure if I should I should poke in this direction yet. You talk about this, this consultancy? Let me see. Let me put the thing I have in mind right now. And then you can talk about the consistency and maybe you will I will answer it. And what I'm wondering is because I have been in a consultancy for a while is how this consultancy, balanced the training time while being on a project or projects. At the same time, how you, they managed to help you level up your skills and grow in this in this field, you were already quite good at it, but they were experts at it. So they probably wanted to give you even more knowledge. And but at the same time, they have to pay the bills. And so they have to send you on projects as fast as possible and lets you build the customers. And so how this was balanced, and how you actually managed to grow in this in during this this time of your life.

Aida Manna 14:27
I guess one of the things is that I was not alone in the client. I was with other few Qs that had more expertise than me. And they they tell me to get there like they told me how to do things. That was one thing. But this is this was more like a day to day thing. Then to get something a bit more organized. Let's say what they did is that they they did this training that I think it was it lasted like four days where they give a has all the information that we needed to know. And then after the training, which was pretty intense, like four days is a lot of days, we got the chance to get a certification. And, yeah, I don't really believe in certifications, but I believe in. Okay, I spent all this time to prepare for this certification. Therefore, you know that it's an investment that you do in learning things. Right. So yeah, I got ready for that, that was more in my personal time, to be honest. So I got the book, to be able to prepare and learned from for that certification. And then while I did the certification, I got it. And that didn't make me a better QA. But you know, the time that I invested in learning is what it makes me better QA. Then something else that I did, is that while in this company, like they were working in a very waterfall way, and then after some time, you know, the excitement of learning all these things about testing goes away, and you start realizing other things. And I started realizing that the processes were not working very well. And at that point, I had a colleague that told me, Hey, I was working with a Jain and I saw there is a scrum master course. I want to take it, would you like to take it with me? And then, yep, I said, let's, let's give it a try. And again, the company supported me in doing this, because they gave me the time and the money that he needed to be able to take this course. And then well, a whole new world event to me, you know, because there was this, oh, I die. Let us cram. And why are we not doing this thing. So I got very excited about the topic. And I started learning and researching a lot in my own. And then we kind of try to bring this to the client, but then we couldn't really do anything, because they The thing was that they already tried to work with a child. And it wasn't successful for them that they wouldn't. They didn't want to try again. Right. So it was a bit upsetting for us. And yeah, I guess that's when I started feeling that there was no challenge for me there anymore. And but when the factory started getting knowledgeable about agile, got me into my next job, which was basically something very similar because even the industry was the same. I was working with medical devices, I also had to do manual testing. But they were working with JL so there was new, this new thing, this new, that got me excited, excited. And I moved to this new job. And what I was so excited with Dale that I even decided to take first grade in J project management. And that that was very gratifying for me, because all of the things that I was learning in my book was really I could apply in my current job. They gave me a lot of freedom to try all the crazy things that I wanted. And many of them were working because people was really willing to to improve the way in which they were working. So that was like, very nice moments that say, but again, I guess you get used to work in that way other than it's against that getting boring, right?

Tim Bourguignon 18:31
If I may interject, you just so you started adding a dryer concept and construct in your daily life. Does it change something that you are coming? When one more information just before you spoke about waterfall? So waterfall being QA is the latest of the puzzle? How did you bring agility? While being the last? To have a say in things? How did you go at it?

Aida Manna 18:55
Now the thing is that this company was already working with a giant the new company. Yeah, so that was some a lot easier for me. I was just bring in some new ideas. Okay, let's do this new thing for the retro let's do this new thing for the refinements. It was just little things. But they already were bought in the area after you Nigel.

Tim Bourguignon 19:20
Okay. Okay, I see. Because I had a similar experience, and trying to bring QA into development was very hard, because once QA was in a shouting match with the rest of the company, it was way too late. And so we had to start disrupting the rest of the company to say, Okay, let's let's not have a queue NDN. Let's, let's do more QA cycles earlier, start with this not disrupting our dev work, but let's do more cycles. And then what if those people could sit together at some point and not be to silos and see, but it was really disrupting the rest of the company. It was really hard to really Malik's people into saying yes to this. So have? Yeah,

Aida Manna 20:01
I guess one of the things that helped a lot in this company is that it was medical devices. So QA was not a thing that you do because you want to improve the quality. It was like, it was a requirement. You know, every time we were delivering something to the client, I had to actually same sign a paper saying, Hey, we've tested this, the coverages would, there are no risks, you can use it. So I really felt like a first class citizen in that company, because no one was telling me oh, we're not gonna fix it this bag, because it's not important, but important. They were like, oh, okay, tell me. What can we do?

Tim Bourguignon 20:45
I mean, it's been 1514 years for me. And I think the end of life expectancy of the device I've worked on is something like 15 to 20 years. So I'm still on on, on the responsibilities somewhere with the documents I signed for some devices, which are kind of getting older now. A few years, I'll be off the charts, that will be good, but I'm still there. I really understand what you meant really giant documents saying with creasing of requirements, from the point where all the way to where we tested it, and saying yes, we went through the whole queue in the Oh, yeah, that bring those memories. Okay, but I cut you in this session. So you were with this consultancy? And how long did you stay with this was

Aida Manna 21:31
the second command, it was a couple of years. Like To be honest, I was really happy. The only problem that I had in there it was it was far from Barcelona. So that meant that I had to take quite some time with the commuting. I think that's the only thing that was bugging me in that company. And yeah, what have happened is that another company, you know, they noticed me, and they, they were very close to my house, like 15 minutes. So I was like, nice. And I also it also, the job offer some that very interesting because they didn't have QA, they weren't like a new company. So they wanted to start this QA, they started to do QA. And also they wanted to automate. And they wanted me to do that for them. I joined them. And yeah, when I joined, I realized that everything was they want us to test almost not much. So there was a lot of work to be done in that company. So at the beginning, I put a lot of effort, I guess, in doing manual testing, because I mean, it was the thing that I knew how to do. And then I started trying to find time to automate. But it wasn't that easy. Because I mean, I didn't have previous experience. So I had to learn myself how to do it, and then try to do with whatever they were building. And the problem is that I was, yeah, I wasn't getting there. Let's say I'm not sure what I was not finding the time to be able to invest. So I just didn't realize about that, and then the developer to help with this task. And then yeah, that person started working on that full time. And I remember saying, Hey, I don't have time to be able to help with this a lot. But I would like you to take me into account because I really want to, you know, learn in this in this area. So I remember like spending a lot of time in my own learning about this, like learning about tools like Selenium, and how to code and things like that. And then the problem was that we realized that the UI was built with a tool that it was kind of a black box for the browser. So we couldn't really test with tools like Selenium. So we spent a lot of time trying to find the right tool to be able to do that. But I mean, everything was very messy and complex. So in the end, we decided to or they decided to park it, because they were also thinking about migrating the front end to a different framework or tooling. So there was no point on investing that much time on testing something that was going to be changed. So yeah, for me, it was like, I started feeling that I was stuck in just doing manual testing, because, okay, this, this company gave me the chance to be able to do that. I'm like, I'm still not able to do it. You know, and, and I guess that's when I started looking for other companies where I could do that. And yeah, I was very frustrated, because, I mean, the companies would then give me the chance because I didn't have the experience. I couldn't get experience because no one was giving me the chance. You know, so it

Tim Bourguignon 24:54
was this. Yeah, you have to break the cycle somewhere. Yeah.

Aida Manna 24:57
And I didn't know that there was some moment that was really important for me, I did an interview with a company that I don't know, it felt really close to me because the people seemed, it was a completely different kind of company to the ones that I was used to work in. It was like more like a startup by without being a startup, let's say I like people seem very happy. And it seemed, you know, everything. They were having coffee and talking amongst each other and this kind of things. And yeah, I didn't present the view. But at that moment, I felt, okay, this is a company what I want to work, you know, I need to I need to achieve this. And yeah, I remember speaking with a colleague and trying to explain them, hey, I need to, I want to get there. But I am not finding the right tools to learn. So they recommend me a course. And I really liked that course, because it was teaching me enough of each of the things that I needed to get there. So it would start maybe with Java, okay, this is all the Java you need to know, to be able to learn selenium. This is all the Selenium, you need to know. And now you can move to cucumber. So, you know, because for me, it was overwhelming. I would have started learning Java, and I would never know when to stop. Yeah. Yeah. And yeah, this code was was really good, because then I started building a GitHub project, with all the things that I was learning. So I would, I built a testing framework, and I was testing some webpage, I don't remember. And I think that was the thing that helped me to get a job on test automation. Because I have this GitHub repo that I could share with companies. And I could tell them, Okay, I don't have previous previous experience, but I have, I was able to win this without previous experience, you know. And at that moment, is when I got my dream job, you know, this is when I started working at di for this is one of the best places I've been working on in until now. Although the starting was very, very difficult for me. Because, yeah, they gave me this opportunity to automate. And they, they, I was also the QA manager. So I was given the opportunity to create the QA team and the company. All of that was very exciting. For me, it was the first QA when I joined, not the first story, but that was the only QA when I joined. It was this 20 People startup. So you can imagine, right? The biofin that the company. So what happened is that I knew how to automate. But I didn't really have working experience. And I didn't have experience with the tooling and the languages that were they were using. So at the beginning, I don't know, they told me like, do the thing. You know, it was a startup, you didn't have a lot of guidance on what you should be doing. And I was like, Well, I don't know. I don't know what to start. So it was very hard. I didn't have all the support that I needed, or maybe because people was very busy. And also maybe because I didn't even know how to ask for the support that that I knew that. Because after when I knew how to add like people was really willing to help me. So the first month, I actually spent it just trying to learn as much as much as I could, trying to learn about the tools or the framework, the languages everything. And then yeah, that was very overwhelming for me. And again, I had this problem of not knowing how much I should learn from for each thing. But I don't know, I guess after this month, it all started feeling a bit easier. Little by little, I guess I was starting to get there. And then another good thing that happened is that we decided to hire another QA. So then this new person came. And then I had like, suddenly I have a lot of support. Because I was not alone, doing the automation or whatever I needed to do. I had someone else that was supporting me that had my same struggles. So we started doing some things together. We started like with this, adding lots of tests to the automation tool, to the point that we could even do continuous deploy, which was one of the biggest achievements of the company. We started piling a lot of QA. So we actually had like, well, at some point, we weren't setting 13 QA s. So that was a lot. We we started doing UI testing, but then we move to backend testing. And then we did this whole testing we started testing with mobile devices. We built like a device lab, so I mean, wow. Yeah, it like the impact that you can have in an a startup

Tim Bourguignon 29:57
is it isn't enough It's amazing. Yeah, it's

Aida Manna 30:01
very, very rewarding. You know?

Tim Bourguignon 30:05
If you were saying so you weren't the de the first QA in this job? And I think in the on the the only QA not the first one, you correct. And in the previous one as well? Did you have some support on the size of communities and former colleagues from this consultancy, who could still ping back and forth with questions with them? Or were you really alone in your endeavor?

Aida Manna 30:32
Like my previous colleagues, they were still doing manual testing most of them, so I couldn't really ask help to them. So

Tim Bourguignon 30:42
pretty much alone. Wow. Okay. Wow. Give it imagine trying to learn, as you say, trying to understand how much Java is enough for, for what I want to do how much cucumber is enough for what I want to do, how much Gurken? Do I need to really understand before I can really start doing something if you have nobody on this journey with you? Wow, okay, that, congratulations.

Aida Manna 31:06
It was hard. At the beginning, it was third?

Tim Bourguignon 31:09
I believe so I believe so. Okay, now, having those that many QA engineers with you, at Typeform, was probably becoming a community really pinging back ideas at each other, really emulating each other saying, Hey, look at this cool thing I found out and then suddenly, you started learning at an accelerated pace. Okay. You're smiling and nodding the whole time?

Aida Manna 31:31
Yes. Yeah, we also were very, very, like we got there was a developer that was especially interested in testing. And they helped us a lot, like, whatever we needed. That was very, very, very helpful. Well, they even told me join the QA team. Yes. Yes, yes. Yes. So I was having a lot of fun a day from and I remember, there was another moment that changed everything. I guess. They did the hackathon. And yeah, I wanted to participate in that hackathon. So we did a team. And what happened is that I had this really cool, like, Cool idea of what we should be building in the hackathon. And then when we were actually building it, I couldn't really do as much as I wanted to do technically, because, like, I had a career, you know, I knew how to write code for testing, but I didn't know how to write code for production. So at that moment, I realized that I wanted to do more. Because, yeah, I guess I'd like to be self self sufficient. I like to be able to do things without depending on someone else. So because we were doing Ruby, for testing, I decided, Okay, I'm gonna learn Ruby on Rails. And that's really it. Like, the next month, I spent a lot of time just having fun with Ruby on Rails, and train to actually build this, this idea that I had for the hackathon, trying to build it for myself, just for fun. I mean, I didn't have any objective at the moment of becoming a developer, but it wanted to be able to do more, you're not. And yeah, it was really rewarding. Like I had a lot of fun for for a long time. I guess I stopped it, because then everything started to be super messy with my project. I. I didn't know about architecture. I didn't know about clean code. I didn't know about anything like that. So I was just writing code and making it work. And it was fun because it looked nice, but then I wanted to do more things and build more on top of my area. And then it was like, This is so difficult. I need to change so many things. And then I gave up with it for afraid. But I was pretty satisfied of all the things that I learned in the

Tim Bourguignon 34:02
West what's development somewhere on your mind during the I didn't count the years but during all those years doing QA jobs, or did it fade away and came back?

Aida Manna 34:16
I don't know I would have been a QA. I remember wanting to keep being a QA so okay. I guess I didn't realize yet at this moment. I enjoyed being able to do more. But I didn't think about it as something that I would like to do for a job. Not yet. I guess.

Tim Bourguignon 34:36
Okay, so how did you go from there from have you in your first graveyard or your first project in your Graveyard? You tried you learn from and then at some point said okay, I'm done with what makes next

Aida Manna 34:50
so I guess the next thing that happened was that the QA team, as I told you started to grow a lot and then I started not having time to be able to be an individual contributor because I needed to focus all my time helping my team. And then I realized that even though I really enjoyed that journey, I was not ready to completely give up the technical part. So then I decided that I wanted to go back to being a QA and an individual contributor in a team. And that's what I did. But I don't know what happened. But I after some time being in a team, this was not fulfilling enough for me, I guess, because I joined this 20 People company, where you could have for like, a great impact. And now it was like, I don't remember but maybe 300 People company, I don't I just the company changed. And I needed a different challenge. And I was really thinking, What can I do now? What is my next step? I wasn't sure. And then at that point, felt worse, contact me. This is my current company. And they offered me to join them. Yeah, I know this company. They are well known for being very good, technically. So I thought, Oh, maybe I can take my next step in this in this company. And yeah, I decided to join them. Join SolidWorks actually, as a quality analyst, I at this moment, I was actually thinking about moving to development, I started thinking about that. But yeah, I wasn't sure about that yet. So then they offered me the opportunity to perform a very technical job show up to be a QA but very focused in the technical part. And because I was already thinking about, Oh, maybe I could do development, maybe that's my next step. Because I think is that when you reach a certain point in QA, it feels like your next next step is being a QA manager. And if you don't want to be a QA manager, what what is next, you know, so I was thinking, maybe it's development, I started painting with developers. And yeah, they started developing. And then this is, I guess, when when I started actually being a developer, again, it was a bit of a struggle at the beginning, because there was so much that he needed to learn, but it was easier than the previous times, because I could spend some time in my own learning, but then they would send me a lot during the payments, and they would guide me, you know, and they wouldn't understand better how much I need to know from it thing. I could ask them for resources that could help me to be able to, you know, get to the next point. Also something that we did, because, I mean, if I was developing with them, who was doing the testing, or the QA. So I started in this space and sort of teaching them how to, you know, think about the corner cases? What are the things that we can do to have a QA mind all the time? How can we improve testing. And it was a bit of a hard process for everyone, for everyone. But I think in the end, it work out very well. They were very happy with the things that they were learning. And I was very happy that they were not the only one caring about quality. Yeah, I really enjoyed working in that way. And at that moment, I thought, okay, I could just keep on like this. That's not a problem for me. But I knew that in a different job on in a different team, my QA role would have probably been like that, I would probably have to go back to manual testing or automation or something else. So I said, Okay, this is, it is clear, in my mind, I need to make the change. And I knew that as a developer, I could still level up and I could still keep on doing testing and QA and mentoring people on how to do it properly. So I asked them for a change. And after a while I was able to do in my first demo. So developer, and that was really, really, yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 38:58
And that's where your second dev journey started.

Aida Manna 39:01
Yeah, officially. Yes.

Tim Bourguignon 39:04
I love it. I usually well, he could have started there. But we've been talking for four minutes about when it actually actually happened before that entirely.

Aida Manna 39:15
Because I feel like all those things that I've been doing before becoming a developer make the developer that I am today. So I think all those things were important in my journey. Yeah, absolutely.

Tim Bourguignon 39:25
I'd like to come back to one thing you said, well, at some point in your journey, as a QA engineer, you can only actually go toward management, the only step up is management. And is this true? Is there something and this is me talking from something I really don't know. There's something like a staff, QA engineer, somebody having a QA impact on the whole bunch of people and projects and, and really a wide area of impact and that would be similar to the staff engineer or staff level engineer in development.

Aida Manna 40:00
Yeah, I guess this is how it felt for me because I was already doing automation. So, I mean, I could do in different languages with different tools. But in the end, I felt like I would always do the same thing, if I can, you know, I don't mean development, there are. For me, there are way many things that you can learn now, back end fraud, then if you can learn about AWS. They will mean many, many things. I don't know for QA. I don't know, I felt that I was stuck doing the same thing over and over again. And yeah, it I guess this is maybe how companies think about it. But it felt like in companies, what they were asking me to be my next step was actually leaving people.

Tim Bourguignon 40:50
I'm really wondering, in in the few projects where I was where I had the architect hat. And I had the feeling or kind of the feeling that part of my role was to think in terms of QA as well and think, Okay, how does this architecture respect a quality standards and is going to be a good architecture for the for the future? But I, I'm trying to think in my mind right now, what if I had a some kind of QA architect with me, some kind of staff level, QA engineer with me, thinking on how to break this architecture? While we're building it together, like a developer and a QA engineer could work on an agile project together, raising how do we build this thing? So that it's, it has high quality, we build the right thing on the first pass, and we know it's not going to break? And what if we had this at the same time, and this would have solved the problem of feeling? Well, the only way up is management and not keeping my icy role while doing quality engineering.

Aida Manna 41:55
Because just wondering if the team is working? Well, you don't put a QA usually put a QA in a team that has some problems.

Tim Bourguignon 42:05
Different kinds of this is

Aida Manna 42:06
something that I see, yeah, this is something that I see a lot. I mean, it's not happening like this for every company or for everything, but it happens a lot. And then it's also this, this role, where you have to fix something that is wrong. And then the problem is that sometimes someone says, Okay, we need a QA to fix these quality problems. But maybe the team does not agree with that, or is not fully invested on that. So this is when you are a bit like alone, trying to solve some problems. And maybe it is only your goal to solve those problems. But I really believe that it needs to be like the goal of everyone in the team. So I guess that's also the reason why I wanted to stop being a QA. Because sometimes for me, it feels like a bit of this is gonna sound really bad. But to me, it feels sometimes a bit of a distracting this destructive job. Because you go there and tell people, Hey, you did this wrong, you did this wrong, there is this bag. So sometimes it is not a very nice thing to do. Whereas been a developer, I can, you know, look at it in a different way. I mean, I still care a lot about quality. But it is easier for me to convince people that we need to do things from the very beginning in order to improve

Tim Bourguignon 43:36
it. The the only way to make this QA job not seen as a negative and destructive job, as as you said, is to have the QA engineer involved in the specification or define space at the beginning of the work and thinking in terms of quality and saying, Hey, have you thought about this corner case? And have you thought about what will happen if we do this? And that's the only way to do QA. But in a constructive way. All others have this kind of flair of saying well, but you're disrupting something. And I totally understand that that can feel hard or not feel as constructive as it could be. That's already going getting philosophical. But it's actually the time of the show where I need to ask you for something I'm struggling with with two questions. I think I'm gonna use mix and match of news. Am I if you had to give advice to somebody who is kind of struggling with the same story that you had, having dev on your on their mind on one hand, but also loving what they do on the other hand and saying, Well, should I go there? Should I embrace this development? Or should I stick to what I have and and continue doing this? which is which is cool and still learn stuff? What would be the advice to navigate this this question that this person would have on their mind?

Aida Manna 45:09
Yeah, who want to tell me to actually make the decision is to be able to perform the job without having the official job title? So for example, when when I joined SolidWorks, as a QA, but I was playing with developer I was developing without being a developer. Yeah, not sure I could get this feeling or do I really like this? Do I feel that this could be my next job, or I don't know. I like having the knowledge. But I want to say what I am so.

Tim Bourguignon 45:41
So dip your toes into this new world, without having the title without having the pressure of feeling from now on, you have to do only this. And if it doesn't work out, if it doesn't help, works as you wanted to, you can still step back and say, Oh, I still have my career there.

Aida Manna 45:59
Yes, is yes. Also, like, I was really afraid of telling developers hey, I want to develop with you. But then when I told them, they were just like, let's, let's do it. So you will realize that most of the people is on Azure to achieve what you want to achieve. So yeah, that's probably something that you can try. And I mean, also, if now after trying, after three years of being a developer, I think if I want to go back to being a QA, that shouldn't be a problem. And I mean, it's not like I made this decision. And now I'm stuck with that forever. I can go back to in a QA that that is, there are a lot of jobs to be a QA, or

Tim Bourguignon 46:40
so. I'm sure you're getting a lot of questions on link. So

Aida Manna 46:44
give it a try. This is what I would say like, give it a try and see if you like it.

Tim Bourguignon 46:49
Awesome, then we'll leave it there. It's been fantastic. Thank you so much for telling us your story. Where would be the best place to find you online and continue with the story because I'm sure we left a lot of things aside.

Aida Manna 47:03
Yeah, so you can find me in Giotto, Pfeiffer, given a few talks in conferences, and I'm also gonna be in your craft this year. So you can also find me there.

Tim Bourguignon 47:12
Which will be right after time when this episode airs something three weeks later, so don't hesitate. Okay. Twitter was

Aida Manna 47:24
my name my mentor of nature either mana. Yeah, you can also find me that. Yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 47:28
Awesome. Thank you. Anything else you want to plug in?

Aida Manna 47:31
No, thank you very much. This was really nice.

Tim Bourguignon 47:34
Thank you. And it's been another episode of developer's journey, and we see each other next week. Bye. Bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you like the show, please share rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms to show appears on on our website, Dev journey dot info slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and of course money. Will you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Dev journey dot info slash donate. And finally don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o th e p or per email info at Dev journey dot info. Talk to you soon.