Hello Elena Isac, Quality Analyst at Time by Ping

As a Quality Analyst, Elena started with Time by Ping as an intern, and grew into a full-time role with us. She has seen the company go from broken products to high reliability, building a lot of the process and infrastructure that underpins our quality. A lifelong learner, Elena is committed to continuous progress. We sat down with her to discuss her motivations, and what the testing program is like at TBP.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What do you think your superpower is?

I can be calm and stoic regardless of the situation. I worked with different luxury product buying teams and I learned from them that even if you like something you don’t show it on your face because that will affect your sale, so I’ve been trained not to show any kind of facial expressions, just control the temper. I’ve been developing this skill throughout the years and it’s helped me with everything, including my work. Of course, not in all the situations. I cannot stay calm when I see a snake.

Tell me about your journey up to this point in your career as Quality Engineer at TBP.

My very first full time job was in this country, state and county about 10 years ago. I was managing the design and development of different fashionable products and went to school at the same time. In 2017, I felt the need to redirect my career path towards the IT industry, so I completed an engineering bootcamp. Immediately after I landed at TBP and her I felt like I made the right choice.

You started off as a QA intern, and became full time earlier this year. What was it like going through the internship program, and what was your journey like before you got there?
"I felt like a lucky foster kid that was finally adopted by a loving family. When I was interning, they all seemed to understand and support me and that was what I really needed."

Then they decided to offer me a full time job. It came as a surprise because when I was first interviewing they said they weren’t looking to expand. It was such a relief and the on-boarding process went smoothly.

You’re very education-driven. Why is that, and what are your motivations?
""I just like to be constantly learning. I also like staying busy. I feel better when I’m learning with others, when I’m part of a community. It makes me feel like I have a purpose.

Back home I did what was required to succeed at that time, to have one — two college degrees. Once I moved here, even though I had two degrees, the nostrification (validation of international education) showed that I’m missing credits. To get the credits I went to Lanney College where I took all the courses that were transferable to UC Berkeley, including design and program analytics courses.

By 2017 I had all the credits needed enroll in aMaster’s program. Then I thought, do I go for it? Do I want to be a businesswoman? I love the Bay Area so if I wanted to stay here I knew I had to be in IT somehow and not business. Instead of transferring to Berkeley, I decided to go to the bootcamp to study Software Development Lifecycle.

I just like to be constantly learning. I also like staying busy. I feel better when I’m learning with others, when I’m part of a community. It makes me feel like I have a purpose.

How did you know TBP was the right place for you?

I like to be mindful of my time and others and value people that do the same. I was looking for a delicate balance between stability and freedom. These are in TBP’s culture and it felt right.

Tell me about your work with automated testing and QA at TBP?

TBP is innovating and changing so quickly that we need to test to make sure that everything is working properly. I’m responsible for manually testing any function the end user sees, the UI interface.

My goal is to be able to write automated tests by the end of the year. Even if I run the automated tests that are written by David and Astrid, I still have to do a manual check.

What work are you the most proud of at TBP, and why?

Again, delivering a defect free product, on time. This is the goal for the entire company. I’m basically the last voice from the engineering team that tells the Product team , “This is the installer, it’s good to go.” You pass on the baton to someone else, and that’s great.

I’m also proud of our certification process which often is a rollercoaster. When we get a new firm, it needs to go through certification, and pass a set of tests that guarantees the app is tracking everything that we promised the customer.

You joined the company while everyone is working remotely. How have you seen the overall work culture at TBP shine, even from behind a screen?

I’m an introvert so I feel like it works perfectly for me. You can just listen, observe, and only talk when you feel comfortable. We have all these events that engage everyone and it still feels like they are all there with you. TBPis doing a great job at keeping everyone entertained. We had different cooking classes with a professional chef, comedy shows, and a history event about women in the beer industry.

What is an exciting company challenge you are looking forward to tackling in 2021?

For me, it will be to come up with a plan to prevent future reported customer issues through automated testing.

Is there anything else that you want to add?
"TBP promotes the culture of respect, for each other and our time."

TBP promotes the culture of respect, for each other and our time. We are moving so fast and we deal with the ups and downs with passion. I think we hone in on what’s really important and allow our customers to do the same through our product.

Thanks for the time, Elena.

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