"At the beginning of my career, I was often avoiding things that brought me out of my comfort zone. It was something I worked on, but the job itself makes you more assertive. With the huge diversity of technologies and projects, you simply have to be adaptive. I don’t feel so uncertain about new things anymore and I never say ‘no’ when I’m approached with something new. Like this interview."
Tell us who you are.
My name is Polina Mihova and I am а Quality Engineer III at Scalefocus. I’ve been a part of the company for almost 6 years now and I’m working on many different projects. I’m responsible for the whole process of manual and/or automation testing.
How and why did you join Scalefocus?
I was looking for a job and a colleague from the university, who at the time worked at Scalefocus, recommended the company. I went through the interview process and got hired. The fact that it is a Bulgarian company really impressed me.
I came to Scalefocus with only internship experience, a diploma and a strong desire to learn.
Funny thing is that even though I applied for a QE position, based on my knowledge and experience (which wasn’t big) six years ago, I was first hired as a Software Engineer. I worked as one for about a year and a half. Later, there came an opportunity to begin as a QE and I took it. It turned out to be a great and positive change for me - I felt like I fit in the right place. It was the best decision for my career because my work now brings me satisfaction and joy daily.
How was the transition for you?
It was easy, overall. I was determined and enthusiastic. The colleagues from the QE and HR departments helped me a lot. They saw in me the qualities suitable for the job and my eagerness to change and learn. I got the chance and took it.
I liked being a developer too, but in my work as a QE, I find a lot of aspects that fit me better as a professional and a person.
The transition was a challenge, but a positive one. I was the only QE in my first team and it was hard, but awesome in the sense of learning and growing. The work is really dynamic and diverse, there is a lot of communication with people and even clients. This communication helps me to understand better the business logic of the work, the business processes and the essence of the client’s needs. That is crucial for better testing of the product later.
Do you like challenges?
At the beginning of my career, I was often avoiding things that brought me out of my comfort zone. It was something I worked on, but the job itself makes you more assertive. With the huge diversity of technologies and projects, you simply have to be adaptive. I don’t feel so uncertain about new things anymore and I never say ‘no’ when I’m approached with something new for me. Like this interview, for instance :)
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
An introvert, for sure, but with some extrovert qualities. In the work of the QE, it actually helps to be an introvert - to look more closely, to observe the details, to have consistency. The extrovert quality that is beneficial here is the ability to communicate with anyone.
Why do you like your team?
They are young, positive people with a jest for life and work. They are super helpful when needed and we as a team manage to make everything run smoothly. They are also really fun!
What gives you fuel in the morning?
Coffee! I wake up really early and come to the office before the others. This is my time to charge up for the day and I’m actually most productive in the first part of the day.
And what gives you fuel in your personal life?
My family, my niece, and nephew and my awesome partner. My friends, too.
I am a real homebody, actually - I love being at home, on the sofa, or cooking something delicious, just being there.
I love the cinema and going to the theatre and reading books. I also love Bulgarian folklore dance, it’s been in my heart forever and I used to dance in an ensemble.
What advice would you give to a starting QE?
Тake your time to build experience. Be adaptive. Communicate a lot. Everything is really dynamic in IT and you can never say you’ve learned it all. You should always try and learn more and listen to the people around you when they have something to say.
What is the most tricky part of being a QE?
Being a team player and always putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. The recipe is to be delicate in communicating what needs to be done and help the team you’re working with believing that if you are insisting on something it’s really important, professionally.
What would you be if you weren’t a Quality Engineer? Maybe a teacher.
People of Scale is a monthly rubric in which we show the inspiring humans behind the IT curtain at ScaleFocus.