Meerim Zhanuzakova loves to start her day with swimming, gym, and a bit of makeup. She is as colorful as her hair. And if possible, she would like to be immortal. Working as a remote, part-time QA Engineer, Meerim shares her advice, love for comics and nature, and what hard work means for her.
How did you get into Skuad? What’s your journey been like?
Jiya Mittal, a recruiter, reached out to me on Linkedin. After a few rounds of interviews, I got selected as a part-time QA Engineer. It has been 2 months now. Skuad caught my interest because of the projects is offered. I was also surprised to see other developers from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. They are really hard working. My journey started with 2 weeks of learning new technologies that were needed in the Tropica project. It was an intense start but a joyful one.
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Is this your first remote work experience?
I have been working remotely since March. In the beginning, it was difficult, but slowly and surely, I began enjoying its benefits. The best part of it is that I don't have to spend 3 hours traveling. Previously, that was more tiring than the actual work done/time spent at the office. Like, I needed an hour to unwind and relax after returning home. In the morning, I would require time to prepare myself and put on some makeup (laughs). Now, there is not a need to do that or wear fancy clothes every day. I also get to enjoy fresh home-cooked meals with my family. Overall, it feels like there are more hours in the day now. So, more time to work.
Describe the bug life cycle. What’s the process?
Occasionally, a bug can appear at a point that you cannot log it easily. But when you find it and report it, it must be put under 'To Do' status and the date on which the bug was logged in a sprint cycle.
When it goes to the developers for fixing, the status of the bug/issue changes to ‘In progress. Once the bug is fixed, it is deployed on staging. The QA team does the UAT and SIT. If we verify the issue as resolved, it goes for final deployment. If not, the bug moves back to the To-Do list/Backlog.
What do you love the most about your QA?
I work as a QA Engineer – both automation and manual. Previously, I was a developer. During that period, I could not view the project in its entirety which is why I decided to shift to QA. I really like it. I have completed some courses on design and development as well. In my opinion, backend development limits your skills. As a QA Engineer, you get to use all the skills you have learned.
Which do you like better, automation or manual?
At first, I didn't enjoy manual testing. With time I realized its importance. Some tests cannot be run by automation. Before running the basic automation test, it is important to run high-quality manual tests. I like static testing, wherein we execute tests without running the code. Initial stage testing, in my opinion, is important and saves cost.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you think you would be an Engineer one day?
Not at all! Actually, I wanted to be a comic artist. I love reading Korean and Japanese Mangas. I enjoy sketching different avatars. This year, however, I have not delved into it much. For now, I am more focused on honing my technical skills.
You recently attended a DevFest. Tell us more about it.
I was actually one of the organizers of DevFest Central Asia 2020. Interestingly, it took place virtually this year. Overall, there were 28 organizers. I didn’t know them before, so managing and working with them wasn't easy. And organizing it remotely made it more challenging. But it was a great learning experience. It made me realize the importance of good communication!
How do you decide you have tested enough, or how do you get to know that a product is fully tested?
A good question indeed! Ideally, some testing is done at the beginning. However, it keeps happening as and when the project progresses. At times, there may be a lot of to and fro. It can be tough to give a green flag on your own. Truth is, it may never be enough. We seek approval from the clients and decide at which stage the product can be accepted. And that is how we conclude whether to stop or keep testing.
What’s the one thing you want to do in life?
Oh, I really want to get a tattoo. Currently, I am not sure of the design. I also want to visit tropical countries. The first on my list will be Indonesia. In Kyrgyzstan, we have harsh winters. It gets very cold. So I wish I could shift to a different tropical country every year during that time.
What do you like about Bishkek the most?
Located in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is a very small country. It has great mountains, serene nature and great water to drink. The meat here is delicious. Since it is a small country, it is easy to reach the mountains in like an hour. It's great for hiking. There is a particular lake here that I visit every summer. I really like it, it's peaceful, and the people are respectful as well.
What’s the best advice you ever received? What advice would you like to give someone who just started their career in QA?
The best advice I ever received was – "You should not hurry to make money or a business. You should spend your time studying and learning. There is no profit to young people making business. If you are in your 20s or 30s it is better to improve your education. It’s a very stressful environment so better to start when you are more mature and learned. Building a business in your 30s or 40s is a great start."
A piece of advice I would give – "If you have questions, please ask. Every Time. No matter how stupid it may seem. Always ask. Its' okay. It is not rude. If someone says why are you asking this question, it’s stupid or obvious, then that person is not genuine. Some people may use sarcasm in talk. You should keep your point of view clearly. No sarcasm, no negativity, and more optimism. If something is going wrong, say it. Don’t keep silent. Always give your opinion. If you don't voice your opinion and something goes wrong it will have a negative effect on you. Show no disregard. Care about the work you do."
3 things you feel everyone should bring to the table in a job?
Planning, Analytics, and Implementation. Every member of the team should feel responsible for the work they have done. An "I have completed my task and I am done" attitude is not correct. Also, show no indifference and disregard to others. Every person should be comfortable with their actions.
How do you keep up-to-date with industry developments/trends? Are there specific blogs or forums you read?
I follow a few channels on Telegram, Youtube, and Twitter related to testing. For Instance, Alan Richardson. I am also a member of Test Automation University. Some of my favorite platforms include Guru99, Architect Says, Protesting, and Medium. I also refer to Robert Martin's books, ISTQB foundation, Robert Carlson, Tanenbaum books. I am reading more about tools these days. There is no GS community. In QA, the tools do not change every day as they do in frontend (Node js releases). So it is easier to keep track and hone the basics.
It's incredible to have people like you as a part of Skuad who are enthusiastic, curious, and have amazing learning attitudes.