“Continuous education” isn’t just an empty concept.
At WaySeven Technologies, we do our best to make education a priority. Whether this is through encouraging our employees to seek out events that help them broaden their minds or sticking to a more flexible schedule that lets our interns put their academic lives first, it’s definitely a part of our culture to put emphasis on gaining new skills and ideas.
A few years ago, our fantastic senior QA had the idea of offering a course on quality assurance. At the time, most software testers in the Banja Luka area had a limited number of learning opportunities, especially when it came to QA automation.
Thus, QA Alpha was born.
With classes of up to 8 students, a total length of a couple of months and a comprehensive syllabus that covered everything from an introduction into the world of IT to a practical task in automation, the course was an immediate success – and not just for the people attending.
It was this course that brought us one of our current QAs, Nikolina Nikolić.
Nikolina is an alumnus of the Faculty of Mathematics, with a major in technical informatics. WaySeven wasn’t her first experience – at the time she learned about the QA Alpha course, she was already employed at an SME.
“It was a different experience for me, for sure. The company I used to work for was about the same size, but the structure was more hierarchical. Working at WaySeven now, I’m still sometimes surprised at how the team dynamics work.”
Although QA wasn’t her first choice of career, Nikolina is happy with where she ended up. Originally studying for a more programming-oriented job, she gradually slipped into a testing role and decided to build on that.
“I was working as a manual QA tester, and now I’ve begun with my automation journey. I love the feeling of being a part of the solution; as a manual tester, all I could do was find the bugs. Now that my knowledge and experience are expanding, I get to also offer solutions or even warn about future potential issues.”
Hard work and a will to improve work wonders.
The course helped Nikolina set a good basis for her development. If she could go back and try to change things, she would still set out on the same road.
“A solid working knowledge of the IT world, especially technical skills and understanding of programming languages and how they work, are a definite boost to a career in QA. I’m not saying people with no technical background can’t be QAs – it's just much easier to grasp the ideas you need to advance at a steady pace without feeling like you’re missing a key piece of information.”
Nikolina has been with the company for a year now. She prefers to work from the office, but she still appreciates the option of working remotely.
“I joined the company at a time when everybody was already used to working hybrid, so I can’t really comment on how things were before. At my last company, remote work wasn’t an option, but back then I wasn’t really expecting it to be either.”
Socially and culturally speaking, Nikolina is happy to spend more time around people than apart from them. She works with a pretty large team, and she loves being able to learn from others.
“I’m working with Java and Selenium now. I have some previous knowledge of both of these, but the practical experience is still a completely new concept. Our meetings are a chance to see what can be done and what I can improve on, especially since the others are more experienced than me.”
The only bug Nikolina likes is the TRAVEL bug!
Something else that brought Nikolina closer to her colleagues and teammates is a shared love of watching football games (soccer for our cross-Atlantic friends). Some key games are organized as company happy-hour meet-ups, and Nikolina loves to join.
“I’ve always loved watching games! I used to train when I was younger, but now I prefer to treat my late twenties as retirement. I watch others run, and I dedicate my free time to relaxation and travel.”
Despite her advanced years (please note the sarcasm), Nikolina still has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for her work. She’s taken an unconventional road to becoming a QA, and she’s giving it her all.
“I should thank our senior QA for inviting me to come work at WaySeven. He recognized my potential during a course where I was a student just like any other, and he gave me the tools to work with that opportunity. Honestly – I can’t imagine a better life for me.”