August 23, 2019 | 11 min read
Humans of MacKeeper: Lenkof, QA Team Lead
Humans of MacKeeper is a series of interviews with our team. We talked to engineers, designers, product managers, analysts, marketers, and many others to take you backstage at MacKeeper. We believe that people are the heart of any business, and we want you to meet the heart of ours. Welcome behind-the-scenes!
Position: QA Team Lead
Random fact: Lenkof enjoys spending time in the silence of her own house in order to rest, read, and just be alone. This helps her relax to the fullest.
Let’s travel back to your first day at work. What was it like?
That was about a year and a half ago. I had friends working on the RnD project here, and I was glad to join them. My team was male-only, and luckily, all the guys gave me a very warm welcome. There was a feeling of home—in the relationships, processes—everywhere. I’ve never been so comfortable in a new team.
Did you hesitate before accepting a job offer?
When I received the offer, I had a little doubt. I had an offer from another company, and I needed to weigh all the tradeoffs.
My friends and people who knew this company provided me with some feedback—the picture I drew for myself based on it was pretty clear. The best thing about it all was that I actually liked this picture. [smiling] This helped me understand: I was drawn to Kromtech.
Your nickname is Lenkof. What does it mean for you?
At a previous company, I had the same nickname. So when the time came to choose my nickname here, I decided that nothing suits me better than the nickname that had already been with me awhile.
Let’s talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
I lead QA. We are the final barrier. There is a well-set process—from idea to planning, writing specifications, testing, designing, developing, etc. And even though we participate in each stage of this process, we put a fine point on the end result.
As a team lead, I have lots of responsibilities that include the organization of the whole process—helping the team, prioritizing tasks, putting the team together.
Our mission is to ensure a high-quality product. Our goal is to catch every bug or mistake that can be found so our users don’t stumble upon any problems. Our task is to prevent the deployment of a low-quality product. We make sure our product performs exactly the way it should.
Describe your typical day at work.
My day always starts with checking in with everything that’s happened in the hours I was away. Usually, I go through all my Jira tickets, review them, and sort them by priority, if necessary.
I also communicate a lot, both with developers and other teams within our project. Surely, my day also includes testing [lots of it!]—the process itself, verification, writing documentation, specifications, tutorials, and so on.
The decision was quite random. But I tend to believe that it was the right one.
When I was a student, I was looking for a job. I had some experience working in the field I had gotten my degree in. This experience helped me understand what I didn’t want to do. As a person with a technical education and background, I realized that I could try something new.
One day, a friend of mine came to me and gave me a leaflet, saying, “Look, here’s a good job opportunity. You should go and see what they can offer.” Several companies organize training centers for students. First off, I thought QA would be boring and monotonous. But I needed a job, so I decided to give it a try. Soon I realized that QA is quite cool—interesting, not monotonous, and there’s always something to dive into. So, yes, the decision to become a QA was a total accident, but it was a rather lucky one.
What are your most and least favorite tasks?
Probably regression would be my least favorite of all QA tasks. For those who don’t know, regression involves a check of all assets—for the hundredth time in a row. [smiling] This step needs to be performed to make extra sure that everything still works as expected. The documentation is already written. All that’s left to do is the repetitive clicking, which is quite boring.
Speaking of my most favorite tasks, all testing activities can be included here, especially those that are in a stage of raw development when everything is being discussed with QAs, developers, and project managers. Everyone offers, does, and implements something. This process is always very lively and active. You become aware of all the nuances of a project at this very early stage. It’s exciting.
In terms of my position as a team lead, it’s difficult to focus on a single most or least favorite task. I love all the responsibilities that my role includes—organization of work, communication with teams, ability to influence processes, and pushing things forward. Plus, creating something new is always fun.
What helps you keep up with trends in your niche?
Probably, the most helpful thing is not even reading industry resources but communicating with people who work in your field, both inside and outside the company. Over the years, I have established a wide circle of contacts in my area. When I see them testing out new techniques, it helps me learn more than reading usually does.
Name a few character traits or skills that are necessary for your job.
Attention to detail. Ability to stand up for a product. Concentration.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
Mind reading. Sometimes it’s difficult to be on the same page with everyone, and time is lost finding a common language or understanding each other’s thoughts.
Describe your job in three words.
Home. Evening. Communication.
Is there something about your job you feel proud of?
I do feel proud of my work, even though there’s nothing specific to highlight.
I have always taken everything related to the product I work on very seriously. My attitude is like this. I don’t understand how it could be different. Therefore, everything good that’s associated with the product makes me proud.
On days when you lack motivation for work, what helps you to pull yourself up and do it?
There are days when you don’t want or can’t start doing something serious. Whenever such days come along, I switch my focus from complex and serious tasks to simpler or way more pleasant ones. This is the way I have a little “recovery time.”
What is your personal anti-stress recipe? How do you recharge after a busy week at work?
There is no universal recipe. It all depends on the time of year.
To unwind and restore, I need some time with friends for a pleasant talk in the evening or a small party in a noisy place. But, in order to fully disconnect from work, I need at least a few hours a day to spend in the silence of my own house: to rest, read, and just be alone. Without this half-day-long moment of silence, it’s difficult to relax to the fullest.
Describe your dream job.
I’m not going to name any particular company, but in terms of direction, it’s something that affects most people. Something that we use quite often.
Most likely, it would be a mobile application, because this direction is now the most popular. Music applications or some kind of health or fitness app would be quite interesting to work on. So, my dream job would be working on something popular—something that affects people.
Now imagine you’ve got the job offer of your dreams. It’s too good to reject, so you’re leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and your team before you head out?
First of all, I would like to say ‘thank you.’ Many people do so, and the reasons are clear.
Thanks to everyone I’ve worked with, because it was always pleasant talking with everyone. It’s valuable—when people find a common language easily, when they’re on the same page.
Therefore, thank you. Remember to love what you do. Stand up for the product. Respect your team. Dare to keep moving forward. And, of course, never stop.