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Team Snapshot: How Technology Empowers Our Creativity

By EyeEm Team - 4 min read

For this Team Snapshot, we caught up with Quality Assurance Engineer, Joana Barradas to find out the key role technology plays ensuring we are providing the best user experience possible.

One of EyeEm’s founding principles is that technology and creativity work hand in hand. This belief system is something that the entire EyeEm team is passionate about; none so more so than Our Quality Assurance Engineer, Joana Barradas.

A fundamental part of the team, Joana works closely with our design, development and support teams daily to ensure that EyeEm is providing the best user experience possible for our millions of users.

Quality Assurance Engineer Joana Tells Us How to Find The Motivation To Try (And Try Again)

What drew you to EyeEm?

I had already been using EyeEm for quite some time, and loved the product. Photography has been one of my biggest passions and hobbies since I was young. Last year, after deciding to move to Berlin, I was sure that I wanted to work here. During my first interview I was very clear, even if I wouldn’t get the job right away, I would eventually come back and join the team! Luckily, I got the job on the first try!

The nature of testing can often mean, if you don’t succeed, you have to keep trying. What motivates you to overcome challenges and keep going?

The best motivation that you can have is to really love and care deeply about the product. When you like the product it’s easier to motivate yourself to keep working on things and try to improve.

How does technology help you in your day to day working? Has this changed now that you’re working from home?

It’s very helpful to have good project management tools, which means the entire team is always on the same page and it makes collaborating a lot easier— which is even more important now that we’re working remotely. A good project management tool is really important. As a QA engineer, it’s really helpful to know what’s already developed or currently being worked on.

How has your role allowed you to develop your skills?

It has allowed me to develop my soft skills, such as improving my communication skills, and finding the confidence to stand up for my ideas. I’m currently in the process of transitioning to more front-end development work, and it’s very clear that these skills will be just as crucial in that role.

What motivates you most to develop your skills and learn more both inside of work and outside?

I’m driven by overcoming challenges, and I’m always looking to learn new things that enhance my understanding of people and technology, and how they interact. This is why I find topics such as artificial intelligence and neuroscience so fascinating. While it’s not easy, I find a lot of satisfaction in leaving my comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens.

What do you think are the skills required for this role that most people wouldn’t expect or predict?

Even though you don’t need to be an excellent programmer, it’s something that really helps with this kind of job. I also found that empathising with the user is critical. The combination of these two skills can be really powerful.

As EyeEm is a creatively orientated company, how do you think your role contributes to our users’ creativity?

If the whole software application is being delivered to our user with a lot of bugs, they will not be able to use it for their creativity. I was already a user myself and so I might understand more about users’ preferences. The best way to improve user experience is to be a user by yourself.

You usually work in the studio in Berlin. How does Berlin compare with Lisbon where you previously worked?

I think Berlin is one of the best cities for working in a tech startup in Europe. Compared to Lisbon, the startup scene is much more mature, there’s much more diversity in the types of companies you can work for, it’s easier to find roles where you work with a modern tech stack, and the work environment is much more relaxed and informal than what you’ll typically find in Lisbon.

During your career in QA Engineering to date—what has surprised you most?

Many people have an idea of QA engineers as someone who’s only role is to click around a nearly finished product in an attempt to find bugs. The reality is very different. You can write tests to automate much of the manual work, freeing up time to work on the things that actually matter. To succeed as a QA engineer, you need a really good overview over everything that goes into a project—from product spec and business scenarios, to the entire design and development process.

While you don’t need to be an excellent programmer, having at least some development skills is quite helpful. On the other hand, an ability to empathize with the end user is crucial as well.

Would you have any advice to anyone who’s looking to start a career in QA or a similar role?

If you can find a company that really sparks your joy, it makes a real difference because you find your motivation. Nothing is perfect, but your motivation and the fact that you like and believe in the product will always keep you going. So my biggest piece of advice would be to find a company that really makes you feel something.

*Are you a talented Quality Assurance Engineer? We’re on the hunt for a talented candidate to help drive progress in 2020 and beyond! Click HERE to apply!

Want to know more about being part of the team here at EyeEm? We recently caught up with our Tech Lead Eric about ‘why learning new skills is essential for creativity.’