What can you expect during your first couple of months working as a test consultant at spriteCloud? It’s to answer this question that we met with Juan Torre, who joined our team in March 2022. He decided to move from Mexico to Spain to start working at spriteCloud and quickly embarked on his first project. That project turned out to be a challenging one as it involved building a test process from scratch for an international company.
We were curious to know how he experienced all these changes and his first six months with us and sat down with him for a chat. Let’s get started with a little intro to Juan’s background.
Discovering QA as a career opportunity
Hi Juan, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Could you please introduce yourself?
Yeah, sure. Well, as you know, my name is Juan. I’m from Mexico and I studied software engineering. I started my career as a QA engineer and have been involved in this area, during all of my professional journey. I have worked on several projects for manual quality assurance and automation QA.
Was it always clear you wanted to work in quality assurance?
Not necessarily, I was in love with all the software development cycle: designing, programming, testing, everything involving that. I finished my studies and I was trying to find my first job. As you know, the first one is always hard. Companies ask for several years of experience.
I had the opportunity to start in a company with zero experience and that was to work in the QA team. That’s where I discovered that I really like working in QA because you have a broad view of the project. It’s not only a technical view, you also need to consider the customer or non-technical people. I like being involved in all phases of the software cycle because QA is not limited to testing.
Moving abroad to start a new journey at spriteCloud
Thank you for introducing yourself Juan, now let’s dive into your role. You started working at spriteCloud about six months ago, as a senior QA engineer, can you tell us a bit about your responsibilities?
In my role as senior QA engineer here, I have broad responsibilities. Be it manual or automation testing or also putting quality assurance processes in place and on a higher level to help with the strategy of a project. I don’t get bored!
You moved from Mexico to Spain to join our team. What convinced you to embark on this international journey and join spriteCloud?
I was contacted by spriteCloud on LinkedIn and I didn’t think twice when I saw the type of company it was. A testing consultancy where you work with many other testers and also get the chance to work in cybersecurity and performance testing. Sign me up, I thought. I wanted to work there and learn about these new topics.
You’re right, that’s pretty awesome! And was that the first time you lived and worked in another country?
Yes, it was the first time I moved outside of Mexico. I have been moving around Mexico, but this was the first time I got the opportunity to work in a different country. Or even in a different kind of working culture. Before spriteCloud, I had only worked for US companies.
Since you’re mentioning culture, you only moved recently, but did you already notice cultural differences between Mexico and Spain?
That’s a good question! I find people in Spain very direct, in particular when it comes to asking for a favour. I believe it’s common for Mexicans, or people from Latin America in general, to feel like Europeans are very straightforward or even a bit rude at the beginning, but that’s not because they are not respectful. I think being honest and direct is something really positive.
In Mexico, I think we feel embarrassed to ask a favour just like that, before doing some chit-chat with the other person. That can be seen in our ways, sometimes we don’t go straight to the point.
Building a test process from scratch for multiple countries
Thanks for giving us some insight into your background and your decision to move abroad for work. Now let’s chat about your first months at spriteCloud. Can you tell us about your first project?
Of course, my first project is a really big one. We are helping our client, who’s in the veterinary care sector, to build a general test suite for their HR processes. It’s a company that is active in many different countries.
That means that as a second step we have to create more specific test cases for every country. HR is a whole world and every country is totally different. Each country has specific rules when it comes to employment and some have more than others, like Spain.
We are doing everything from zero and that’s very exciting. We are creating test cases, a big test suite and different scenarios for every country. And at some point the idea is to have a solid test suite, then we are planning to move into automation which will allow us to cover more parts. At this point, we’ll be able to shift our focus and help the company improve quality in general.
That’s important because we are not only helping them with testing but also improving the overall quality by introducing a better project management tool. We started to use Jira as a test tracking tool, but we are also trying to use it as a project management tool. In that way, we can help them organize their project better.
This sounds like an ambitious project, what have you found challenging so far?
As I told you, this software is for different countries. We are setting up something that will be used by many different people in many different locations. Every person has their idea of the project. The challenge is to make them see the bigger picture and consider the project as a whole. This requires to have good communication with all involved parties.
Especially because we need to train the people who will be the experts of the system in different countries. We are training them on how to do testing, how to report issues and how to create test cases, for example. The idea is that we teach them how to do it so that, if at some point we are not part of this project, they can continue working on this.
Connecting with colleagues
This large-scale first project requires building a test suite from scratch which is an ambitious goal. Can you count on the help of other testers?
The company didn’t have any testers working there, so Sophie, who works as a Test Automation Engineer at spriteCloud was the first tester on the project!
She helped me have a smooth start on the project. When I joined the team she already knew how things were going and understood the processes. Plus we have good communication and collaboration. We have the confidence to ask things, share ideas and give honest feedback.
Generally speaking, I find that having good communication is really important. Communicating clearly and honestly will ensure that things move forward. I believe that that’s also part of “quality”. You can have quality on your team by having nice teammates and working well together.
That’s for sure! At spriteCloud, we have a team working from the Netherlands, one from Spain and some colleagues working fully remotely, like Sophie who works from Mexico. How did you find it to connect with your colleagues when being in different locations?
In the beginning, it was a little bit difficult because everything was so new for me: a new job, a new team, a new continent and country. Plus I had to get used to all these new things while working remotely, but I started reaching out to my colleagues and asking them for different things as I was settling in. I found out that everyone was really eager to help – as if we had met in person before. So I really feel like, spriteCloud has this idea of a family. Everyone is looking to help others, sharing ideas, proposing to do new things and also trying to learn from each other. That really helped and made it easier for me.
Continuous learning and future career plans
It’s lovely to hear that your colleagues made it easier to settle in. Now let’s get into your future plans, can you tell us about a skill or area of testing that you would like to learn more about?
That’s an easy one because I have already started doing that. I’m currently working with Prashant, who is a performance engineer here at spriteCloud. He created a performance testing training and the idea is that in about a month I’ll know the basics. Then I can start helping him with some projects and take over some easier tasks to start with. In the future, I can be more involved and start doing more challenging things. It’s a great opportunity because I can put what I learn about performance testing into practice and learn by doing (which is my preferred way of learning).
That’s also one thing I really like at spriteCloud. Because it is a testing consultancy, you get the opportunity to learn and work in different areas of testing. This is not usually the case when you work for one company only. Even though I have almost 11 years of experience now, I don’t feel like I know it all and I want to learn more. So working at a company that allows me to learn on the job is a unique opportunity.
Talking about skills you want to learn, where do you see your career going in the future?
I want to keep learning different testing approaches and stay up to date with the latest developments – because things change quickly in testing. I’m also curious about a topic we discussed during one of our spriteTalks: how we can use testing to make software more efficient and therefore reduce its environmental impact. The same goes for AI and testing. I’m curious about topics that are focussed on the future of QA.
And when it comes to my future role, I don’t see myself as a manager, actually. I like to keep my hands dirty (laughs). That being said, I do see myself leading projects. Having a hybrid role that would allow me to be a lead and also teach what I’ve learned from my experience. It would be nice to spread the knowledge and start teaching others.
Tips for people who are thinking about joining spriteCloud
We have one last question for you: what would be your advice to a person who’s thinking about joining spriteCloud?
If you really like to work in testing, if you feel like it is something for you and you are not doing it just because it is your work, but because it’s something you are passionate about, then spriteCloud will be a company that is really good for you.
If you are eager to learn and share knowledge I think spriteCloud is also for you. Or if you want to work in a multicultural team, you are also in the right company. That’s something I really like about this company and the software development industry in general. You can learn from people coming from all parts of the world.
We couldn’t have summed it up better! Thank you for participating in this interview Juan.
Curious to know more about working at spriteCloud? We also spoke to our colleague Facundo about his first project and how his first couple of months with us went. If you want to learn more about what working at spriteCloud is like, follow our #lifeatspritecloud tag on LinkedIn.