Engineering and Product

Summer Ren, QA Practice lead @ Plexure

The person in the family that everyone went to when their computer broke, Summer Ren, QA Practice Lead at Plexure was destined to end up in tech.

We caught up with Summer to learn more about her career journey into tech, what a day-in-the-life of someone working in QA looks like, as well as some of the common misconceptions. Thanks for sharing your story, Summer.

“I was the guy in the family everyone went to when their computer broke.”

How would you explain to five year old what it is you do?

I’m an engineer responsible for finding defects or bugs in software.

And for the adults, what does that translate to in regards to your day-to-day?

  • I usually check my email in the early morning, if no urgent task has been leftover yesterday.
  • There usually are 2-3 meetings per day after our daily standup meetings with different people to discuss testing related work.
  • Most of the time, I have support tickets or performance testing I have to work on.
  • This always take me really long time and I will raise ticket to the domain team after investigation (this week has four performance testing sessions on the list )
  • Catch up with people who have issues or questions.

That seems like almost my day

What are some of the common misconceptions about working in QA?

  • QA is the person who only uses a mouse or finger to click buttons on the webpage.
  • QA is the person who racks his brain to crash the app

Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?

  • Yes, most of my life I would relate to computers and technology, it fascinated me. I was the person in the family everyone went to when their computer broke.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Tell us a little bit more about your career journey and ultimately about how you ended up working at Plexure?

My career journey is not that complex. I worked in a big company after I graduated from university. I joined as a developer initially and moved to QA since my manager was seeking someone who could be SDET about 14 years ago.

I then worked in the MS Cosmos team, I learned lots of QA skills during that time and I still remember I have been asked to update a test plan more than eleven times. After my family moved to NZ, Plexure was my first perm job. I enjoy working here.

What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

What are the core skills required to be good in your role?

  • Firstly, I will say self-learning. This goes for all IT-related work, since the tech is being updated every day.
  • Second, be customer-focused. Customer impact issues can lead to a big failure.
  • Third, self and relationship management. We have to work close to the developers and team.

Lastly, as Plexure continues to grow and evolve, what are the key traits and characteristics of people that will be well placed to work there?

Plexurers are all friendly and magnanimous. I appreciate working and learning with these people.

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