Questers has been my employer twice in my professional development

Peter Sabev, QA Manager

MIRACL team @ Questers

How do you like about working at Questers?

The short answer to that question would be "Come to my office, let's have an orange juice and a quick table football game, and I'll tell you in the meantime..." I really like the good work-life balance here at Questers. In my team (MIRACL) there are flexible working hours, informal atmosphere, and very challenging tasks at the same time. Risking to disappoint people who like it easy – working here is not the usual clickety-click stuff: my team has a lot of complicated testing activities involving heavy research and design work, programming, automation, cryptography, mathematics, maintaining test environment both on complicated network infrastructure and on multiple platforms, and again both desktop and mobile. At times, my desk looks like Technopolis – full of different mobile devices and computers. My team and I also have to do performance and scalability tests that need to endure thousands of simultaneous end user connections, and all of these activities should be consistent with our Scrum process and our Continuous Integration tools. But the best part is that when you feel stuck somewhere, there are always highly skilled colleagues around. And this is what makes Questers different – we are like 10 different companies in one space, so there is always an option to "grab" a colleague for a beer after work and discuss technical (and nontechnical) problems.

How do Questers keep you motivated and engaged?

Well, to answer this question one should ask themselves: What makes me happy in a job? To me there are several things – money, location, work-life balance, possibility to make a difference, to apply your skills and learn new things every day, to progress in your career... So, let's start with the money – I keep my ear to the ground at the labour market and I believe Questers are among the top-paying employers in Bulgaria. End of story. Location? It's next to Bulgaria Mall and just a ten-minute walk from home, with well-connected transportation to the Sofia center. And there is a free bicycle parking, so to me, it's all I need. Work-life balance? I already told you about it. Possibility to make a difference? Needless to say, a hefty paycheck is an important thing. However, what is, even more, important is to have a chance to have your ideas heard and actually implemented, to take ownership, to have freedom and goals that matter.  Most of Questers' clients are UK-based, and I would say this makes another difference – UK people may seem conservative at first but as soon as your ideas contribute to the better process, time or budget savings, they are all ears. For instance, I am currently working for people who have worked for companies like Google, Skype, Mozilla, Intel and Qualcomm. Those people are not random, and if working with such people can't make a difference, what can? My team and I are constantly learning something new every day – let me just tell you the list of programming languages in our company: Python, Go, Java (both for back-end and Android), C, C++,NET for Windows Phone, ObjectiveC, HTML, JavaScript, Ruby... this list suggests a lot of learning, and the situation is similar with the IDEs, operating systems and the tools we use.

How do you think Questers has supported your career?

Career progress is also on the list of things that makes me happy in a job, I was going to tell about this anyway. First of all, Questers has been my employer twice in my professional development. Who would turn back to their previous employer if they didn't feel happy working for them? Not me, definitely. The first time I was in Questers I created a local team from scratch for one of the biggest UK real estate companies called Digital Property Group, a digital media business that owns and operates some of the UK's most widely recognised and trusted online brands including FindAProperty.com and PrimeLocation.com. My and Questers' paths have crossed again in 2014, and I became a QA Manager for MIRACL (former Certivox), an innovative startup that delivers authentication and encryption solutions to some of the world's most security conscious organizations. Those solutions provide agile two-factor authentication for enterprises in the cloud, eliminate password usage, and can be integrated with any application, website, or even IoT device. Again, I had to build a small QA team for MIRACL, transferring the entire business knowledge and testing activities from contractors in Hyderabad, India to in-house QA team in Sofia, Bulgaria. A year later, I am also leading a QA automation team in Riga, Latvia. But that's not all - Questers and MIRACL not just allow, but even support me in some side activities like my Ph.D. dissertation dedicated to software test automation and Questers even sponsored a QA related conference called QA: Challenge Accepted which I am part of. In short, opportunities are endless, if one has the balls to chase high goals and follow them.

What are your favourite parts of your job?

When I walk out of the office building and I know I did a great job that day. Also, when I see my junior colleagues happy that they have been given an opportunity and did their best, learning something in the way. Few things can be more satisfying than that sparkle in the eyes of my colleagues.

What would you like to do in the future? What are you future aspirations?

I am not allowed to tell much about this right now, but we are working hard on something really BIG. Stay tuned in the next few months and probably you'll learn more about it. As an addition to my day-to-day activities, I am trying to write my Ph.D. dissertation (two more pages and I will have reached page 2!), as well as to build a QA community in Bulgaria. I contribute to a Facebook group called Software Quality Assurance Bulgaria, I am part of a QA-related conference called QA: Challenge Accepted that will be held for the second time in 2016, and who knows, maybe I'll write a QA-related book one day. As I said already, opportunities are endless...