João Bogalho joined us as a QA Manager late last year. So far, he’s been doing a great job in making sure our app follows all relevant and applicable quality guidelines and standards. Our team had some questions for him, and today we’re sharing what João had to say.
1. As a University teacher, you’re probably used to a more structured approach to managing teams. How have you adapted to the startup way of doing things?
Being a University Teacher and Post-Graduation Coordinator is a brand new challenge in my life. Still, I must admit this is something I’ve had a hidden desire for for a long time. The opportunity came up at the end of the current school year, and yes, it’s a great challenge – I’m loving it.
Nevertheless, as a Human Resources professional and strategic consultant for over 20 years, I’ve had a significant number of experiences within the IT space, ranging from working with companies with more than 1000 workers to less than 20. Therefore, I believed I had some significant experience in this type of environment. What is really different at Advertio is the level of autonomy and responsibility given to any team member and the fast pace and moving targets that come with this area of work.
We are challenged every day to be better, overcome ourselves, and contribute actively to the success of our products and services and the company itself.
I believe that I’m adapting pretty well, and am honestly loving the challenge. We should always be looking for ways to raise the bar seeing as we are growing pretty quickly, reaching new areas, markets and places every week. This, now more than ever, means that we will need to strengthen our quality, standards and ways of doing things.
We are playing at a high worldwide level. We are working on steady and robust quality control procedures to guarantee autonomy, responsibility, creativity, continuous improvement and excellence. And yes, I believe I can contribute to that.
2. What made you decide to accept this job?
This challenge was put to me in a very particular combination of variables - both professionally and personally. Some clinchers were:
3. What are the three most important things to consider when doing QA?
Quality is an attitude that should be followed in everything we do. This is probably the biggest challenge in doing QA. More so, when dealing with such a fast-paced, interactive and challenging business. I’d point out the following four dimensions:
4. Are you enjoying working at Advertio?
This has been one of the best professional experiences I have had so far. I am learning tremendously in many different areas and constantly surprised and astonished by our team's quality. This is proving to be such an enriching experience that I will have Advertio professionals presenting cases in my classes, namely on People Management related themes.
I am loving the experience and doing my best to keep deserving being here.
5. What are the biggest challenges compared to previous experiences you had?
I’d say that the biggest challenges are simultaneously the best experiences. Nevertheless, I have some challenges, of course - and that’s great.
I have had to deep-dive into some different practices and “new” management and interactive tools. This has been very important for my work and experience in Advertio and also outside of the company
A challenge I thought I would probably have, and (curiously) no one asked me about, is the age gap. By far, I am the oldest team member, working with many great professionals that are as old as my son and daughter. I anticipated some discomfort from other people, as I am so used to it, but that has never been an issue, which is really great.
6. Doing QA requires a keen eye for detail. Do you have any advice about how to improve in this matter?
I would say that it helps a lot to have a keen eye. That’s true. However, my biggest advice would be on a different scale. I’d suggest focusing on the purpose and our work’s end-user, which is also valid for everything we do.
Just as in most of what we do in life, in work, we are supplying inputs for the next person. In our personal lives, for example, our actions, even the most insignificant, impact others.
Our work outputs will either be inputs for the next team member to work upon or a product or service someone will consume, use or benefit from.
When we focus on what others will receive from our actions and work, we dramatically improve the quality of what we do. This focus shows we’ll be caring primarily about the end result and how it will be used by others, instead of focusing solely on what and how we do it. So, my advice would be to focus on the what and why, and then do your best on the how and when.
7. Regarding Project Management, do you follow/have a favourite specific methodology? What do you think of the Agile/Scrum approach?
As in many different dimensions, I firmly believe that methodologies and procedures should be chosen according to their purpose. First, we decide where to go; second, how to get there. Therefore, in my opinion, there is no such thing as “best methodology”. According to the what and when, decide the how, and then potentiate it to the maximum.
8. On a scale of zero to ten, and with no sugar-coating, how would you rate our app in its current state?
This is a tricky question. Our app can learn and improve continuously based on our clients’ experiences and results - how they use it, and the results they achieve. We work on this a great deal. It is also a cross-industry, -market and -geography application. Therefore, it has to be as detailed and, at the same time, as agnostic as possible. This is a tremendous challenge.
Every day we optimise the algorithm and the UX/ UI to keep up with the world we live in, factoring in the individuality of the thousands of users, teams and campaigns we have.
We do not have a “current state”.
We have a permanent state of continuous improvement. Therefore, yes, of course, we have things to fix, improve, abandon, and implement. Adding to that, we are extremely demanding with the quality of what we do and how we do it. All this is empowered by what we envision and plan to become and where we want to be. According to the current state-of-the-art standards and market practices, our app would rate at a solid 8. According to where we will be in the near future, we would rank a 6, and a good 9 on how we are doing it.
That said, the funny thing is that in one year when we compare our app to what we have today, we will rate it no more than a shy 3. And that’s precisely how it should be.
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