I’ve worked at Nominet in Quality Assurance for exactly four years. I joined as QA Lead and have now become QA Manager. My work basically involves developing and directing the quality assurance procedure to make sure we meet standards, both external and internal, before providing a product or service to a customer. People often think it’s just about software testing, but it’s actually wider than that. Yes, we do UAT (user acceptance testing), functional testing and non-functional test but we also do documentation reviews. My role involves reviewing each project, deciding what QA activities are needed, scheduling the activities within a certain timescale and, of course, creating lots of documents, spreadsheets and plans for everyone to follow.
I work with different colleagues from different business units across the whole company, which I really enjoy. Each piece of work starts as a conversation with project managers to understand what they need doing and then provide them with an estimate on how long it will take us to deliver the QA for it. Then there are more technical conversations that follows with specialist technical teams involved in the project. This means there’s a lot of communication and teamwork, but also space to work independently and drive my own agenda. I love that about this role, plus I enjoy being trusted to make decisions and am seen as the expert. Having the freedom to manage my time and team, but also able to work closely with others, is a satisfying mix.
Growing up, I knew I wanted a job in electronics and IT but planned to focus on the managerial side of things. I was always a leader and an organiser, even as a child. I studied at the Krakow University for Science and Technology and gained a Masters in Business Management and Industrial Marketing. In my final year, there was an opportunity to study in Scotland for an additional degree in European Economy and Management, which I took up because it sounded interesting – plus I saw a chance to improve my English speaking and writing skills.
I never intended to work in QA – embarking on this career was pure chance. After finishing my studies, I moved to Dublin because my brother was there and started applying for any job I could find. It was luck that I secured a QA role. I had an interview and suddenly there was a job offer that sounded reasonably interesting so I thought, why not? I have no regrets at all. My career has been fulfilling and I’m in a job I’m well-suited to.
The skills you need to be good at this role include being able to communicate efficiently with people and being resilient, because many parts of the job can be a bit stressful. You must quickly grasp what needs doing and be able to estimate timescales, not becoming unnerved when you don’t have all the details. Often, the ins and outs of the project only emerge as it develops so it’s good to be adaptable. It helps to be open-minded and not assume too much too early. The tasks are often quite technically challenging too, so being calm under pressure helps you manage it all.
I like working at Nominet because it’s the sort of place where you feel you can make a difference if you want to, not lost in a sea of thousands of other employees. The people are professional but friendly and good fun, and we pull together when we need to get things done. I’ve also had some great opportunities. Recently I was sent down to Australia for two weeks to work on an important project. It was challenging at times, as you’d expect with a new project, but the end result was so satisfying. It’s really fulfilling when you deliver what you need to.
Working in the technology industry is incredibly rewarding, both financially and in terms of the opportunities and the experience. It’s a stable industry, with plenty of jobs, and there is a real sense of growth and innovation. It feels like you’re at the cutting edge of technology and always being challenged to learn new things. And Nominet is a unique tech company to be working for as there’s only one national namespace in the UK and we run it – that’s pretty exciting and hard to beat.