A drummer has to have enough confidence in himself to lead the rest of the band. He must be able to play each part of the drum—the bass drum, the snare drum, the floor, middle, and high toms, and the ride, crash, and hi-hat cymbals—to create a beat and rhythm that others can follow. Emiliano, the mobile QA leader at VMBC, is an avid drummer and someone who brings multifaceted talent to the company.
Emiliano came to VMBC in October 2012. Prior to joining the team, he was a graphic designer with experience coordinating small teams of people around projects. But, like any born drummer, Emiliano couldn’t keep playing the same beat for too long. He decided to go back to school to learn software development. Emiliano says, “After talking with friends who are developers, they convinced me I could both create and design for the web.”
Javier Vilela, the QA manager, recruited Emiliano to VMBC. Javi was looking for a QA tester who had a graphics background, and Emiliano fit the bill. He began as a QA tester for the company’s biggest project—TracFone. About a year later, the mobile projects were gaining momentum. When the AMC app became a priority at VMBC, Emiliano took over as the QA lead for that project. He now leads a team of three QA engineers through testing the mobile applications for AMC, Payless, and Footlocker.
QA testing for mobile products is no small feat. Each day, Emiliano and his team check the apps they support on seven different mobile systems, including iOS, iOS 8, and Android 4.2. Their goals are to make sure each app functions exactly as it should, so that all of their clients’ customers have the same mobile experience, no matter what kind of device they use.
This kind of work requires precision and attention to detail and quality. Not only does Emiliano coordinate his team’s work and liaise with leaders from other teams, but he also does his fair share of the functionality testing, too. He says he loves QA work because it “is not that different from design. I need to use my imagination, my creativity, to find alternative ways to test the application to find that everything is working and to make sure the client will be satisfied.” He also enjoys the tasks that come along with being a leader. He says it’s “not just about doing your work, but about making sure the team works together to finish the goal and meet the deadlines.”
He appreciates the working environment and culture at VMBC. He says, “My first month at VMBC, it looked like a big family because everyone was in a good mood and everyone talked to each other, no matter what team they were on.” He also recognizes that the company has grown tremendously and lost some of that family vibe. He says when he walks down the hall he realizes that the company got big. Even though you know everyone, you just cannot get to know them all deeply. “Everyone is friendly. But the company has grown so fast you don’t have the same kind of contact with people as you did before.”
Although he misses the small group feeling, Emiliano will be the first to admit that the growth of the company brought many perks and work-life improvements. He enjoys when the company brings in a masseuse and fresh fruit snacks, and that employees have access to any gym or fitness club paid for by VMBC. With the flexibility to leave work in time to make it to his evening classes, Emiliano is also able to continue his developer education. He thinks that despite the growth, the leaders at the company keep employee impact in mind when making decisions. He believes that CEO Jesse Crowe and the other executives consider the current workload and take responsible steps toward choosing and developing new projects that won’t overtax their employees.
Emiliano credits VMBC as the place that gave him the chance to interweave his interests in QA, design, and development. He’s dedicated to turning over high quality apps to the company’s clients. So, as the mobile business grows, Emiliano probably won’t be going anywhere . . . unless, of course, Metallica calls and needs a new drummer.
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