A Day in the Life of a TestLion is a blog series where we ask TestLions from different teams and positions to give a walk-through of their usual day at work, powering networked testing to enable human possibilities.

This time, our headliner is Venu Shinde, Director of Quality Engineering in the United States.

Starting the day with a roar

I get up pretty early, around 5:30 a.m. I enjoy the flexibility and the fact that I don’t have to bind myself with a 9-to-5 type of job. I’m always looking forward to what is happening and like to jump in as soon as possible. As my kids leave for school early, I first give them breakfast and after that, I exercise which helps me stay active and energetic throughout the day. Then with a cup of coffee and breakfast, I start my day.

Since we work from regions and are located in various places around the world, I always have Slack messages and emails sent to me overnight. So the very first thing I do is go over and reply to them. For other tasks, I have my own to-do list that I follow daily. I am an old-school kind of girl with a pen and paper. I don’t do Kanban or anything, but I make sure I have a list to go through. As the calls usually start early, I get myself ready before and make sure that I’m prepared for whatever input they need from me. If I have a call with a client I make sure to have good background knowledge of the topic before the calls. These are the main things I get done before I start my meetings.

Hunting down the challenges

My work mainly revolves around the Quality Engineering Center of Excellence (CoE) which is a one-stop shop for Test Automation. Everything related to Test Automation, starting from the pre-sale, the actual client automation service, all QE questions, and the freelance network, falls under the CoE. I am a person who loves multitasking, and my daily role involves a lot of it. After every 10-30 minutes or an hour, I switch what I am working on – if it’s a different task, a call, an inquiry, or clarifications. I like taking care of things and switching tasks frequently, which is something I can do in this position. 

At the QE Center of Excellence, we’re on a road to becoming truly excellent in automation. I believe we are prepared, but there is still a journey to go towards becoming more mature. I look at it as taking baby steps in test automation and moving towards excellence. We really appreciate the people who are contributing to walking on that roadmap with us — all of the freelancers, part-time and full-time QEs, and QEMs. They are all essential roles and people who contribute to reaching the goal. Testlio provides great opportunities for people who like to build something from ground zero. Even the tiny things still have a very broad impact.

Since we launched fused testing six months ago, we have a growing number of active and interested clients. These early adopters continue to provide excellent feedback, which is really motivating and encouraging. It gives us the confidence that we are on the right path, and I feel like we have a lot of success in front of us. This is very exciting, even now, when we are still establishing our quality engineer network. I appreciate how we’re building that and finding talent and people; we put less emphasis on technical skills and are more focused on the attitude of the candidate long-term. I believe that technical skills can be learned, and that the right attitude is more important. In the Network, we have established people that are part of the CoE and have an excellent attitude which is really helping us move forward. Currently, there are no blockers or challenges or anything, just moving step-by-step towards success.

Connecting with the Pride

What I’ve seen in many companies is that they are more into emails and online chats. But at Testlio, we interact more through video calls, so we can see the person, which really helps with connecting. We can’t really show all of our emotions and what we really want to convey in a chat or an email. I really like being on video calls vs. the alternatives. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve seen that a lot of people join a call, but not turn the video on. At Testlio we do, and it helps us to understand each other and each other’s emotions better. Even though we are a remote company we’re always connected. 

We also have “donut calls” once a month, where we connect with a TestLion we normally wouldn’t, and we recently had a services team event in Austin. That really helped with connecting, and seeing everyone for the first time was amazing and exciting. You can see yourself present in each and every person. It’s like seeing yourself in a mirror. That’s really the beauty of Testlio, because when we hire we look for people who align with our values. And I consistently see these values in every person here.

Winding down & finding balance

I note all of my priorities and then rearrange them into “what I can finish today,” and “what can wait for tomorrow.” My priorities change on a day-by-day basis. That’s why there are certain things that I try to do first. It all depends on what is necessary. I always make sure to complete all of the tasks that I am supposed to do during the day. That brings me happiness and peace of mind and I can sleep with ease. 

My first priority is spending time with my family. As soon as I log out in the evening, I go for a walk with my husband, and sometimes my kids will join us. I love having dinner together, spending time with them over the weekend, and going out on a small outing. After I am done with my job routine, my very first priority is my family. 

Throughout my 18+ year career, I’ve never had a remote job like this, and I’m thankful that Testlio is Distributed by Design.I’ve never had a job where I can balance my family as well as my work. I’m no longer exhausted by going through a 3-hour commute every day, which was the norm when we lived in New Jersey and I commuted into New York. Those days are over and I’m much more energized and focused. I am so happy with Testlio that I’ve never experienced so much satisfaction at work. I do not just fulfill my needs or learn; at Testlio, even the small things I contribute make an impact. 

Venu is hiring Quality Engineers and Test Leads to her team! 🦁