In Meet a Tester, we feature QA experts from our community who share their love for quality and Testlio. Bryan is a TestLion from the magical Republic of Kenya.
What is your native language?
I am a native Swahili speaker – a lingua franca of the African Great Lakes region. Interestingly, I find it very hard to write in Swahili, and as a matter of fact, it was one of my poorest performing subjects in school. I also speak English as my second language.
What is your educational background?
I joined University to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering (Power Systems and Apparatus option) but left before graduating (which is a story for another day). Currently, thanks to Testlio’s great community and support I will soon be sitting for my foundation level exams at the Association for Software Testing (AST). Wish me luck!
How did you end up testing for Testlio?
When I was on campus, I used to do some technical writing and verbatim transcription remotely to get some pocket money. After losing my main job, I started doing some odd jobs to make ends meet, including working as a mechanic. Since the mechanic job wasn’t giving me enough money to sustain my expenses, I decided to start writing again but to my shock, the market was flooded and the pay rate had gone tremendously down. That’s when I found out about QA testing through Youtube videos. I was really interested in learning more so I applied to several companies that offered testing services but was very disappointed to find out that most of them didn’t accept testers from Kenya. I did get accepted to some that allowed testers from my locale, and after several months of learning and live testing for these companies, I discovered Testlio by chance, through a quarterly satisfaction survey they sent out. I applied, got accepted and was lucky enough to get my first cycle invite in less than two weeks – that first cycle was a bit confusing for me at the time but I gave it my best.
What are your specialties?
When I started testing, I had a strong preference for mobile apps but since joining Testlio I’ve also developed a liking for testing various platforms – but I admit, I still have a soft spot for mobile apps.
Some e-Commerce platforms tend to be tricky while testing, especially when you find an issue that occurs on a single product page that when reported, might be rejected as low priority or not reproducible or on the contrary is very valuable to the customer. Such issues always give me a headache 🙂
How does Testlio’s pay compare to your market rate?
I can’t find a way to compare the rates but I can say that the way testing is done is much better at Testlio. Currently, I only accept long term projects from the companies I used to work for before joining Testlio. The short term cycles were becoming stressful because unlike Testlio, where the cycles invites expires after 12Hrs, with these other companies you have to be very fast in order to secure a slot (fast in terms of seconds!), making it very hard to secure a slot all the time. Well, if you do get lucky and secure a slot, you have to find bugs – if your bugs get accepted, you can earn some good money but also your bugs might be rejected, meaning you just wasted your time since they all pay per bug accepted unlike Testlio, where you get paid per the time spent testing, meaning you have time to raise quality bugs, which is basically the foundation of QA.
How do you manage the balance between testing and personal life?
With unscheduled invites, I work under the basic principle of First In First Out (FIFO) which reduces the pressure of having work pile up. I also ensure I have a break after every 2Hrs of testing as this enables my performance to be on par throughout the testing period. For scheduled invites, It’s easy, I just create a buffer before switching to the next cycle. All in all, since all the testing is done remotely, I have never had an instance where it has interfered with my personal life (that requires proper planning of course).
What motivates you professionally?
The self-driven desire to be among the best of the best testers in the world. This desire is greatly ignited when you receive feedback, positive or negative. Whenever I get positive feedback, I always strive to maintain and improve the status quo and when I get negative feedback, I want to prove that I can improve and achieve better results, even if it means changing my approach or carefully rethinking my steps.
Can you recommend some apps that you use for fun or work?
When I started testing I used to transfer files to my PC using USB cables and OTG’s until I found out about Dukto by Emanuele Colombo. Dukto is an instantaneous file transfer app over LAN and Wi-Fi, this has greatly saved me time sharing files between devices. You will love it!
Another great app is ApowerMirror by Apowersoft – it mirrors/controls your Android or iOS screen and streams it to your PC or Mac in real time, talk about killing one bird with one stone 😉
How would you convince a friend to join Testlio?
Besides working remotely, I will talk about the great community and support present at Testlio. No matter how new you are to testing, Testlio’s community will always be there to help you at whatever stage of your growth. Forget about writing emails and waiting for weeks to get answers, at Testlio you get answers even before you finish composing your question. Ask me how!
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