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Meet a Tester: Natalie

In Meet a Tester, we feature QA experts from our community who share their love for quality and Testlio. Not your average grandma, Natalie is a musician, programmer, software tester, gamer, and ailurophile from Raleigh.

Where are you from?

I was born in a small town in West Virginia but we moved to Ohio when I was 1 year old. At the age of 8, we moved to North Carolina and I have been there ever since. I live in the capital city of Raleigh and it’s only 2 hours to the beach and 3 hours to the mountains which is great because I love them both. My native language is English but I am currently learning Spanish and one of my 10-year goals is to learn 2 or 3 more languages.


What is your educational background?

I actually went to the NC School of Performing Arts in my senior year of high school and college where I majored in Voice and Drama. My late husband and I had a band and toured the East Coast until our children were born. That’s when I developed a keen interest in computers and taught myself programming. I have 30 plus years of experience in full-stack development originally on the Windows platform but then I moved to the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python) for the last 15 years. I have also done a lot of WordPress projects.

How did you end up testing for Testlio?

I had been looking for a remote work opportunity when a friend of my daughter mentioned Testlio to her. I researched the company and watched Kristel’s video about why she started Testlio and decided to apply. I was delighted by the ease of the application and capabilities evaluation. I received quick responses during the process and was excited when I got my first project invitation. What I love the most about Testlio is that everyone is so friendly and helpful. The community is fantastic!

What are your specialties?

I don’t really have a specialty (yet) – I’m still a “cub” 🙂 My testing so far has been on my Android phone. But I am excited to be testing for the first time today on the Xbox and would love to expand my skill set to test on my Occulus Rift and PC as well.

How does Testlio’s pay compare to other crowdtesting platforms?

I would say the Testlio’s pay rate is excellent. I haven’t worked with or looked at any other testing platforms but my understanding is that they can be stressful and only pay per bug identified. Testlio’s quality over quantity approach and pay is a far superior concept in my opinion. 

How do you manage the balance between testing and personal life?

Family is a high priority for me. I love that I can participate in test cycles around my family time and personal interests. With 4 adult children, twin grandsons, a sister, two nephews, and my parents all close by, we have lots of family gatherings and events. In addition, I have many interests and hobbies I like to spend time on – I love to design and create everything from systems and software to clothing and accessories. I also love music, theater, gaming (mostly MMORPGs), reading and cooking. Our family actually plays DnD (Dungeons and Dragons) every couple of weeks together – I play a Silverstar Cleric.

Jewelry made by Natalie, her gaming set-up, DnD map, and WOW character

What motivates you professionally?

The two things that motivate me most professionally are learning and integration. I thrive on learning new skills, platforms, systems and technology and then exploring how to integrate them with what I already know to make processes, both work and personal, more efficient and effective. Automation for the win!

What’s an interesting fact about yourself?

My family loves animals but we especially love cats. We all have cats and they are all rescues. We’re big believers in animal adoption – so if you are looking for a pet, please consider adoption. In my household, I have 2 cats, my daughter has 2 and her fiancee has another 2. So we have 6 cats in the house! My cats are particularly fond of laying on my desk and helping me test – they are miniature TestLions 😀

Kitties are left to right top: Neko, Dusty, Stubbs, bottom: Bond, Tigger, Baby Jaws

What are some apps you can recommend?

My favorite apps with great user experience are Discord, Trello, and Pinterest.
We have a family discord server where we keep in touch every day and coordinate everything from dinner to family events. We even use the voice features when we play video games together and have a channel for sharing recipes.
Coming from an agile development background, I love Trello for managing projects, both business and personal. It has great features for organizing and managing WIP (work in progress).
Before Pinterest existed, I used to clip articles and ideas of interest from magazines and store them in binders – I had at least a dozen for different topics. Pinterest has made keeping ideas so much easier, not to mention cheaper (I don’t buy magazines anymore)!

How would you convince a friend to join Testlio?

Between the great pay rate, awesome people, and fantastic flexibility there isn’t really much convincing required 😉

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