Christopher - From criminal defense attorney to Software Tester

"Although I grew up in Silicon Valley in California and thus have an affinity for both software and hardware, my background is quite diverse for the work that I am currently performing. Over the years, I have worked as a hardware tester, English teacher, a Criminal defense attorney and in civil litigation. I received my Bachelors with a double major in Japanese language and literature as well as East Asian Studies in Washington D.C. I also studied in Japan and went to law school in Hawaii. While I am not fluent in any programming languages, I did study a few over the years and am not intimidated when it comes to small tasks like JSON file modification or changing a small snippet of code.

A normal day for a tester at Pointlogic consists of first taking stock of your issues in JIRA. Developers are always working on new features and fixes and it is your job to make sure that their work is reviewed in a timely fashion, so that they can get needed feedback while the issue is still fresh in their minds. After this, you’ll likely attend the Scrums of whatever teams you’re involved in,  so you can learn what’s coming up and what will need testing.

In the event that you have cleared through all the important issues in JIRA, you can ask on Slack or in the office if anyone has anything they are working on which needs testing. You will work with a diverse group of developers who will be implementing fixes that are not always going to be listed as issues in JIRA. Our Scala/Spark team will require your services as well. After that, you will then have time to smoke test specific versions of our software.

Usually, at least one region will have a release pending or major changes have been made that need more thorough testing. This means first using the software with the mindset of a user and running through from the first screen to the last in your best impression of a normal use-case. After that, you have to get in and be very curious about how everything you see works and whether or not if you do something strange or unexpected, the program will still handle this with grace.

One other task you will likely encounter is managing reports of bugs and crashes from clients or local teams. You will have to try to reproduce these issues and then translate them into JIRA issues. As you find problems, be they bugs, or poor functionality etc. you can also discuss these with our Architect, or developers as the case may be. 

The best advice I can give to people applying to this job is to be curious about the software and unafraid to talk with the people around. Although everyone is busy and has their own schedule, we are a friendly bunch and you will do your job better if you understand what you are testing, how it is supposed to work or what people’s expectations for an issue are. 

As for my free time, I am highly social and have a close-knit group of friends with whom I go cycling, play video and board games, watch movies, and engage in other nerdy activities. I am also quite fond of beers and am always looking for people to go out tasting with."  

Join our Software Testers team, apply to our open position, here.