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A Day in the Life of Edvin Ljila, Quality Assurance Engineer

A Day in the Life of Edvin Ljila, Quality Assurance Engineer

Our name is intentional. "Kin" refers to family and "Carta" refers to maps. When together, we're Kin + Carta — a group of connected makers, builders and creators, who come together everyday to help our clients build experiences and plot a clear path forward in today's digital world. Carta is what we do, Kin is who we are.

Day in the Life is a series that brings the day-to-day experiences of working at Kin + Carta to light, all through the eyes of our Kin. And today, we're diving into the day of Edvin Ljila, a Quality Assurance Engineer here at Kin + Carta.

We’d love a quick intro from you!

I’m Edvin, a Quality Assurance (QA) engineer in Skopje, Macedonia. I’ve been at Kin + Carta since 2021 and this is where I started my career in QA! I’ve always wanted to work with technology but guided by a desire to make an impact, Kin + Carta's culture felt like the perfect fit for my ambitions.

Can you break it down for us — what is your role?

A QA role is a testing role where we work with a wide variety of software and technology to ensure the project we are delivering runs properly and provides the best experience for the user. The role is varied depending on the project and the timeline of the work but you are constantly testing, iterating and reporting back to the team on what you have found. You spend every day putting yourself in the shoes of the user and trying to deliver something that they would find easy and intuitive to use. Most QA engineers start off with a breadth of interpersonal skills and willingness to learn but as you become more senior, you naturally pick up a lot more technical skills on where things can be enhanced.

What's a typical day like for you?

Each project is unique and dynamic. As a QA, I adapt quickly to changing projects, engaging early to conduct static testing, review requirements, and propose new features. In the middle stages, whether mobile or web, we meticulously plan test cases. Sometimes depending on when you join a project, you can inherit workflows from previous QA and these cases guide our testing efforts. For mobile apps, our large QA team generates extensive test lists, leveraging past experiences to prioritise effectively.

More specifically, what was yesterday like for you?

Yesterday was a whirlwind of activity, as usual. . After ensuring everything was up and running smoothly, I dived into my emails, eager to catch up on any overnight developments and messages from the team. Next up was syncing up with various chat channels and groups. With so much happening across different projects and teams, it's essential to stay connected and informed on slack. I took stock of what needed to be done for the day, jotting down any critical tasks that required immediate attention.

The morning was punctuated by our daily stand-up and agile scrum ceremonies. These meetings are invaluable for keeping everyone on the same page, discussing progress, and identifying any roadblocks. It's a time to share updates, ask questions, and recalibrate our focus for the day ahead.

Once the formalities were out of the way, I delved into my testing tasks. Working through the list of items that needed to be tested, I meticulously checked for any issues or bugs, ensuring that our project remained on track. Communication with the team was constant, as we collaborated to address any challenges that arose and adapt to shifting priorities.

Flexibility is key in this line of work, and yesterday was no exception. As new information came to light and priorities shifted, I remained agile, ready to reprioritise my tasks at a moment's notice. It's a fast-paced environment that demands quick thinking and adaptability, but it's also incredibly rewarding to see the tangible impact of our efforts on the project's success. 

How do your days change as you prepare for the final stages of a project?

As we prepare for the final stages of a project, the pace can pick up significantly. We focus on regression testing, dividing tasks among QA team members. Collaboration with project managers becomes crucial as we synchronise efforts and prioritise tasks for launch. There's heightened pressure to deliver comprehensive feedback before the project goes live. We go above and beyond because we deeply care about the product's success and delivering for our client.

Tell me a bit about the project you are currently working on and what you like about it?

The project I'm currently working on is quite fascinating and sizable. It involves numerous teams, people, and dependencies with various consultancies. What I find most appealing about it is the level of challenge it presents. There's a constant need for communication, patience to resolve issues, and flexibility to reprioritize tasks. It's a dynamic environment where we're constantly pivoting based on evolving team priorities. Overall, it's a fantastic opportunity for me to learn and grow both in terms of soft skills and technical expertise.

What skills are necessary to do your role?

In my role, a blend of soft and technical skills is essential. Soft skills such as effective communication, empathy, and critical thinking are paramount. Being supportive of colleagues and thinking outside the box are crucial for success. While technical and coding skills are beneficial, they can be learned on the job. It's important to have a willingness to learn and adapt to different technologies and environments.

What's it been like working at Kin + Carta in North Macedonia?

Working at Kin + Carta in North Macedonia has been an exceptional experience. The people here are unlike any others in the industry, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment. The company's flexibility in every aspect allows us to thrive professionally. It's a place where hard work is recognised and respected, enabling us to shine in our roles. Over the past 2 ½ years, I've formed close friendships with colleagues, and the atmosphere is perfect for both work and socialising. It's been incredibly rewarding to see our Kin + Carta family grow across locations, further enriching our experience.

What advice do you have for someone considering going into QA?

For anyone considering going into QA, I'd advise them to pursue it if they're passionate about technology and excited about its future. It's a field that's constantly evolving, offering interesting challenges and endless opportunities to learn. A willingness to learn and a humble attitude are essential, as is the ability to take initiative and be eager to grow. It's a rewarding journey, but one that requires dedication and a thirst for knowledge.

What's the most important thing you've learned at Kin + Carta?

The most important thing I've learned at Kin + Carta is the power of dedication and focus. I've witnessed firsthand that when people put their minds to something and strive for greatness, they can achieve remarkable success. It's a mindset that permeates through every project and inspires us to continuously push the boundaries of what's possible.

And finally, in your day-to-day life, what inspires you?

In my day-to-day life, what inspires me most is the pursuit of expertise in my field. I'm driven by the desire to continuously develop myself and become a subject matter expert in the realm of QA. Consulting with others and sharing knowledge to shape the future of testing motivates me every day.

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