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A day in the life of a Calendly QA Engineer

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to join Calendly?

I’ve been in the tech industry for eight years this coming November. I got my degree in Psychology, but personal reasons led me to a role in Customer Support at a tech company in California. From then on, I was in love with the field, working in CS, then QA (Quality Assurance), then development, and now back to QA.

I joined Calendly because I felt a connection to the people I interviewed with—I could tell how passionate they were about the quality of their product, and that absolutely turned out to be true. I’m going on three years with the company in May and I love it even more than when I first started.

Talk to us about your role and what you do at Calendly.

I work on the QA team as a Senior QA Engineer, but that really means I work with a lot of different people. I mentor and support others on the QA team, work alongside our Platform team to make sure we’re paving the way forward in how we approach our infrastructure, and spend a good deal of time coding new features for us to use internally that makes our testing more efficient!

What are some of the challenges you get to tackle in your role? 

Our engineering department does so many things well, so it makes my job easier. Still, we always strive to be better. That means I’m often able to weigh in and code up when we need to make strides in testing coverage, both through my own contributions and mentoring others. I also love finding new ways to make the most tedious tasks easier, not just for QA but for the whole development team. That’s something I hope to always be a part of.

Miriam work

What’s unique about the work you do? 

Generally, I think we all want the same thing from one QA role and one tech organization to the next. We want our customers to be happy and we want to be able to make that happen in the most efficient way possible. With that said, in my personal experience, not everyone is lucky enough to be in a role that allows you to impact quality by addressing the pain points of our internal team. I get to focus on that in my role and I feel very privileged to be able to do so.

What does your typical day look like?

I often find myself with new and interesting projects to tackle, but I do have typical days too. Those are usually equal parts of: helping others on the QA team, assisting with testing any extra work developers might have taken on, and coding up new tools or features to help with quality and engineering initiatives.

What has been your favorite project at Calendly?

Oh, that’s tough to choose. If I had to pick one, I’d say my favorite project was putting together load testing for our application. It was an all hands on deck, collaborative effort between QA and developers. I thrive under pressure and I love working as a team, so that definitely stands out to me.

Tell us more about the people you work with on your team.

I really couldn’t love my team any more than I do. The QA team here is amazing. Erika, our manager, has put together such a great group of intelligent, skilled, supportive, and kind people. There’s never a time someone isn’t willing to jump in and help, and I think that has such a widespread impact on morale and motivation here.

What do you enjoy most about working at Calendly?

I’ve got to say it’s the culture. Calendly has done such a great job in recruiting and retaining people who contribute at such a high level and with such care for the product and one another.

Miriam family

Okay, let’s chat about your life outside of Calendly! 

I spend most of my time hiking and walking with my pup, Callie, or with my best friend of 23 years. I also love everything related to the arts: painting, drawing, writing poetry, visiting museums, rocking out to any and all music. I travel as much as I can—most often to Scotland where I plan to live someday (my bucket list says so).

Your favorite spot to visit in Atlanta? 

The Shakespeare Tavern. Ever since I was a kid, I loved Shakespeare—even when I barely understood most of his plays—and the Tavern provides a great, laid back atmosphere to enjoy it. I love it when theater is made more accessible and appealing to people who might not have enjoyed it otherwise.

Something you’ve always wanted to try but never have done?

I’ve always wanted to live in the middle of nowhere, live off the land. That’s quite a different lifestyle to working in technology, but I’ve always thought there was something empowering about doing everything by yourself. I’m not sure I would live like that long-term, but I want to experience a little bit of every kind of life while I’m here on this planet.

What are three career lessons you’ve learned so far?

  1. Don’t marry yourself to specific languages or tools. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to quality and having too strong of a bias towards one, to the point of inflexibility, means you’re missing out on what might be best for your specific organization or team.

  2. Make some noise, even if you’re newer to the field. If you keep your opinions or thoughts to yourself simply because you’re not the most experienced, you (and your team) miss out. You won’t always have the right answer, or you might be missing out on some of the details, but everyone benefits when you share your perspective and it helps you grow personally.

  3. Company culture is more important than you think it is. No amount of money or perks or titles will make you happy if you have a toxic work environment. Find a place filled with people and attitudes that make you excited to come into the office.

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