blogMarch 25, 2022

Talking about leadership, perseverance and automation QA

Alina interviewing Sergiu, Test Automation Consultant at OceanoBe

Article presentation
Talking about leadership, perseverance and automation QA with Sergiu

I remember meeting Sergiu for the first time here at OceanoBe for a case study on one of the projects he leads. I left the meeting so energized and he gave me such a good vibe and thinking to myself “oh, I see what everyone was talking about”. He is our automation QA consultant, but so much more and let me explain why. 

Sergiu is the kind of person that has a very positive attitude and is always ready to help or point you in the right direction. He is a great listener and he really can level with anyone and explain to you in the simplest way possible. In every company there is that “go-to person” and he is just that for our team. He is a leader for his teams and an ambassador of our core values and much more than that, he is the person that will always help you shine through.

I do believe that good stories have always something that will help us learn and become better. Today I will lead you on a journey of discovery of leadership, perseverance, and authenticity with Sergiu, automation QA consultant. 

Getting to know you

  • Sergiu tell us what is your field of expertise? What is your superpower?

Well, I am an automation quality assurance engineer and my superpower is definitely being hard-working and persevering. I should add very stubborn (smiling). In this line of work, for me personally, is important to do my best and have the best outcome for a specific situation. I have to be satisfied with the notion that it was the best decision, at the time, that in a way is what gives satisfaction to what I do. 

  • You are exceptionally hard-working, what are words that you feel will characterize you?

Perseverance, hard-working, and people-oriented. I love working with people and helping them bring the best version of themselves. It’s important to give each team member the opportunity to express his/hers opinion and also try to help them when they in what way you can. I do recall receiving feedback from one of my previous colleagues telling me that being people-oriented is one of my strongest qualities and that I should hold on to it. And I really do believe that because the project can change, the situations change but people are all that matter. And when you build such a trust level with those around you can take difficult decisions and situations and they will help you navigate to the best outcome. Which is amazing. 

  • Do you have any tips on how to build that strong relationship?

Well, I think it matters how you filter the information and what you pass on. I tend to sit awhile and analyze what I am about to say and how I will say it. It’s important, to be honest with people but at the same time, I think it’s mandatory to be a good buffer for information and help your team deal with situations in a more reliable environment. 

  • Besides family, which I know is very important to you, what is something you enjoy doing?

So, I played football for a couple of years and before that, I did 4 years of contact sports. Other than that my new passion is aquascaping and I do love being out in nature, it recharges me.

  • I did not know or expected that. 

Yeah, I know (smiling). I think most of my good qualities came from sports and the disciple of it. 

Growth

  • You began your career in design engineering, what happened that made you switch to QA?

Well going into design engineering was more of a group thing, a good friend of mine from university was already at this company and he encouraged me and my friends to join. We were a group of 5 people and we all started there. In the beginning, I did everything from design, technical documentation, and even QA. But my passion was always QA and after finishing my master's degree I got a job opportunity to do just that. I started working as a QA engineer in a border control area and from there on I knew what I wanted to do. 

  • Was there a specific project that made you see things differently?

I worked with Robert (Tamas) and he gave me the opportunity to work on a team with exceptional skill and mindset. In that project, I began working on a proof of concept opportunity and after the implementation, the client was really pleased with the outcome. It was a moment of true fulfillment. We really pushed through in that project and learned from one another and it gave me such confidence. Having that level of autonomy and confidence given to you really pushes you to get the best result possible.

  • Thinking back to your own self 11 years ago, what are the skills that you have refined that are now vital to your career?

Definitely seriosity, accountability, flexibility, and commitment. I think these are the most important pillars that define a strong work ethic. And over the years I refined the skill of listening and really understanding what is it your receive. Because being able to filter the information and provide transparent communication with the clients and stakeholders is really important. It’s the basis of an agile process in a way, being open and dealing with everything upfront. And I think this is the best approach one can have at the workplace.


sergiu-automation-qa-oceanobe

Innovation

  • We talk a lot about innovation in our line of business, what is your view on the subject in regards to QA?

Well adapting the frameworks to our projects for start. There are many frameworks created and what I really find innovative is a framework that helps people navigate easily from one programing language to another. Such an example is the Cypress framework. It allows you to easily understand everything, especially for colleagues that are migrating from other frameworks. So innovation is to me, making everything understandable and accessible.

  • Besides being involved in coding, you are also a team leader for big projects and customers. How do you challenge people to bring out the best on the table?

I really try to give them confidence, accountability, and to encourage them. A simple “thank you, great job, ecc” at the right moment is extremely powerful, used for good and for the not-so-good news. And try to avoid the “but”, it’s very discouraging. I try instead to use the “have you tried this”. Trust is another thing that is built on keeping your word, if you promise to do something then you do it. And that goes both ways.

I am the kind of person that levels with you and really is focused on listening, collaborating, and learning from one another. I always say to my peers that I am just another colleague. There is no rank, just collaboration.

Excellence

  • How do you feel about your contribution to what we do here at OceanoBe?

I’ve been one of the first few people that joined OceanoBe. In the beginning, there was a lot of work on establishing processes and setting up the bases for automation testing at our client. I feel that my contribution has been in many areas from the recruiting perspective to the client collaboration and creating and discovering new opportunities to expand our QA team. It was and it is quite the journey.

  • What was the thing that drow you to OceanoBe, as a company? Is there anything that makes it stand out?

First of all, when I joined OceanoBe I was embarking on a journey with excitement and enthusiasm in building a local startup and the idea of having our own products built was amazing. I always had autonomy here and there was mutual confidence that provided a strong foundation for our collaboration.

On the other hand, what makes us stand out I think is the community. We really are a close net of people always looking to grow, learn and help each other. It's a friendly and professional environment. We started with a more senior level and that really helped us learn from one another, challenge,  and support each other. I always looked for ways to grow as a person and as a professional and I feel that OceanoBe has exactly the mix of ingredients that drive you in the right direction.

  • What advice would you give to someone that is looking to become an automation tester? 

In automation, it’s good to know the framework but also it’s very important to know a programing language. If you learn the tools, it’s just that you apply just that. If you learn a programming language then changing the tool is very easy, hence you have a solid foundation to grow and progress. And also it’s important to know, from my point of view, the ISTQB standard so we can speak the same language, which really helps (smiling).

  • What about becoming a team leader?

Well, there are a couple of things here worth mentioning.

  1. Know what you want from the team and after you know then you can pass the information. Having clear directions enables you to reach results. 
  2. Know your people. Being a team leader is an earned privilege, your people choose you for that mission and therefore you need to honor that. 
  3. And finally, lead by example. People will always emulate what you do. I was never officially named team leader, and I don’t need that, I got here as a consequence of my actions and level of commitment. It is empowering to realize that and humbling at the same time. 

Experience

  • So, what's next for you? Have you any new challenges?

I am intensely focused on the technical part of automation QA and also on building my communication skills and sharpening the management tools. Currently, I am focusing on improving my technical skills in programming languages. It’s a very rewarding experience of being a leader and I do follow through on this path. 


We thank you all for taking the time to read this and we hope you found at least one idea that resonates with you. If you want to find out more about OceanoBe, our values and our mission check out the page: oceanobe.com/our-company and also make sure to browse the Join our Team page to see all our available positions.


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