A Day in the Life of a QA Specialist: Vili Bakalska on the importance of working in a friendly environment

What is it like to work in the IT industry in Bulgaria? This is a question many people interested in a career in the sector ask themselves. So, we, at Bica, gathered some of the people that we helped find the right job to share their stories. With this series of interviews, we are aiming to show people how the everyday life of a person working in the IT sector goes. We hope to break some clichés about the professionals employed in the industry and inspire more individuals to consider a career in IT.

Today, we’ll take a look at the professional path of Vili Bakalska, a QA Specialist with over 5 years of experience. In the interview, Vili shares with us why it’s important to her to have an informal chat with her colleagues and how QA helps her to explore different aspects of a software product. She also shines a light on her big career goal and what made Anthill an attractive employer for her.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

My name is Vili and I’m a QA Specialist at Anthill. I was born and raised in Pazardjik and moved to Sofia to continue with my higher education.

Reading is an activity I’m passionate about. I’m also an explorer – from different places and challenges to different foods and adventures. My job as a QA fits very well with this trait, as I can discover different areas of software development projects.

What are the main responsibilities of a QA Specialist?

It may sound a bit generic, but the main responsibility of a QA Specialist is to discover different bugs in software or a product. Creating reports and documentation and analyzing bug data are among the most important tasks for a specialist in my area. In that way, he can support his colleagues and clients most efficiently in developing world-class software solutions.

Among the most important duties of a QA is testing out the negative cases. Usually, there’s one happy path for the user and loads of negative ones. This means a professional has to be very creative and think outside the box to figure them out. My responsibilities also include creating manual test cases, and automation of testing. It’s really important to always follow the established best practices and practices to ensure high quality of work and make sure there’s continuity between QA specialists.

How does a day in your life go – usual routine (waking up, coping with tasks, activities in the spare time)?

In the professional aspect, I prefer having a good structure to my day and planning my tasks. Before our daily meeting, I make a cup of coffee and go through the list of chores for the upcoming day. After the meeting, I dedicate the needed time to complete my tasks.

As IT is quite a dynamic sector, some assignments pop up during the day and they require urgent input from me. In these cases, I prioritize the tasks according to their importance and deadline.

What is the biggest challenge you previously faced when looking for an IT job?

When meeting HRs in the past, one thing I didn’t like in the recruitment process was how much they hyperbolized the company and they didn’t present the real situation in the company, its values, and its team.

The second challenge I faced was the lack of communication and information from the recruiters. I’ve encountered situations where the arrangement was to meet with a client or a manager and the meeting was with an HR. In another case, the recruiter didn’t tell me that the meeting was technical and I didn’t have the opportunity to prepare for it. This brings a lot of stress and issues to candidates.

How did Bica help you in the process of finding the right job?

With Bica, the whole recruitment process lasted about 2 weeks. During this period, I had the opportunity to meet the team, the CEO and discover more about the job position and the company. I collaborated with Yoana and Bilyana, they both helped to prepare for every meeting and were always available to chat with me and didn’t leave any doubts in my head that I should join Anthill.

What were the factors that made you choose Anthill?

There are a few factors that made me choose Anthill. The first one was the people in the company. During the interview process, I had the opportunity to meet with quite a lot of my colleagues and they were super energetic and helpful even before I decided to join Anthill. The second important factor for me was the project I’m working on.

After 6 months in the company, I can say that this attitude was the status quo of the team and there wasn’t any sugarcoating in the presentations.

Can you share more about the projects you work on? How do they help you become a better professional?

In my career, I worked on projects in different industries that provided me with the opportunity to gain knowledge in different technologies. And in my position, this helped me to become better at risk management and evaluating the requirements of a project.

I decided to join Anthill and work on this project because it allows me to deepen my knowledge and improve my skillset. As a professional, I need to continue learning from the projects I’m involved in and from my more experienced colleagues.

You’ve gained professional experience in different industries working for different companies. Can you share what’s the most important thing for you when evaluating a potential new employer?

The most important thing for me when choosing an employer is the environment inside the company. I prefer a more informal and friendly setting where you can chat with your colleagues on all kinds of topics. Big corporations where everyone is very formal are not my preference and I enjoy working in smaller companies.

You’ve studied Computer Science and IT for Business Management. How did that help you to become a better professional?

The decision to choose a Master’s degree in Business Management came from my desire to try out something new and get out of my comfort zone. I’m not an entrepreneurial type of person and it was a big challenge for me. After graduating, I realized how much this degree helped me to get a better understanding of the IT sector and explore a different perspective on building software solutions. While studying, I got my first internship as a QA and that’s when I discovered my passion for this position.

Can you share advice with young people who are unsure about starting a career in the IT industry?

No matter what their passion is, my advice for young people is to never stop exploring it. I’d tell them to be brave and persevering to turn their dreams into reality. Another piece of advice I want to share is that everyone starting their career in IT should be patient and always strive to deepen their knowledge in their areas of interest.

What do you want to achieve in the future?

My professional goal is to become a Test Manager. What I’ve realized through the years is I should make small steps toward this goal every day by exploring different technologies and learning new skills.

If you want to find the right position for you to thrive and grow, check out our career page and take the next step in your career.

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