Alexander Lazaris is a QA manager at Roam Digital in Sydney, Australia. He joined as a senior QA 3 years ago and transitioned into a QA manager in mid-2021, managing a team of 3-7 QA engineers.
Tell us about your current responsibilities as a QA Manager at Roam Digital
I support and guide the QA chapter at Roam Digital, consisting of members across our Sydney and Auckland studios. I also have a team member in Berlin who is patiently waiting to migrate down to Sydney shortly. Typical activities of mine include:
- Promote continued growth in our QA team in Sydney
- Educate our company on best practices to ensure quality development & products
- Assess & standardise our QA practices and toolsets
- Align engineering beliefs and technologies across chapters
- Monitor and support project development
You say that you’re tool agnostic when it comes to testing. So how do you pick the right tool? What's your process like?
I’m a big tinkerer and love to experiment. When I come across a new tool, I love to get involved, install and try it out myself. While exploring, my thoughts drift between: Does it have enough documentation? Will it be decommissioned? Ok, this looks interesting, gaining popularity in tech news; the GitHub repo is active & not archived; let me dig deeper, check the configurations, run the code and design some tests while capturing my thoughts on the tool.
- Is this something I'll use on my day-to-day run?
- What complexities exist if this is shared & used by a dev team?
- How scalable + maintainable is this?
- What problem do we have that I can solve with this new tool?
I’m also a big believer in learning from experiences and mistakes. So if I’ve dedicated time to a tool that did not work out previously, I’ll refer to any notes and pain points I took down and think if the same tool is suitable next time round. When I have a collection of notes that others will find useful and I can use for future reference, I enjoy creating blog posts and sharing my learnings online. Taking this online step helps to involve others in my journey.
You have worked on game development. Do you still do it? What was your most recent project?
Yes! Well, on spare occasions when the kids are sound asleep & brain is not fried. Video games have played a big part in my life, from bonding and fighting with siblings over the N64, playing Sonic the Hedgehog as my first ever game, and now, most recently, watching the excitement my son displays when he reaches for the 3ds, and we play Super Smash Bros.
I’ll always have a place in my heart for game development, where I’m a big fan and advocate of Unity3D. My largest project was a year-long investment into a 3D educational / exploration Dinosaur game, whereas my most recent project was a classic Greek card game written in JS called “Xeri”, which is still in development. One day…
What do you like the most about our BrowserStack products?
The last BrowserStack service I used was App Automate for mobile device test automation. There was immense satisfaction when I produced a POC with this service, mainly due to how error-free and stress-free the overall process was. This particular POC showcased the instant ROI and conversion of local device tests to a cloud-powered device farm. Once I passed in my BrowserStack credentials & specified the target device, I was able to present my results instantly in the dashboard, benefiting from features such as screen recording & detailed test logs.
What prompted you to join the Champions Program? Tell us about your experience so far.
With life becoming relatively stable post-covid, I wanted to be actively working and sharing with the community and tech events. So when I came across this community, I felt it would be a great place. My experience so far? Welcoming and exciting. I am a big champion and advocate for all things QA and anything contributing to team and product quality. Joining this community will help me continue to learn, expand my BrowserStack skills and meet like-minded individuals. I'm very much looking forward to discussions about quality in our slack channels.
What advice would you give to senior QA folks aspiring to be a Manager?
I’d start thinking about which of the following paths you’re interested in heading down, an individual contributor (i.e. a Principal) or a people/team manager (i.e. a QA Manager). The skills do overlap at times; However, there's a higher focus on one side. If you find a spark, thrill and dedication to mentor, support and grow individuals, then you’re on the right track for a QA Manager. You’ll be responsible for scaling your QA team, furthering their careers and facilitating best practices in QA within your company. On a technical level, you’ll continue to expand your skill-set and complement them with people & cultural skills.
Learn from mistakes. Try not to repeat them.