Behind the scenes at Invenda with Milena, Head of Quality Assurance Team

When you work each day with top-notch technologies, quality and performance become essential elements of product development. Today’s Behind the Scenes is all about quality and assurance and what it is like to be a part of the QA team at Invenda. Milena Lazarevic, Head of our Quality Assurance team and one of the first stars that followed the company’s growth from its beginnings to its present, will share with our readers how Invenda’s Quality Assurance looks like today and how it all started.  

How did Invenda’s Quality Assurance climb to today’s heights?

From the first day, Invenda had Quality Assurance as an integral part of the development process. That allowed us to set quality standards from the beginning. Testing as an essential part of the Research and Development helped us analyze, accelerate and develop actual processes while building a high-quality product. The earliest days included a lot of exploring, brainstorming, and improvements on the way. Looking back at those days, I have to say it was an unforgettable journey during which the whole company developed with the right processes and amazing testing culture. Today’s Quality Assurance team is working on manual and automation testing with a continuous integration process. As the pioneers in this industry, we are exploring new testing approaches every day.  

Small wins and successes for the Quality Assurance team so far?

First, we managed to succeed in challenging times. That process followed continuous interaction between teams, building up an idea to its final realization and building quality ownership culture throughout the whole company. The knowledge we gained working on the product itself, closely monitoring each testing step, using beta versions of tools, cutting-edge technologies, and working with the newest software updates is what I call success. That success was proved one month ago with the celebration of our new assembly facility in Novi Sad, surrounded by our revolutionary product and amazing people that made it all happen. At that moment, I was aware of the magnitude of our business today.

Talking about the quality of the product, what are the qualities in your team members you appreciate the most?

I always choose to work with honest and motivated people. For me, these are the most important criteria. Besides that, I find it very important for a team to be surrounded by transparent people who can receive feedback and are focused on problem-solving.  After one specific challenging project, colleagues from the software team gave us the name Jedis because, as they said, there is no task we cannot cope with. And that’s how I feel about my QA team. We are truly Jedis in testing, facing challenges, thinking outside the box, and progressing together. These four passionate professionals push testing boundaries each day, and it’s quite a privilege to work with them.

Where do you see changes in your learning-development process, from your beginnings at Invenda till today?

Starting to work at Invenda was a significant shift since I came from a big outsourcing company to a start-up. The first thing that changed was my mindset. After years of development, I got a bigger picture of business perspective, risks and consequences, and how problems should be perceived and communicated. The result-oriented mindset is what led me through my career and always pushed me forward. I like to quote one inspiring thought whenever I think of the development process: ’The best tester isn’t the one who finds the most bugs…The best tester is the one who gets the most bugs fixed.’

What has been done so far in Invenda’s Quality Assurance, and what is next?

So far, we have worked on setting up the first documentation, helping the hardware team with new hardware integrations by testing hardware devices, working on the quality of hardware and software delivery, and defining the quality processes for machine assembly.   

The focus for the testing team was covering different levels of users for our system: the end-user of the machine, the operator who services the machine, back-office people tracking the users of the back-office portal, sales, and product reports to satisfy all the customer needs.  

We have also developed our testing framework for testing both the hardware and software with the help of our homemade testing robot for contactless payment. It helped us to develop a continuous integration process. So far, as a team, we have perfected hardware and stress testing, and now the next steps would be defining the testing approach for big data processing, cloud architecture testing, and performance and load testing of the system. 

IoT is a young, fast-growing industry, and the best approach that we can use now is content-driven testing. 

Milena having fun and enjoying Invenda’s New Year party

When not conquering the testing battles, what else do you focus your energy on?

Learning and exploring but never forgetting to enjoy the journey. In my case, that would mean being surrounded by loved ones, exploring nature’s wild and unseen sights, enjoying music, theatre and always expanding my horizon. With each new experience, we are learning every day, whether from a smart acquaintance or a close friend. One of the best experiences in 2019 was an amazing testing event where I combined my two passions, QA and culture exchange. It was The ConTest program, created by the test professionals passionate about the testing craft. This conference had the purpose of gathering the most experienced Quality Assurance Engineers all around the world working on disruptive and innovative products. My team member Dejan Nikolic and I had an unforgettable time in New York, learning from the best and sharing experiences on QA topics. While talking with the most experienced people in this field, we received feedback that confirmed that we are on the right path. This type of event, in my opinion, every passionate tester should experience. 


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