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Tester Spotlight - Nikola

Michael Ebako-Hodgson

Today I’m joined by Evgeniya, our community manager, to interview one of our incredible testers and brand ambassadors, Nikola. Nikola spends his days testing and educating testers with the knowledge he's gained working with us for the past 3 years.

In this interview he tells us:

  • How he approaches software testing
  • His secret to success as a brand ambassador
  • And so much more!

Evgeniya: How did your journey with test IO start?  

Nikola: It started in November 2017. And when I started, I didn't even pass the onboarding test. I had to ask for a little bit more time, which was given to me. In the next three months, I had more than 500 bugs reported with a bug acceptance rate of more than 80%. 

Evgeniya: That's a great short story! Why do you think you didn't pass the onboarding on the first try?

Nikola: I came in with my own opinions. For example, a color filter doesn't work. I always thought this was a functional bug, but after a bit of studying the test IO Academy, I found that this is a content bug. So, this is one of the reasons why I didn't pass the onboarding test. Because I had my own opinions.   

Evgeniya: Did you have a background in testing before you started?   

Nikola: No. I had just finished school for being a mechanical technician, so—no background at all.    

Evgeniya: How did you find us in the first place? Or better, why testing?    

Nikola: After I had finished school, I was searching on the internet. What can I do? So, I don't remember exactly where, but on some website, I read about test IO and other testing platforms. So, in the beginning, I was registered on a few testing platforms. After some time realized that test IO was the best for me. So, I focused only on test IO. 

Evgeniya: How was the beginning of your tester journey? It's considered the most challenging part of being a tester, learning new things, and a lot of information. 

Nikola: When I started testing with test IO, our Academy was pretty bad. There was no information like now. Now the Academy is pretty good, and anyone who reads the Academy can learn and start testing without any problems. 

So, in the beginning, it was a lack of information. I had to look at the forwarded bugs within each test. That was how I learned new things. Also, I printed the bug assessment sheet. Then and now I always keep this table on my desk. 

Evgeniya: So you mentioned that you started searching for ways to earn money on the internet after finishing school. Does that mean test IO is your first job?    

Nikola: No, but yes, via the internet. I've had other jobs before test IO.    

Evgeniya: What is your favorite part about being a tester at test IO?    

Nikola: You can work whenever you want. And you're not forced to work. When you have time, you can work. So, flexibility is the best part of being tester at test IO. Plus, there are a lot of customers and exciting projects. Every day is a new day.  

Evgeniya: In general, how do you approach testing? What do you do when you receive a test, and it's a website or an app? Where do you start?   

Nikola: I don't have an approach. I think that for testing, the most important thing is how lucky you are.   

There are some generic bugs you see a lot. Like sorting is not working or surcharge is not working, or a website does not open in some browser. Those are generic issues. But for the more interesting bugs, I think that you need to be lucky to find them.

First, of course, I read the instructions. After that, when the test starts, I start with the landing page, then the product overview, if we are talking about an eCommerce website. Landing page, product overview, product detail page, cart, checkout process. As you can see, I go how a typical user goes. That is my approach.    

Evgeniya: On the topic of interesting bugs. Do you have a memory of one of the most unusual bags that you found in your career? 

Nikola: Yeah, maybe this is an interesting bug. I don't remember which site it was, but it was the newsletter function. If you register immediately after going on the website, the newsletter function will work. But if you go to the product overview page and then back to the landing page. When you try to register, you get an internal server error. That was a weird bug I've found. 

Michael: I want to pry a little on your statement that finding the interesting bugs is lucky. Evgeniya told me that you are one of the testers that submits the most bugs and has one of the highest acceptance rates. Is it because you make sure to test every day, or are you very lucky?

Nikola: I think that I'm lucky. I don't test every day. I have other work as a brand ambassador, so I have many people onsite who I need to work with very often. When I decide to test, I just think that I have good luck finding bugs. 

Evgeniya: Talking about your work as a brand ambassador, I can't resist mentioning that when Nikola started working with us, we set a quarterly goal for him that he reached in the first month and doubled by the end of the quarter. Amazingly quick results and we were thrilled to see it. So please, share your secret.    

Nikola: You must focus on teaching these testers. I focus on every single question they have and respond to all of them. That is my only secret.   

Michael: What do you say to people to get them to try the test IO platform?   

Nikola: On my brand ambassador page, I have posted, "Testers wanted for test IO." In the text description, I mention that every person has seen some bug on a website. Imagine when you find these bugs, reporting them, and earning money for it! 

Michael: I like that maybe we should put that on the tester page. "Everyone has found a bug before."

Nikola: It's true. Every single one of us has found some bug while using a website or application.

Evgeniya: You mentioned that you don't test every day. How much time do you spend testing in the week?   

Nikola: In a week, let's say around 30 hours. I am not exactly sure because it always depends. It depends on how many tests they are, how much time I have, etc... So, every week is different.   

Evgeniya: What is your routine? Do you wake up and start testing, or do you prefer to do it in the evening? Over the weekend?    

Nikola: When I'm testing, I like to test like I'm working at test IO. So, it's around, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. 

Evgeniya: Due to the virus, a lot of people have to work from home. What advice would you give as an experienced work from home tester? What are the best practices?

Nikola: The most important thing is to stay focused on the job. When you start working, make a coffee or a drink, juice, beer, whatever. But like I said, stay focused. If you need to break up the day, then break it up. Go take a walk, go outside. I don't know, but don't force yourself to work. Just stay focused when you can. 

For example, we have some testers who don't sleep. They work almost 24 hours per day. I don't know how they make it, but I don't do that. I always stay focused on working in regular hours. I don't like to work at night; the night is for sleeping. 

Evgeniya: That's a healthy approach. Way healthier than some other testers that shared their stories with us. I would like to ask you about our testing community, your quite an active part of it. How do you feel about it? Have you found friends? 

Nikola: Well, our testing community is excellent and full of great people. On our discord, I have a few friends, and as a brand ambassador, I have made many new friends. My inbox is always full. 

Evgeniya: Michael, do you have any further questions?    

Michael: Yes. You said you tried other testing platforms and chose test IO to focus on. What were the significant differences, and what made you choose us? 

Nikola: First of all, the tester dashboard's design was much better than on other platforms. It was easy to understand everything. When I started there were not many projects for me because as a greenhorn, you don't get added to all the tests. But bit by bit by bit, as I got better everything was better and better and better. This improvement made me see test IO as number one.  

That reminds me of something that people understand wrongly. On glassdoor, we don't have a good rating. Users who read reviews on glassdoor think that test IO is a scam. They don't even want to try, But this is not how it is at all. When you give it a little bit of time and are focused on the job, you will be successful. 

Michael: From your perspective, why do people who have tested on the platform, say it's a scam?  

Nikola: Maybe because they can't find bugs and bugs are the most valuable thing on our platform. Or maybe because testing is not for everyone. From what I know, I think that the people who say that test IO is a scam simply weren't successful, and then they decide to say test IO is a scam because they did not make any money. 

Michael: As a brand ambassador, have you ever had to convince someone that test IO is a legit platform? 

Nikola: There were some moments and some people, but I don't want to convince them. I just say, try. You have me, and if you have any questions, I will help you. Try, and you'll see for yourself. We have around 500 people in our local group, and no one says anything negative about a test IO. 

Michael: To wrap up, do you have any specific advice for testers or potential testers going to read this interview? 

Nikola: The key to testing at test IO is to read the Academy and to read it not once, but twice so that you understand everything. When you accept your first test, let's say it's an onboarding test, you will already know: what is in scope, what is not in scope, what is content, what is visual, what is functional, etc.

For all other testers, remember that the testing job is like other jobs. If you like your job and if you work from the heart, you will be successful.  

Michael: I love it. I think that's a perfect cap to the interview itself. Evgeniya, do you have anything else that comes to mind?    

Evgeniya: It's just so great to have such special people in the community. I just can't stop wondering how many people that love their job or that love being in testing are in the community. There are other platforms they could have chosen, and it's so heartwarming to hear things like that. Thank you for choosing us over different platforms, being such an active part of the community, and helping others a lot.

If you want to read other stories like Nikola's, check out this interview with another tester, Charlie. If you want to be like them, sign up to become a tester, here.



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