Oleksandr Horbunov – Building a Career Path in Quality Assurance
What is your role within Transcenda and your primary areas of responsibility?
As a Manual Quality Assurance Engineer at Transcenda, I perform tests and ensure that the products and services we build are functioning properly on both the front and back ends. I have been in the IT industry for about 11 years now and have 8 years of experience in QA.
What inspired you to pursue a QA Engineering career?
My interest in technology developed when PCs began getting traction and topics like video games, automating time-consuming stuff, and system architecture became popular among young people.
My career in QA started straight from practical experience, when I was once working as a Support Engineer and I became involved in a QA side project. That is how I first learned about test cases, testing strategies, and vulnerabilities. The whole process was interesting and it felt like the right place for me, so I switched to QA full-time.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with people of different backgrounds and seeing how it translates into their approach to problem-solving. It is an amazing opportunity to grow.
Quality Assurance responsibilities cover anything starting from a product feature and moving up to the internal processes within the company. It makes a huge difference for me to see that my efforts improve the overall picture.
Name a few lessons you’ve learned throughout the years as a QA Engineer.
The first lesson is to not be afraid to ask questions, especially if you are new to the team or field. Truly get to know the service or product you are working on, and how everything is arranged and prioritized. This way you’ll avoid confusion and will be more aware of the ways to align your efforts with the overall team strategy.
In perspective, lack of communication leads to a lack of ownership and responsibility as avoiding mistakes can become a priority. The belief that asking questions undermines professional reputation is still here. The way out of this situation has a lot to do with a certain level of confidence and maturity.
How do you improve your professional skills?
Tech skills are fairly easy. The process is pretty straightforward thanks to step-by-step instructions available online, and there’s always an opportunity to consult with your colleagues. In my experience, the skillset expands naturally as the projects are evolving, and there always are a few things to learn.
Regarding soft skills, the most useful to me were time management and communication training I took at the beginning of my career. They introduced me to practices I use up to now, like the Pomodoro Technique or the Eisenhower Matrix for decision-making. Learning and practicing effective communication styles for engagement with colleagues, executives, and clients are beyond useful to me today.
Can you recommend any upskilling resources for QA Engineers?
The most effective way of learning for me is through audio-visuals, so online courses work quite well in terms of expertise, level of knowledge, and location – especially when universities switched into remote mode and began providing online courses on specific areas of more comprehensive topics.
I think that any opportunity to invest in your knowledge/career is a great opportunity. Whether it’s a short 15 min video or 6 months of a full course, the juice is worth the squeeze.
Which Transcenda value resonates the most with you?
Keep It Fun in the sense that work can be enjoyable even on the most ordinary day. This has a lot to do with the ability to identify the areas you are interested in and having the courage to pursue a career in this field. For me, this also includes looking for enjoyable aspects of a routine – for example brainstorming activities, small talks, or meetings with colleagues.
I also feel connected to the other two values – Customer-First Mindset and Always Looking for a Better Way. Usually, it’s easy to find a few good ways to solve a problem, but it takes a lot of effort and creativity to keep searching for a great solution. I enjoy seeing the results of my work become a part of the bigger picture.
What do you like the most about your job at Transcenda?
To me, what makes Transcenda really stand out is that there is a direct connection with the management, and the communication is organized in a very professional and appropriate way. The executives are very involved and informed about the processes or any difficulties.
The people-first mindset is reflected in the company’s actions and it was especially evident since the onset of the full-scale invasion. Having heard a lot of stories from my acquaintances, I was extremely impressed with the help provided by the company and the way communication/processes were organized.
What are your hobbies and how did they shape you?
I enjoy traveling and looking for new places and experiences locally and abroad. I was always interested in traveling within Ukraine: the Carpathian mountains in any season, old castles and palaces (e.g. castles Palanok or Medhzybizh, palaces Sharivka or Shenborn). When the war is over, I’d like to visit Dzharylhach and other beauties of our Kherson region.
When the weather allows I go biking. My favorite location is Holosiiv forest in Kyiv, a truly magnificent place. Board games are on my list of favorite activities as well.
I am most receptive to audio and visuals. This is my medium, therefore music and cinematography play an important role in my life too.