The story a UX/Quality Engineer’s first 30 days

After graduating from MMU I knew all I wanted to get into was to be a UX Designer or very least be able to test the hell out of a project. Fast forward to do today, I’m actually doing that for a job? It’s surreal how this has happened but at the same time has been great so far. Is this a job? The reason for questioning that is because it doesn’t feel like one. Which is great when you can combine your passion with a job. The thing about working here is you feel like your about to do something special on a project and smash it out the park with your skills.

Over the past month, I have learnt quite a few things which I will touch on:

1. Share your ideas

This can be one of your biggest and best tools to any project you’re doing. Since working here I’ve realized the importance of feedback, making sure communications are consistent with my peers can be extremely useful regardless of whether they are working on that project directly alongside me. I mean these are the people who have been there and worked on similar projects in the past. For me, when I started I found that many of the issues I found (of which I thought might be not be taken seriously) were actually really appreciated, sometimes they even share work they have and I give feedback which improves the project before getting signed off.

2. Take Initiative

From my first few days I realised that your work is, YOUR WORK. So slacking off isn’t what you want to do and is quite possibly pointless, whats the point in coming if you’re doing not going to do project work? For me, when a project ended I would find more work to do either from the project manager or just do some personal development or build something.

I’ve built my own little Instagram type project just to get my design skills to a level that they have here at FARM. It wasn’t perfect but It definitely was better then other designs I have done. The issues were just things I haven’t been shown before but that’s why the senior designers are here to help. The project is on InVision — https://invis.io/Q67AAORRF.

3. Making a difference

Working in a team of people who have been doing this for a long time, it has been slightly nerve-racking, I wondered if I would be able to make an impact. The thing is I have been, in fact I’ve been able to make more of a difference than I realised. The process of clawing out the dangers of failure before they can actually happen and watch the project progress, is quite satisfying . Just by doing things off my own back and just getting stuck in is the best way to make a difference because the more eyes on a project the better.

It’s been great working here so far and I’ve been involved in a lot during my short time here from project meetings and conference calls through to taking on new projects and reviewing and testing them for issues to send onto devs/PM. I met some of my colleagues over at the South office which was good, hopefully I will be going down for an office visit. Just generally working on projects one after another is great. Everyday it’s something new or I’m doing part of another project. It’s all go-go go !

4. What have I done

So far, I’ve worked on a number a projects some that have just started and others that were in the way to being signed off when I began. I worked on some projects that had specs which had to reflect the actual project at the end. Which is everything a project is supposed to have from what we agreed with the clients. Pulling the projects over the finishing line is something I’ve done quite a bit of as well as working on content going into the projects. There is also a ticket system which is sort of job style tool, anything that crops up which isn’t working is put into a ticket and assigned to someone on the project.

Which is basically system that allows you to identify any issues on a project and assign the problem to a developer. Once the ticket can be closed or checked off as done it gets retested by myself if I’m on that project or another member. Finishing my part on a different project last week, I’m now on a fresh project I haven’t done before which one of the highlights of working here. Using different CMS for projects has also been new too, I haven’t done that too much but it has been great once getting use to them.

Final points

  • Communicate with everyone, it will give the project a better chance of success for sign off.
  • Test and test and test again, don’t let a silly bug slip past you.
  • Do something you love, a passion for what you do is key.
  • Push your self to improve by any means e.g. ask or find issues that are happening.

Thanks for reading !

If you have any questions, or need help. Let me know, send me a message on here or Tweet me.

Twitter: @kamaalkw

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Originally published at kamaalkwblog.wordpress.com on June 6, 2016.

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