A day in the life of… Lindsay S (Senior QA Engineer)

May 21, 2019 · 5 min read

This ‘Day in the life of’ series gives you an insight into what a typical day looks like for our women in Tech at ASOS (hint: there isn’t one) and how they started their careers. Hopefully, you take something inspirational away from it.

This one’s about Lindsay S who’s a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer (QA for short).

My alarm clock goes off…

At 6:45am. I normally get up a bit earlier, but this week I’m recovering from a cold. I have a coffee and get ready.

My commute to work…

I cycle to the station, get another coffee and then jump on the train.

I’m responsible for…

I’m in the Content team, which looks after our content management system. It enables the Marketing team to manage the homepages and keep them full of exciting content for our customers.

For example, it helps projects like Fashion Discovery come to fruition. Fashion Discovery is a competition where budding designers can apply to get their products sold on ASOS. We helped the Marketing team build the voting portal, the pages that show different information about the brands and the application process.

At the moment though, I’m working on back-end projects. While part of our team builds the look and feel of the homepages, I’m making sure our process for getting it onto the website is faster so we can release more frequently and customers can benefit from this. This also makes sure the releases are safer and faster.

I’m also a member of the QA community at ASOS, which is a great way to connect and network. We have approximately 120 QAs across all our locations and are encouraged to meet other QAs that you wouldn’t normally speak to. As a QA you’re usually working in a cross-functional development team and you might be the only QA in the team. But if you want to have a sounding board for the best way to approach a testing problem, it’s useful to know someone in the business.

I got the job…

I went to university and studied Russian with Serbian. Prior to ASOS, I went to a recruitment agency — they sold me a job at a retailer that involved testing products, but I don’t think the recruiter realised they were digital products. So, I showed up on my first day expecting to be testing hoovers and household items like ironing boards.

They gave me a pile of iPhones and told me to test the mobile app, which I did with the help of Google and other developers. I didn’t even know QA was a thing until I started doing it.

I enjoy working in e-commerce because I enjoy shopping online. I’ve never stopped learning, so I decided to stay and then join ASOS, because I love ASOS. I’ve been shopping on the site for about 10 years now.

My typical day…

I check my emails to make sure there’s nothing I need to complete before our stand-up meeting at 9.30am.

I meet with the Business Analyst (BA), the developers, our Agile Delivery Manager (ADM), our apprentice and we chat about our sprint (a fortnightly cadence where we commit to delivery and a release by the end of that two weeks). We also discuss any blockers to the work. Sprints help us focus. There will be a sprint goal that we want to achieve. By the end of the sprint we should have things ready to be released to customers.

After the stand-up, I’ll normally pick up a piece of testing from our current sprint. We run our tests overnight, so when we come back in the mornings, we have an overview of how the changes from the previous day have affected our platform. If the changes are good, the TV screens are green and if the changes are bad, they turn red. If anything is red on the boards (which hopefully it isn’t, but it happens), we figure out why it’s red and address it. We make the red turn green.

My most memorable moment…

When the Netherlands and Swedish stores went live, we had a themed celebration. We ate stroopwafels and snacks from IKEA, and listened to an ABBA playlist.

The best part of my job…

A big part of QA is building relationships and communicating with people. We have to explain to people why a certain route is the best route to go down versus another one. I enjoy being able to chat to different kinds of people in different kinds of roles. We interact with people from the business and Tech.

In the evenings…

I watch a lot of Netflix. I love a murder documentary. I also like gardening, so I’ll tend to my balcony children. I’m also doing a part-time masters in Computer Science, so I’ll go to my lectures or study.

My one piece of advice for aspiring women in Tech…

The soft skills are really key. A lot of people think that the technical skills are important, but those are easily learned. Good interpersonal skills can be more difficult to learn. In most businesses, even if it’s the same technology you’ve used before, it’s always used differently. You’ve always got a learning curve. Focus on your communication skills, presentation skills and soft skills that will help you succeed in Tech.

Lindsay Strydom is a Senior QA Engineer at ASOS. She’s a charity shop enthusiast and plant lover.


Written by

The ASOS Tech Blog

A collective effort from ASOS's Tech Team, driven and directed by our writers. Learn about our engineering, our culture, and anything else that's on our mind.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade