As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Jonathan Perez.
Company Role: Senior Quality Assurance Engineer
Most likely to: Put a smile on your face/annoy the hell out of you
Secret talent: The ability to make people comfortable
A proud Puerto Rican who was born and raised in the Boogie Down Bronx, Jonathan has worked with some of our team members for over five years and counting. So who better to give us the lay of the land? Getting into the quality assurance business, he initially thought he’d be playing games for a living. However, after a couple of internships, his career took him down a similar yet different direction. And while he’s not gaming all day, every day, Jonathan has discovered a more rewarding side to QA. He loves what he does and genuinely calls String and Key his second home. Read on to learn more about our resident class clown as he discusses his day-to-day life, his secret nerdy past, his life-saving superpower, and more.
You’ve been working with String and Key’s CEO, Alex for over five years now. What made you join for this new adventure when String and Key was formed?
Honestly, it was Alex’s excellent leadership. He saw an opportunity to build something spectacular, and knowing him and his style, when he asked me to come on board, there was no hesitation. He had the opportunity to build a new company from scratch with a brand new team, but he already knew he had the people he wanted. That really exemplified the faith he had in us and vice versa; he was a leader we wanted to follow on to greener pastures. He runs a tight ship, and we’re in this together for the long haul. Plus, being able to work on ideas that’ll make a difference in people’s lives feels super rewarding — there’s no way I could turn that down.
What does a typical day at String and Key look like for you?
A typical day (pre-COVID) starts with a 1.5-hour commute. Commitment, right? Once there, I head to our all-hands meeting where we go over the work that’s due that week, see what everyone’s working on, and also help troubleshoot any roadblocks. After that, I’ll work closely with our developers to give immediate feedback on any bugs and close out any unfinished tasks that are due.
Throughout the day, you can usually find me chatting with the UX designers to get input on how something should look and flow on multiple devices. Once I address all immediate needs, I’ll break for lunch. Post-lunch it’s onto testing, whether that be exploratory to find issues to be recorded in Trello (our collaboration tool) or whether it’s running through test cases to make sure all features are functioning. I’ll then start wrapping up by taking notes on what I worked on that day. And whatever I didn’t get to will be addressed in tomorrow’s standup. Finally, it’s on to happy hour where anyone who wants a beer or wine is welcome to imbibe. That’s more or less how a regular day is here, and I love it!
What’s one thing we don’t know about you?
I used to be a “super nerd” and was very much into Pokémon and the Yu-Gi-Oh! card games. I had every game that came out and spent a lot of time and money collecting the cards. The nerdiness got so serious that I had my dad take me to upstate NY multiple times to participate in tournaments. It wasn’t all bad though, I came first place in one, and that’s the proudest moment I had as a kid.
Rumour has it that you used to double as String and Key’s Culture Champion, how did that come about?
All by mistake, actually. So the String and Key Culture Club is something that happens quarterly. This is a company outing where we go out for the day to do something fun that has some team-building aspect to it. Some of our grand plans have included rafting, trampoline park excursions, and a scavenger hunt through Grand Central Terminal. The first Culture Club that I planned took place in Prospect Park. We had a mini Olympics tournament and some delicious food catered by Dino BBQ, Brooklyn. Seeing how many people enjoyed my activity got me excited to plan even more outings. I kept rolling with it and naturally got inducted as the Head of Culture for the office.
What excites you about your job?
The people I get to interact with every day. No matter what team a person is on, you always have the opportunity to chat with them and learn from them. I love that you can get to know everyone on a personal level and understand what they do. This level of interaction can spark a new interest somewhere down the line, which is deeply encouraged here. For example, we have had our office manager work with our QA team and some developers have done design work on a few projects. That’s something you don’t see in most places. We all work closely together and are a tight-knit crew.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
We’re still a growing team, so the lack of extra eyes to double and triple-check the work gets challenging sometimes. But like I said, we’re still growing, so I don’t think this will be too much of an issue in the long run.
How do you stay on top of your game?
I like to attend some of the local QA tester meet-ups held in the city. It’s a great place to learn how other companies run their QA teams and what technologies they’re using to make the work and the industry more efficient. I love bringing those ideas back to the office to help make our department that much better.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
Believe it or not, it’s baby CPR. In college, I had to give a 15-minute presentation on a subject of my choice. Coincidentally, my uncle was taking a CPR course at the time, so I took one of his pamphlets that explained this subject in detail. My presentation consisted of me showing my class how to perform CPR with my sister’s baby doll. Who knew I’d end up needing this knowledge in the future to save my 2-month-old son during a choking episode. Moral of the story: read those pamphlets.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
It’s definitely family. I have a 4-year-old, a recently-adopted 6-month-old husky and a baby on the way. From long walks and training with Bella (my dog) to homeschooling and entertaining Jayson (my son) to putting together dressers for my bae on the way (no name yet) to binge-watching some Netflix shows with Denisse (the Mrs.), there’s plenty to keep me busy.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#ClassClown #LeadershipLeo #Competitive #Hookah #BronxBoi
Fact or fiction?
Sour cream or salsa?
TV shows or movies?
Teleportation or mind reading?
Teleportation (I’m late for everything).
Weird or normal?
The weirder, the better.
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!