Quality Time with QA: Jechelle Agravante

She’s been with Get Devs as a QA professional and project manager for six years.


Jechelle Agravante

— Jechelle Agravante’s interest in software quality assurance began in college. She recalls a class called “System Analysis & Design”, where she first had her taste of the work. The students were tasked with developing an automated voting system for an upcoming Student Council election. “I played the project manager and front-end developer roles back then, but my heart really fell into the QA role.”

As soon as she graduated from college, she received different job opportunities. “The very first job offer that I landed was a QA job and it felt right. Being a QA was almost like a natural skill for me and I think it’s because I’m highly organized and curious about a lot of things,” shares Jechelle. She would then spend the next five years with two different Philippine-based IT companies as a test engineer.

In 2016, she joined Get Devs as an offshore project manager. She said that during that time, she was looking for something new. She had never experienced interacting with clients before and, being an introvert, she saw the role as a challenge. What drew her to Get Devs was the company’s goal of matching top talent with interesting projects. She was excited about the prospect of making real contributions to software that mattered to users – and working for a client that valued her contributions.

— “I have learned that I can be as competitive as anyone else despite introversion,” says Jechelle. “I can get out of my comfort zone, I can add quality value to the software apps and to the development processes and most importantly, I can make the client company’s mission and vision achievable.”

She says the most exciting part of QA work is when there are new features for development, as this opens opportunities for her to learn new technologies or testing techniques for improvement. There are challenges, too, and it often comes with reminding developers that QA is not the enemy but a crucial part of software development.

Currently, Jechelle works in a fully remote setup. All members of the software development team, including Jechelle, are in Manila with the exception of their chief architect in the United Kingdom. The client specialist, product owner, and clients are all in the United States.

Jechelle says that being open-minded has helped her navigate the multicultural environment. “I know working with non-Filipinos would be different. Learning the team’s culture is key.” It helps that they work with clients who reciprocate their openness and are easy to speak with.


 

— Their team dynamic has been proven solid even during the pandemic. Their client expressed her support by giving extra rest days, allowing the team flexibility during US holidays, even though they follow the Philippine calendar. Whenever they needed it, Get Devs’ HR manager also offered consultations on all matters of work and personal concerns, making sure everyone on the team is healthy and well-functioning.

Snapshot of her day: Jechelle begins work at 3PM, Manila time. Upon clocking in, she checks Slack for important messages and urgent or high-priority tasks. Otherwise, she would refer to their team’s JIRA board for the day’s QA checklist and agenda. There may be meetings to attend as well, and before she logs off, she will send out a list of her accomplished tasks in the team’s end-of-day notes channel on Slack.

A QA’s best quality: “Being a team player and a good communicator to everyone, especially to the developers.” She says alignment between developers and QA is crucial to serving project goals.

Debunking QA misconceptions: Jechelle says QA isn’t just for testing. “QAs take time to understand development processes & business requirements as well.”

 

In 2022, Jechelle celebrates five years with Get Devs. Looking back, she shares: “Being part of this company is a great privilege to showcase that the Filipino software team is competitive and capable of handling different IT projects across the globe.”

 


 

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