Maybe it’s another “How I’ve changed my worklife” story, but I hope it is an interesting one. It seems quite important to tell: before the beginning of my Allegro adventure, I was working as… an archaeologist. It was both physical work on excavations and research work at my PhD studies. And the only thing that connects my past work and the current one is: attention to detail.
I had been thinking about changing my career path for some time. I’ve got some IT-experienced friends and they convinced me to try my luck in that field. In the beginning I learned some front-end technologies on my own. Later I systematized and developed my knowledge at a programming bootcamp. And started looking for a job. I sent my application to Allegro for a front-end developer offer. Unfortunately, my lack of experience (and probably knowledge, too) caused me not to get a job offer. However, someone from the HR squad encouraged me to not give up and try one more time with the Summer eXperience internship program.
I did it! I was invited to begin cooperation (as Test Engineer Intern) with Allegro’s teams responsible for developing listings (search result pages). First of July was the day when I and my 52 intern-colleagues started work. After a two-day long onboarding (a very intensive time filled with tons of useful pieces of information!), I met my teammates for the first time. During summertime anti-covid restrictions were not so strict and I was able to visit the office a few times. We discussed my responsibilities and they guided me through the listings domain.
In the beginning of my internship I had to test manually our web and mobile-web solutions. For a person who never had anything to do with a complex microservices system it was quite a challenging experience. I needed to understand and learn how services work and communicate with each other. The next step was to become familiar with test environments. Phoenix (development test environments) and Sandbox are very useful, but at the same time they are very fussy. You have to be quite patient to work with those tools. And when you are a QA Engineer you work with them all the time! But it turned out to be just a warm up. I quickly learned how to test our mobile applications (both for Android and iOS) and write and maintain automatic tests in the Cypress framework. I was introduced to chaos and efficiency testing. I also wrote my first automatic tests in Espresso and TeaBiscuit (our internal tool). Every day brought something exciting and new, and still does.
What do I like?
My favourite side of Allegro is knowledge sharing. Regarding common problems with technology or domain knowledge, I can always ask my supportive teammates, but there is much more. We can take part in many interesting courses and workshops organised by people truly dedicated to their subjects. Among those are not only tech-courses, but you can also take part in workshops which develop your soft or leadership skills. In my opinion, the most important thing is talking to other testers in our company. We have got a slack channel, a hot field of debates, sharing experiences and solving problems. There is also a monthly testers’ meeting. During these events we can present our tools, and share our feelings about them. After a short lecture we discuss a lot and it is really inspiring. Last but not least are our conferences and hackathons. Allegro organizes amazing, huge meetings (in the past year, they were, of course, organised online). Subjects are very diversified and broaden horizons.
Another amazing issue is the attitude. The whole team is proud of their work and tries to cooperate agreeably in order to be effective and efficient. Even as an Intern you do not feel as a second-class employee, you are treated as seriously as your coworker with ten years of experience. I never met a person who was rude to me, or was angry with my lack of knowledge. Everybody knows that there are newbies in the company, and they are forgiving. When you achieve a goal your colleagues are happy for you.
I was thinking long and hard about downsides or disadvantages of working at Allegro. Beside problems with test environments I mentioned above, I have one little issue. Because the company is so big, there are so many teams and services it is sometimes difficult to find the source of needed information. From time to time it takes much longer than you assumed. It might be a little bit frustrating. It also causes that many teams develop similar/alternative tools at the same time. Six months later, we realize that it could have been achieved faster and with less effort.Therefore, communication seems to be the most important thing, and sometimes it can be a bit neglected.
There is another minor difficulty. There are small pieces of code, small features that do not have an owner. When you find a bug there or would like to make some changes on it, it is not obvious to whom you should communicate your actions.
Let’s wrap up!
I like working with my teammates. I believe that I have developed a lot since I started work here. I am really happy to be part of this company, because Allegro is a great opportunity for everyone who wants to learn. It is good to be here! / Dobrze tu być!