My heart was set on software development company, Polymorph, from the first day when I accidentally fell into doing quality assurance (QA) for them (long story).
The short version is that my daughter was helping out with some QA work when I saw her testing, which looked like a lot of fun – especially compared to bookkeeping. It was a work-from-home job with no long hours, so I took over from her. Talk about a mid-life crisis.
As I have walked together with Polymorph as a contractor for almost 11 years and now as a full-time employee since January, I have grown with the company in many ways. I’m firstly not a technical person; I didn’t have any educational background in this field, but they took me and, with patient assistance, got me to where I am today.
Guidance and Team Dynamics
It has been a case of learning from day one. Marietjie (one of the Polymorph QA’s) was my guide and teacher and was always there for me. Marietjie and I were the only 2 QAs for the first eleven years. Last year, we gained another QA, Karen, and a QA Manager, Leon. I think we are a great team, and all work well together. From then until now, I can’t believe all the projects I have worked on over the last 12 years. Some have been forgotten, but others have stood out:
- Mobile app development for the different parks in South Africa, a personal favourite project.
- Working with Heartstyles, a tool for self-awareness and reaction assessment. We were fortunate enough to go on the course with a mentor, who talked us through our results
- The long-term collaboration with STBB, witnessing project evolution.
- Linebooker, a continuous and enjoyable project that involved custom software development to create South Africa’s largest freight platform which facilitates all transport-related functions on one transparent, cloud-based tool.
Each project is different from the next, and that’s what makes being a QA interesting. We’re often working on more than one project at a time, so life and work are never boring.
Embracing Continuous Learning
Now that I’m full-time, my learning has really gone into overdrive, not just through courses but in a variety of ways.
I have been exposed to ChatGPT, which I have found useful when getting stuck on doing step definitions for automation or anything else where research or investigation is needed. We have also started using Lambda Test, which allows us to test on devices that we don’t physically have to test on, thereby giving us a broader mobile base to test on, or if a user has a problem on a specific device, we can go and do tests on that particular device.
I was encouraged to increase my knowledge of technical terms, so I created a living glossary that is at my fingertips if I need to look up a word. It grows bigger every month with the more I learn. I may not remember them all, but I now have them at my fingertips to look up.
I have started creating Feature Files using a BDD approach – Polymorph’s QA team’s preferred framework for automation, which I really enjoy and from there, I did a Cypress with Cucumber BDD course that taught me how BDD (Behavior Driven Development) takes place and how it is implemented, with this course I was able to put some of it into action by automating the testing of our Polymorph’s website.
My studies haven’t finished here, though; we are encouraged to grow, to learn, and to make use of what’s available to us. I have completed 2 other courses this year as well:
- Fundamentals of Quality Assurance Engineering for test case writing and bug reporting.
- Secrets of Confidence and Communication for personal and professional growth.
These courses have helped me grow as an individual and bring that growth to the workplace in meetings, reviews, and retrospectives.
An Eagle-Eye for Quality Software and Apps
Being a QA has made me become rather ”fault finding” on new apps or websites, that the little things like a question mark in the middle of a word, for example, start becoming bugbears. “Spot the difference” games have become a walk in the park.
I have worked from home from the very first day, 11 years ago – Polymorph was then already way ahead of its time and set the trend for remote work years before Covid. It’s also one of the reasons I love working for them.
Even though I work from home and only meet up on team days, I have never felt like an isolated unit. With our team days, family days, daily stand-ups, and posts on Slack, there is still plenty of interaction with other team members and a chance to make genuine relationships with each other.
An Enduring Company Culture that Encourages Growth and Mentorship
Polymorph started out as a small company, which, with family, would have fitted into our new boardroom and has flourished into what it is today. We celebrated Polymorph’s 10th anniversary in 2022 with a complete brand makeover, which we unveiled this year.
CEOs have come and gone, as have some staff. What hasn’t left is Polymorph’s genuine care for its employees, and it has stood the test of time. You are made to feel like you are part of the Polymorph family, that you as a person are important, and so is your well-being.
Polymorph has a lot of young, talented QA analysts, app developers, software architects, and so on in their midst, and it’s quite amazing to see these brilliant young minds at work, to see what they accomplish and how they, too, flourish at Polymorph. If I look back at my own development, I didn’t have a computer until 2000, but they seem to be born knowing how to use one. Polymorph also has a very nurturing nature – you have to know what you’re doing, but there is always someone to lend you a hand or to teach you something new. Everyone works together and helps each other reach goals.
I trust I’ve made meaningful contributions to Polymorph, and I’m grateful for how much the company has enriched my career. I’ve always given my best and stayed loyal because when you find an employer as great as this, it’s only natural to do so. It’s a testament to the significant influence Polymorph has had on my life that I plan to retire here.