Great Minds Make Great Tech Amy and Erin
Amy Simmons, Software Developer, and Erin O’Donnell, QA Analyst
Meet the team behind CloudM in our “Great Minds Make Great Tech” series
In this installment of the Great Minds make Great Tech series, we catch up with a “Maker”, Software Developer Amy Simmons, and a “Breaker”, QA Analyst Erin O’Donnell, as they discuss their symbiotic process for building and testing new features, the challenges and opportunities of working at CloudM, and their experiences and expectations of the Tech industry.
Create, break and reiterate
Amy: Dev and QA are two sides of the same coin – We create, break and reiterate until we get it right, and, hopefully, in the end, it means we can put out a better product for our customers because we have that cycle of constant improvement.
Erin: I sometimes think I’m the bane of Amy’s life. Every time she creates a new feature, it’s my job to probe it, see if there’s any flaws and give it back to her. But, if something is breakable in the product, I know that the Dev team would prefer QA to be the ones that break it.
Amy: Yeah – Absolutely! I’m really proud of some of the features that I’ve developed for CloudM Migrate, and I know that they are helping customers right now. Part of that is down to QA helping us make the feature even better with each iteration.
Getting into Tech
Erin: I never thought I’d end up in tech. At college, ICT wasn’t my initial choice. I ended up in that course because the one I wanted was full and, in a class of around 30, I was one of probably 4 girls. But, I loved it and realized that it was what I wanted to do with my life. I know that there’s this myth that tech is this big, scary, intimidating industry but it’s not. There’s also loads of people and support, like our “Women in Tech” group for example, that are happy to share their knowledge and experiences so I’d encourage anyone that’s interested to take the jump and just go for it.
Amy: I’ve always loved IT and Technology – It’s been a massive part of my life for as long as I can remember. When it was time to go to University, it was just a really natural choice to study AI, and then to look for roles in Software Development. At CloudM, we are all treated equally, as professionals, and held to the same high, but ultimately rewarding standard. The opportunities are there regardless of your background and it’s an exciting, ever-changing industry to be part of. My piece of advice would be to just have confidence in your skills, and remember that your opinions and knowledge are equally as valued as others.
Which CloudM value is your favorite?
Try new things
Amy: I personally love to learn and try new things. Everything is always moving and changing in our industry so I think it is a great value to have. The whole team are very open to new ideas and solutions, as well as the challenge of keeping up with the often rapid pace of changes from Google and Microsoft.
Erin: I think the “Appreciate others” value at CloudM is extremely important, especially with remote working. It’s as simple as just thanking someone, or having your work acknowledged, and it can make someone’s day and make them feel appreciated and listened to.
Dev life at CloudM
Erin: Working at CloudM has opened up lots of opportunities for me personally. I came in as a Junior QA, and, through CloudM, I have had the opportunity to take industry standard training, including completing my ISTQB certificate, as well as gain a lot of practical experience with a range of commercial technologies. Now, I’ve been promoted to a full QA Analyst role.
Amy: It’s really great to be trusted in your position as well. You get a level of autonomy that is rare so you can really just crack on with developing a new feature or working on an issue. It’s not software development by committee. That’s not to say that you aren’t supported or can’t ask for help or advice. Everyone at CloudM is happy to collaborate or lend their expertise and experience.
Erin: I totally agree! We have a really strong team where everyone’s opinion is valued and everyone contributes something unique. We have collaborative tools like Google Meet and Slack so, even when working remotely, you feel connected to the department, and the wider CloudM community in general.
Erin: For me, having the choice of where to work from and being totally trusted to get the work done is brilliant. It’s a bit of a recurring theme but CloudM values you as a professional and as a person, and I think it’s the combination of a great culture, that trust and the benefits that make you realize that it’s a great place to work, and motivate you to do your best work
Amy: So, my family absolutely loves CloudM! Every time I show them a treat box I’ve been sent or tell them about the social events that are organized for us, they are always amazed. They might sound like small things but combined with other benefits, like unlimited holidays and the tech saving scheme, they all add up to make you feel valued, appreciated and looked after.