November 12, 2021

From TechEd to Fintech - What life is like for the first QA hire at Cledara

Life at Cledara

With almost five months of experience at Cledara, I thought I'd take some time to reflect on what it's been like so far.

Nikesh Ashar

Hi - I’m Nikesh. I’ve joined the Engineering team here at Cledara recently to lead on all things Quality Assurance (QA). In short, my job is to make sure that the new features we deploy work before they reach our customers. 

Coming from a background in technical education, engineering and product ownership allowed me to get stuck right in from Day 1 with the task at hand.

What was my first week at Cledara like you might be thinking?** 

It definitely wasn’t the norm. I joined just before Cledara’s 3rd birthday and the inaugural company offsite to Val D’Aran in Spain. My first interaction with anyone from the team apart from the hiring process was at Stansted Airport to catch a flight to Barcelona. Lucky for me the amazing sales team of Oscar, Sive, Eric and Viktor were on hand. It just felt like a group of friends straightaway. 

For a long weekend we met everyone from our international offices, bonded, hiked, ate and enjoyed ourselves. 

I can’t promise everyone the same first week at Cledara but that’s a good benchmark! 

Day to Day in QA**

Working in an agile and distributed team keeps you on your toes. We’re always improving our product and deploying daily upgrades for our customers. Ensuring that the QA process runs smoothly was my first priority when joining and I had the full support of the team to get this in place. 

Cledara is a fast-growing startup which means that you’re often needed in more than one place which keeps the job exciting.

I could spend the morning helping a customer out and then switch quickly to testing an improvement to one of our webhooks or managing one of our many upcoming launches (follow our socials to hear more as we launch them). It's thrilling!

Work life balance

Most of my day to day is with the engineering teams in Spain and Bratislava so I’m able to enjoy a good work life balance.

Not living in central London allows me to enjoy remote working life while still being able to collaborate with the teams in the London office by coming in a few days a week.

Growth and success

Even though I’ve only been here a few months, I can see how ambitious we want to be and the involvement I've been able to have.

I’ve been entrusted with a few large projects and received expert guidance from our co-founders Brad and Cristina who are exceptional leaders and gurus of all things finance and fintech, which I think makes Cledara a very attractive place to grow professionally.

Top traits for working in a quality assurance role** 

I’ve been reflecting a bit on my role and what ‘success’ looks like. Here’s a few thoughts: 

Be an investigator - A key skill is to know where & when to look when you’re testing. Essentially you’re the last line of defence between your users having an exceptional experience and being dissatisfied with your product or service. 

Have great attention to detail - From managing the expected behaviour of a feature or checking text for typo’s - you need to be able to spot key details across the board. You’ll be able to provide key feedback to engineers and the product team alike on what you see.

Growth mindset - Being a rapid growth startup - we’re moving quickly. A key skill in this is to move and learn with the changes. As technology evolves so does the role of QA. New tools come to market, processes change and skills are learnt. If you want to learn - being in a QA team in a company like Cledara is the place to do it. 

Why did I join a startup again like Cledara?**

I’ve always worked for small companies and love the culture. Every working day in a startup is different and you rarely do the same job twice in QA. With a startup you need to have the self discipline to make sure you have time to get everything you need done.

If you’re reading this thinking about a career move - be ready for rapid change, growth and constant iteration and improvement. If this is you - what are you waiting for? Check out our open roles to learn more!  



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Nikesh Ashar

I currently look after Quality Assurance and IT at Cledara. Having built a robust QA process and now a team, we work with Product and Engineering to make sure that our software is robust and well tested.

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