When start-up meets quality… A short story of QA agent


“Third time lucky” – you can’t just face exactly the same problem again joining the new company, can you? The only problem is…this rule doesn’t apply to the start-up environment.

I’ve worked for three different start-ups so far, always getting on board with a clear mission in mind – to increase the value of the product by building a proper quality mindset and culture within the whole organization. The companies differed in almost every aspect: industry, structure, maturity, business approach and technological advancement. The one and only thing in common always was… a single tester clicking for a few years already until me making an appearance there! During that time, the companies were growing and scaling up. Unfortunately, this change did not include the area of quality assurance. A gateway to disaster…

Fortunately, at some point, a red flag was spotted which led to a simple but powerful conclusion: “Oh no! We need to increase our quality asap!”. And here my story begins…

At first, it always looks like “mission impossible” – too many misleading hints, several unexpected traps and laser maze full of bugs ahead of you. But if you take a thoughtful jump and give yourself time, you can transform productive chaos into a quality driven environment – in other words, make the impossible, possible!

Undoubtedly, there are two paramount goals to be addressed at the company level:

* to increase the quality of the product,
* to build quality culture across the organization.

Yet, before you even start, there is step 0 – finding the answer to the basic question: “WHY did all of this happen?”. Is it because of chaotic scaling up? Monetization priority? Lack of time/people?

Obviously, you will have to build your own team (whatever it is, centralized or distributed one). It’s inseparably connected with recruitment and personal development process. How to find the right people and let them grow in such a dynamic and changing environment?

I want to share with you mistakes made, lessons learned and solutions implemented, in a nutshell – my story of becoming a change agent of Quality Assurance.