A day in the life of… Head of Quality Assurance

In the second installment of our ‘A Day in the Life of…’ blog series, we catch up with David Weston, Head of QA at Infomentum, to find out what his typical day looks like.

As Head of delivery and quality assurance, I’m responsible for…
the way we deliver customer projects, and specifically our process for managing quality in our project delivery. By that, I mean the governance and process around how we manage, deploy, test, and release code, and also the process by which we execute projects. I am line manager to our test team which consists of 6 testers.

I come from…
Surrey, originally, but I live in Kent these days. When I first joined Infomentum almost 6 years ago, I was living in London, but I made the move out to the countryside a couple of years ago now.

I studied…
Computer science at Exeter University. I originally thought I was going to do a journalism degree, actually. But I ended up choosing Computer Science as I was doing better in IT than in English, and I was convinced of the better job prospects!

I got into this job by…
I got to know Dan (Shepherd, Founder and Chief Operations Officer) through Cancer Research UK, where I was working before. When my contract at CRUK finished, I got chatting to Dan about expanding agile delivery capability at Infomentum, and they asked me to come in and build up Infomentum’s testing functionality. That was in 2012, and over 5 years later, here I am!

In the office, I’m known as…
Someone who runs a lot! I’ll often tell Nelson (Matias, Head of Pre-Sales), that I’m running a half marathon at the weekend, and he’ll say “why?!?!”. So maybe I’m “the guy who casually does a half marathon at the weekend”. I’m also the guy who walks up the 8 flights of stairs to the office for fun!

The project that I’m working on is…
Right now, I’m working on a project with a big insurance company, migrating 280000000 (!) documents from their old document management system to Oracle WebCenter Content. The current system integrates with a number of internal systems and we are in the process of incrementally moving them over. I’m acting as the Scrum Master, so I’m the main point of contact for the client.

That means that my typical day on the project is quite diverse. So I could be doing anything from account management meetings with the client, to automated testing on the project, getting stuck right into the detail.

I like getting my teeth stuck into a technical challenge, and I enjoy finding solutions to technical problems. I also like being busy, with a bit of pressure, and I enjoy working with a good team!

By lunchtime, I’ve…
Walked up 8 flights of stairs, and had three cups of coffee. I’ve also caught up on loads of emails, and had my daily conference calls. We also do a morning stand-up with the team, where we get everyone up to speed with project developments, and lay out what we’re going to do that day.

My afternoon consists of…
Getting stuck into project tasks! I’ll document my team’s progress on Confluence (our collaborative platform at Infomentum), and attend account-level meetings.

As head of my department, I take key learnings from working on projects, and document them to share with other heads of department so that they filter through to other projects. We’re a very collaborative company and share lessons learned, so that we can estimate how similar problems in other departments might be solved. We’re always honing these things, so we can look at patterns in projects, and apply knowledge from them to other future projects. I also do work around Infomentum’s values, and I’m heavily involved in working on company strategy as a head of department.

On the line management side, I catch up with my team and make sure they’re happy with what they’re working on, and supporting them with any problems they might have – work or otherwise.

Every two weeks, we have a team meeting where everyone takes turns to present a topic they found interesting in the last couple of weeks. The heads of department do the same, but present to the other heads of department instead of to the team internally.

In my opinion, the tech industry is…
Realising that it’s getting more and more important to have processes in place that allow you to release change quickly. We’re constantly working on how we can speed up getting code into environments more quickly at Infomentum, but also more efficiently and maintaining quality. The more we automate, the more we can release more frequently and reliably.

My proudest achievement is…
That I’ve implemented an automated test and delivery framework here at Infomentum . Now we have both fast and reliable testing that we use across all projects at the company. I’m also proud of having grown the test team here.

Outside of work, I ran the Brighton marathon in 3 hrs 43 mins this year.

When I leave the office I…
Like to run or play football. I spend time with my family (my wife and 6-month old son) after work, and on the weekends, I’ll catch up with the wider family.

If I wasn’t head of delivery and quality assurance at infomentum, I’d be…
Maybe an author writing children’s book or something like that – I’ve got an imagination which I think would suit the genre – I love fantasy and adventure!

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