Simon is a Software Quality Assurance Manager at the McAfee Aylesbury office. He joined the company 11 years ago and has fulfilled various roles at McAfee Labs, where he found his passion for improving the quality of the technology we deliver to McAfee customers.
Who doesn’t want to live out their passions in their career? It’s something people spend decades looking for and not all are fortunate to find. For my part, I’m thankful I found a company where I discovered both and can live out my passion: raising awareness of the importance of software testing and quality assurance.
Some of you may be wondering what exactly quality assurance is. It’s ensuring the software McAfee offers is of the highest quality and delivers world-class results for our customers. In the eleven years I’ve been with McAfee, I’ve been provided plenty of opportunities to learn, collaborate and carry out my goal of sharing knowledge along the way.
Questions? It’s part of my job to have answers (get it? QA?). Here are three questions I’m commonly asked about my QA journey and love for raising awareness:
What inspired me to pursue QA testing?
One of my most memorable experiences at McAfee was attending TestBash in 2015, the UK testing conference. Not only was this a great time to build relationships and network, but it also ignited my enthusiasm for software testing, introduced me to new concepts and drove the idea of testing communities home. If you have an opportunity to attend or are interested in QA, I strongly recommend you go!
When did I realize raising awareness about QA was important?
A couple of years ago, my alma mater invited me to present a career talk. I was excited to share my enthusiasm for QA with students, but the university stated QA was not part of their curriculum. After extensive research, I discovered only one out of the UK’s top 25 universities offered a testing/QA module.
Knowing the value of QA, I decided then and there I would help spread the word about testing to universities and broader community to improve the skills of potential candidates for future roles. I’ve given careers talks at various universities, joined the University of Buckingham’s Industry Advisory Board and spoke at London’s UKStar Testing Conference and the Online Test Conference.
Another way I do what I love in educating the next generation is with McAfee’s Online Safety Program. As a certified instructor, I teach children in the UK about the importance of cybersecurity, cyber safety and cyber ethics.
How do I bring this QA passion into McAfee?
McAfee has always supported my personal development and live out my passions both for QA and teaching others, through internal and external collaboration.
Inspired by TestBash a few years ago, I formed the Aylesbury Tester Gathering, a testing and quality community that connects interested McAfee employees and like-minded individuals from other companies. McAfee stands by Together is Power and fully supports this endeavour of mine by providing a location for our monthly gatherings.
I recently launched the McAfee UK & Ireland Quality Chapter, a networking group that brings engineering teams and other interested individuals together. Between the Aylesbury, Brighton and Cork offices, McAfee makes it simple for the chapter to share test automation and ideas, through monthly WebEx calls between the 3 sites. We all share the ultimate aim of getting teams aligned on the same goal, improving the quality of the McAfee products and releases.
As a Software QA Manager at McAfee, I’m determined to help build the best teams possible. I lead my team members in best practices, support them by working through challenges and encourage a networking mindset for professional growth.
By encouraging me to grow my leadership skills, lead collaborative communities and focus on more than creating higher quality software, McAfee empowers me to shape the future and help to protect the world from cyber threats.
If you’re still looking for your passion or for a company that supports your interests and encourages you to do more, I can tell you it’s worth the search.