Gabriela Rogelova is an Exploratory Tester. She spoke with Client Server’s Jodene Adjei about her tech journey.
Jodene Adjei : How did your career in tech start?
Gabriela Rogelova : It sounds strange to many people when I say that I didn't have any exposure to technology whatsoever when I was growing up. I grew up in a small town in Bulgaria during the 90s, so we didn’t have computers until a very late age. I studied psychology at university and after graduating, I worked in the HR department of a tech company. I was recruiting developers, project managers, QA, everything. In order to have a good understanding, particularly during interviews, I started learning more about tech and programming. I didn’t want to be a recruiter who was mocked for not knowing enough about tech - I wanted to be more, to understand more, to understand the answers to the questions being asked. The more I learned about it, the more interested I was.
Jodene Adjei : You started learning about the world of tech by recruiting people for it. What happened next?
Gabriela Rogelova : I took about a year and a half sabbatical and I graduated every online tech boot camp I could find. Because I didn’t come from a tech background, I needed a couple of years to orientate myself and figure out what my strengths were. After analysing what I really enjoyed about tech, I realised I didn’t want to be a developer, I wanted to be a QA.
Jodene Adjei : What was it about being a QA that appealed to you?
Gabriela Rogelova : It’s really important to me that we produce a very good product for our clients. When you're a QA, you have to really understand the whole product to get the whole picture. QA is my passion and my strength and moving into this direction really completed my path in tech and I feel I found my place.
Jodene Adjei : What does a typical day for you look like?
Gabriela Rogelova : A typical day will start with checking the team chats and emails and everything for updates and so I will know where my team stands. And then we have a standup where we catch up on our progress, going over the stories we are working on and the project we're working on. And then the days are really very dynamic and different. Some days I will have to test all day long something that we are working on. Some days I will be having more meetings like today, where we plan our test strategy for an upcoming project or a new feature that we want to add to our product. Some days will be triaging bugs, some days will be training. So it really depends. And we also have to find time for personal development. So I constantly look for stuff that I can upgrade my skills or my knowledge
Jodene Adjei : What would your message be for any other women thinking about getting into technology?
Gabriela Rogelova : When I think about my experience, I always thought that technology was something very complicated. But in real life, it's just something that you just have to work hard and learn, like everything else, every other skill. Everything you do in life you started from somewhere and you build upon it. So, my message would be give it a try because it's a great field, it has a lot of opportunities and it lacks women and it needs more women.
Jodene Adjei : What does the tech industry need to do to attract more women?
Gabriela Rogelova : We don't have much diversity in the tech world. The better companies are trying to hire a diverse set of people, but if you don't have applicants, you can't do it. At one point I was working in a company where I was the only woman on the whole floor. And there were more than 10 startups working at this time on this floor. It's very weird to be the only person, the only woman there. When you don't have a diverse set of people, you just end up with the same ideas and the same way of working and it doesn't enrich the environment and the work.
Jodene Adjei : You mentioned that you had started a new role, which you applied for through Client Server. How did you find working with us?
Gabriela Rogelova : It was very pleasant and Jack Morrow was great to prepare me for my interviews, so I knew exactly what I should expect and I shouldn't be worried at all. I was looking for a job in the outbreak of the pandemic so it was a very stressful time. I had many interviews and people would tell me, "Oh, we got thousands of candidates. So we don't even know how to select from them." But Jack made it really casual and I was calm and confident for my interviews. He presented the company well, so I really wanted to work for them. For me, this experience was great, especially compared with all the rest of my interview situations that I got during this recruiting process.