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Employee Q&A: Jim Zhang

Oct 19, 2020

5 min read

By: Avanti Krishnan

Hi Jim! First of all, a huge congratulations on 5 years with the company! It must have been quite a journey considering how the company has grown. How do you feel now that you have completed 5 years at Mappedin?

Thank you Avanti! I have learned a lot and it has been a great company and an excellent environment for me. I really enjoy the respect that I receive from people and am very thankful to all my managers and others in the company who have helped me improve, not only with respect to work, but on a personal level too. 

Just going back to the beginning, why did you decide to join Mappedin? What was your title when you joined?

My major at University was in Actuarial Science and Statistics and my minor was in Computer Science. Once I graduated from university, I realized that I wanted to look at pursuing something else and that’s when an acquaintance mentioned Mappedin to me. When I joined the company, we were around 20 employees. I worked in the Quality Assurance Developer role for a few years before I moved to the role of a Software Tester and have been working in that role ever since.

Initially, I was looking to learn more about the industry and Mappedin agreed to let me come to the office, learn about their products, and poke around looking for bugs. I really enjoyed my time doing this and ended up staying on full-time with Mappedin as one of their first QA Developers. Since then, I have done testing almost every day. Sometimes my suggestions work and are taken into consideration and sometimes other people have better suggestions for some specific feature design, which is fine with me, but I am always very excited to see how the product has improved and continues to improve!

What did you do as a Quality Assurance Developer?

When I joined Mappedin, I didn’t have a ton of experience on the testing side but I was really interested in learning more about it. I started off learning how to create manual tests from scratch and creating a test plan for production. During that time, the major product that I tested was the Mappedin CMS, our back-end editor tool. Afterwards, we realized a need for automation testing as well so I did some research along with my manager to find a good testing tool. We ended up using something called Sahi for around 2 or 3 years. Time really flies!  

It definitely does! You started working on the Mappedin CMS but since then, have you done testing on any of our other products?

Great question! I believe I have done testing on most of the features across all of our products. I was initially a part of the Tools team, specifically working on testing for the CMS, permission manager, and our Print solution. I transferred to the Consumer team end of last year, where I've been testing our front-end products. It was a nice change, especially since they both require different testing strategies.

The environment that they have been setup in are also very different. For the CMS, we always had to do regression testing after the implementation of certain changes, but for our pre-built applications, each component is isolated and any change to a single component does not affect any other component. 

Is there one thing that you like the most about working at Mappedin or in your role specifically?

I really enjoy the learning period available during light sprints or when there is a lull in tickets. As a QA, there are tickets ready for us to test and after, you may add a feature into the automation testing or update it into your test plan. However, you might have a phase where there are no tickets and there is time to learn. I've learned JavaScript, how to create automation testing, how many testing methods we have, and how many of them we can apply to our product during those times.  

Mappedin has a very good working environment. People are very friendly, the working time is very flexible, and everyone is willing to help you improve. We also want to give people the work that they are interested in which definitely helps people to improve. My teams also encourage people to speak their thoughts and ensure that there is a healthy discussion which helps to bring out different solutions on product improvements.

That's great to hear! Have you started any projects or hobbies ever since we moved remotely?

My wife and I tried so many different things! The first couple of months, we would listen to an opera every night. We also bought a Nintendo Switch just before COVID hit and we started using it to exercise at home. We have really enjoyed having the extra time to spend at home with family and chat with people remotely. 

What would be a good WFH tip that you can give us?

Always make sure to have a good setup, including a good chair and monitor. I would also suggest working in a close environment, rather than an open environment like a dining room. I like to work in a private room so that if I need to really concentrate, I can close the door. I also like to work using headphones, and mine even has noise cancellation features, which help me concentrate better.

Really, the best tip I have is to always brew a fresh cup of coffee in the morning! 

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