Meet #FSITeam series: a close-up of the company’s team members and their own #FSIstories. We will be celebrating birthdays, sharing achievements, thoughts and wisdom through up-close and personal one-on-ones Q&As, and informative articles. #RememberTheGameIsOurs
This week: Head of Marketing & People Comms, Maria Arnidou, interviews FSI’s QA Engineer, Eftychios Patsourakis.
1) Hello Eftychis! Thank you for joining us in this Q&A session, it’s a pleasure to introduce you to FSI’s followers and peers. Let’s introduce you to our readers in your own words; tell us a little bit about you and your role in FSI. What does a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer do?
Hello Maria, thank you for having me. I've been part of the FSI team for almost a year now and it has been quite the trip so far. I'm a quality assurance engineer and my main responsibility Ι would say is to prevent any sort of defects from going into production. So in general, my job is to analyse and ask for clarifications about the requirements, Plan the process of testing and write test cases.
2) Now, let us “dig” a little deeper into your background! I know that QA Engineering was a turning point in your career; you were on a different career path until you decided to take the leap. Would you like to share a little more about that? What did you do before, and why did you change your career path?
Well, to say I've changed a lot of jobs is a bit of an understatement. I've worked in many different fields like accounting, logistics, receptionist, the list goes on. At some point I met an old friend of mine and we started discussing jobs (he was a QA engineer), and I realised that his job was really interesting. Long story short he suggested that I might be able to do it too if I was willing to study, and said that he would help me get a job as QA engineer however he could. And after a couple of years of studying and watching countless tutorials while working, I landed my first job as a QA engineer.
3) What was the biggest challenge in the process of switching career paths? And after that, what was the biggest challenge from when you first joined FSI until now?
Honestly, the hardest thing was to believe that it can be done. It's easy to get complacent about your current mediocre job that you get no fulfilment out of, and be afraid of what might happen if you make a big change, but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith. At least you will be able to say that I tried for something better even if it doesn't work out. As regards to my time in FSI I would say the biggest challenge was to simultaneously learn how our testing framework KARATE works, since I had never heard of it before joining FSI, and not fall behind on my day to day tasks.
4) What is your favourite part of this job? What do you enjoy most about it, or enjoy doing the most?
That's an interesting question, the thing I love most is that it's challenging, in a good way. What I mean is, every day you have to consider, are the requirements clear enough to proceed with the processes? What should be tested? How should it be tested? Which test cases should we automate and for which manual testing is enough? For me this is very stimulating. Sometimes it feels like I'm playing an old school adventure video game (Monkey Island, Broken Sword, etc) where you try to find the solution for hours to no avail (some of the puzzles had really weird solutions), so i had to search for a solution in a gaming magazine, (yes younglings, back in my days we had to flip through pages for solutions). Now this magazine is the stackoverflow and the game is the karate framework, and more often than not the "guides" are written from our Lord and saviour Peter Thomas.
5) LOL, I loved the classic adventure games reference - it was exactly like that!! So, between your career choices and your everyday experiences you have definitely grown and matured as a person and a professional. However, there is always a next step or aspiration. What is your next goal professionally, both within FSI and in your career?
My professional goals, if I'm being honest, have been pushed back a little due to the recent changes in my life, with me becoming a dad and moving back to Athens, however this doesn't change the fact that I want to get the ISTQB certification, which I believe is essential for moving forward in my professional career. Also having the chance to work with another testing framework would be great. In regard to my goals in FSI, these are to continue to grow, hone my skills as tester and help the company however I can to achieve its goals.
6) Now, a fun fact we should share with our readers is that your name, Eftychios/Eftychis derives from the greek noun “eftychia”. The ancient form of which means to have good luck/fortune, while its modern meaning is happiness. Do you feel you have been lucky in your life and career so far? Are there any “lucky moments”, special moments in your life that seemingly came out of nowhere? And, is Eftychis happy right now?
Well, a moment that came out of nowhere was when I met my wife, we were in the same university for five years and we never met each other, not until a graduation party one week before we left for good. And of course that fateful day that I met with my friend who nudged me towards becoming a QA engineer. Nowadays I can confidently say that this is the best phase of my life since I became a father recently, I'm getting married in October (where you all will be invited of course) and I'm really happy with my work.
7) We are so glad to hear that you are happy! But, let’s say that you find a dusty (magic) lamp… in your grandparents' attic! You try to dust it off and a grumpy genie that looks like Darth Vader appears. Darth says "make it quick, mortal, it's my half-day, I'll only grant you one wish!". What do you wish for?
Well that's a really tough question.... I should probably answer like most 90s beauty pageant contestants, "world peace” or “to put an end to world hunger", but since it's his half day, I'll ask something simpler, to just put an end to covid-19. I think it's about time to get our lives back.
8) OK, back to the real world! It’s 2022 and life has been challenging for everyone these couple of years, but focusing on the things that we can control, what do you consider to be your biggest personal achievement, your greatest flaw, and your very own “superpower” right now?
I would ask you to define achievement, but I'll answer anyway: it's probably becoming a father, it's something that I really wanted and it came just at the right time. My greatest flaw? Oh, you know, being too hard working or being too honest.... Jokes aside it's probably me "being on the spotlight", it's really something that is stressful for me... Already, whenever I think about my wedding and that I have to dance in front of all these people, I break out in a cold sweat. My current superpower is the ability to spend time with my wife, my baby, my friends, working, helping in the house (don't ask my wife about the last one) and still find some time for my favourite hobby, gaming.
9) And if you could have a “real” superpower - the Marvel and DC Universe kind - what would that be??
In Justice League the movie, when Barry Allen (Flash) asks Bruce Wayne (Batman), "what are your superpowers again?", he replies, "I’m rich" - so I would say Batman's… But I will go with the super powers of Flash, moving faster than the speed of light (Einstein rolls in his grave as I say this) sounds really awesome, but most importantly, Flash needs to consume huge amounts of calories due to his hyper-metabolism, so that could come in handy… (wink).
10) It’s been some time that we have been working from home now, and FSI will go on with a hybrid model of work. What is it that you look forward to doing on your first day at the office? Is there anything you would like to see happening during the Team’s time at the office? Do you have any suggestions for team activities face-to-face or online?
When i started to work for FSI, due to the situation with covid I didn't get the chance to meet most of the team, also my wife was pregnant at the time and i had to go back to my hometown to take care of her, so if it wasn't for Thanos getting married I still wouldn't have met most of the team. As you may have guessed, I'm really looking forward to spending time with you all. Now for the first day at the office, we could arrange some sort of coffee "meeting" just to hang around, I can't really decide on one suggestion, though one thing is certain: it won't be our most productive day ever... Now that I think about it, this coffee "meeting" could be something we do once a week, just to talk about non-work related matters.
11) Let’s wrap this up with a realistic look at the times and some good advice. Now, you and I are both “early millennials” age-wise. Meaning that we have experienced both the pre-digital-first world, its lingering conservatism and inflexibilities here in Greece and in general, as well as the innovative wave of the digital era. Do you feel there are elements of the modern professional world that facilitated your career journey? Do you think your career change would be possible in 2010? Nowadays, what would you advise an established professional to do, in order to pursue a career in a new field?
The amount of information and tutorials available on the Internet today is staggering, you can learn from how to take care of your plants (unsuccessfully), to programming your own 2D video game (maybe sometime), so this certainly helped with my career change along with the guidance of my friend, and I think it would still be possible in 2010 but kinda harder. The biggest problem when you don't like the field you are in, or don't find it stimulating enough is that you think, "now it's too late for me to start on a new field" or "I won't even know where to start" or "but I don't know anything about this field". Even though these are valid concerns, sometimes, as I mentioned earlier, you have to take a leap of faith. So if you are thinking of jumping to another field, take a deep breath, set short term goals, work hard, and will be able to do it - taking one step at a time!!