At GK8, we talk a lot about our tech, private key security, and revenue-generating, blockchain-based services. However, what makes GK8 special is the people working here. Without their commitment and passion, GK8 wouldn’t have the great products or unique capabilities that we rave about.
With this in mind, we decided to start a monthly blog series introducing our stellar team. First on our list, is Bernard. Bernard joined us just over 2 years ago, straight out of the Masa program. Today he is QA Automation Team Leader and has had a great impact on our automated testing program.
By education, I am a mechatronic engineer. For those not familiar with the term, mechatronics is an interdisciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the integration of mechanical, electrical, and electronic engineering systems, and also includes a combination of robotics, computer science, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering. The idea is to build and review ‘systems’ holistically which is particularly important as technology advances. In any case, I worked in Brazil in a variety of jobs which included programming, thermal system testing laboratory, and more.
Then came Covid-19 and the country went into lockdown. I was feeling stuck, searching for new experiences, and remembered the Masa program I had heard about in the past. I had known about the program for some time, but I never had the opportunity to attend. So I reached out to Masa thinking to join their career development program.
During the program, Masa fellows are encouraged to intern at companies they are interested in. GK8 was one of my top choices because I was interested in blockchain and knew that Israel was cutting-edge in the area of cyber security. During my interviewing process, I spoke with my direct manager and interviewed with the VP R&D, the CTO, and even the CEO. It felt right and I took the internship.
When I arrived, I was taken around to meet the team. Received an understanding of each position and what each person does. I was trained on the product and the work process by different members of the team, and my boss explained my role and responsibilities.
Then they started giving me tasks. In the beginning, I remember that I asked a lot of questions. As I became more familiar with the product, I asked fewer questions. By the end, I was the person being asked the questions, and that’s when I knew ‘I’d arrived’. At the end of the program, I had one decision to make: did I want to stay in Israel or go back home? I already knew I wanted to stay but hadn’t fully processed it, so I applied and received a work visa for an extra 6 months. During that time, I decided to make Aliya and started the process.
The team at GK8 made me feel at home. They took me under their wing, helping me find an apartment, educating me on Israeli culture, and helping me improve my Hebrew. When I told them I’d decided to stay – we all celebrated together.
In a nutshell, I am responsible for consistently improving and automating our QA processes and product reviews to ensure that the customer experience with our products and solutions is optimal. I know our products inside and out, I understand the roadmap, and I know the milestones along the way. With this knowledge, it is my team’s responsibility to adequately test the product from all sides.
As a team leader, it is also my responsibility to build the team, train them, teach them, and mentor them. As importantly, we have an automated QA program, which takes all products and features through a list of automatic tests. That way the team can focus their energies on the unique, difficult, and ‘out of scope’ tests – making sure our time is spent more efficiently and effectively.
It is important to me, to remain as hands-on as possible. This means I review the code and take part in coding when needed. In my opinion, this gives me a better understanding of the products, and how they are supposed to work.
My managers at GK8 have always been very encouraging. They consistently challenge me by giving me increasingly complex tasks. I’d been working on the QA team for a while when the team lead role opened up, and my managers encouraged me to take the role. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure I wanted it. It was definitely outside of my comfort zone. But at the end of the day, I am very glad I took the job.
The role is multi-faceted. We usually start the day with our daily stand-up. We go around the room and each person talks about what they did the day before, what they plan to do that day, and brings up any issues or problems they are facing. Then we all put our heads together to devise answers and solutions to the day’s pain points.
Besides the daily, I often meet with the different members of my team, the product team, the R&D teams, and customer success. I try to help them troubleshoot the issues and think through some of the dilemmas they run into. I check up on the tasks of the day, not forgetting to complete my tasks as well:-).
When we start a new sprint, we sit together to review the goals, the new features and the functionalities that have been added – ensuring that the whole team is up to speed on our objectives. We then divide the sprint into a series of smaller tasks, each of which needs to be allocated a lead and resources. When splitting up the tasks amongst the team, I like to shuffle them around a bit if I can. So that each person has an opportunity to learn and experience something new. Of course, there are also times when I choose someone based on their experience with a certain task. Especially when time is of the essence.
GK8 is growing and along with it – my team is as well, I also allot a part of my day to the interview process, reviewing CVs, and recruitment tasks.
Reviving the QA automation system.
I started as an intern, doing manual testing. After a few months, I felt I had made much personal and professional progress. I was being given increasingly complex tasks and found that I had become a source of knowledge in some cases. I noticed that the team spent a lot of time manually running through a variety of tests. Our automated QA system was out of date, and not very effective, in my opinion.
I decided to take upon myself the task of updating the system. Luckily, I am very good at reverse engineering. I understood how each test was supposed to work, understood the code, and then backtracked to the core. I had a good understanding of the product and the manual testing procedures. So I could envision the process. I updated the variety of manual tests being used and automated the procedures.
It took me a long time. But in the end, I succeeded. Today, I am proud to say that we have a state-of-the-art automation system. One that saves the team a large amount of time and resources.
Hands, down the people.
In general, it is a great place to work with a great vibe among team members. Everyone here helps each other when needed. Notably, the team is full of diverse individuals, each of which adds their own ‘spice’. We have younger folks and older folks, religious and secular folks, Israelis and ‘new Olim’ – all of which make GK8 a special place to work.
Besides that, it provides an environment that challenges you. Everyone here is super-smart and, of course, we have our Shahar (the CTO). Importantly it is a place where you can grow a lot, both personally and professionally.
GK8 is growing, it is a great place to work offering many opportunities for personal and professional development. I would wholeheartedly recommend it! Want to join my team? Apply now!
Learn more about our open positions here.