Tech Talk: Sam Sandoval

We’re back for another round of our ‘Tech Talk’ series with Sam Sandoval, QA Engineer at globaledit. Find out how we sniff and snuff out bugs in our platform, Sam’s exciting career as a professional gamer, and his new found interest in salsa dancing.

What is your role at globaledit?

As a QA Engineer at globaledit, it’s my job to run the application through various tests to ensure that each new update and feature that we release is as bug-free as possible and that they have been implemented correctly. This includes more manual front-end testing of the UI, automation of said testing, and API level testing on the back-end. As QA, we’re the last line of defense between a new update to the app and our clients, so we do absolutely everything we can to ensure that globaledit is in a polished and workable state before it reaches their hands.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.56.35 PMWhat’s your approach to building and improving globaledit?

When you have a product that’s as complex as globaledit, testing for all of the possible scenarios can sometimes be a challenge. There are a seemingly countless of interconnected features that affect each other in ways that aren’t always obvious. It’s pretty easy at times to forget how even a small change in one feature can impact another one.

This is why we do our best to create detailed test plans before each new feature released, so that nothing is overlooked. Fully identifying what needs to be tested beforehand helps immensely when targeting and testing certain aspects of the platform. We then go in, execute the test cases, validated the features, smoketest the release, and give it our thumbs up if all goes well.

What is the most challenging aspect of your position?

Probably keeping up with the rapid release cycles. When we push out a new update to globaledit, the expectation is that the product should be very stable and bug-free. Finding that balance between working quickly and being more calculated and methodical is what allows us to put out these quick releases while meeting the quality standards.

Luckily, we have a great QA team to divvy up the testing and reach our goal. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.56.42 PMWhy did you choose globaledit?

When I was initially looking for a new QA job, I wanted a challenging position with lots of room for personal growth. I wasn’t disappointed when I decided to join globaledit. So far I have added multiple new tools to my QA repertoire, many of which have helped in testing globaledit. Not to mention, the team is full of really smart people – I feel like I can learn a lot from pretty much everyone that I work with.

Your favorite globaledit ‘Hackathon’ project?

I actually use our monthly Hackathons as a time to learn new tools more than anything else. I pick a new tool, run at least one test with that tool, and add it to my skillset. Not only does it help with my own personal portfolio, but it has directly benefited my testing of globaledit as well.

One of the coolest tools I’ve learned was Sikuli, a QA tool centered around GUI components. Because globaledit is flash-based, it can be difficult sometimes to automate some of the tests that we want to perform. Sikuli recognizes the pixels on the screen based on a screenshot you take of the UI element you’re trying to find, finds it on the screen, then moves the cursor to that location and clicks the button. It definitely became a huge time-saver in testing the application.

How did you get started in QA-ing?

I actually started out with game design in college and was determined to make it in the game industry at the time. I created a company with some colleagues/friends of mine and worked on some iPhone games. They were pretty solid apps—nothing too complicated or fancy, but it was a lot of fun. Somewhere along the way, in-between jobs, I picked up a QA gig. I enjoyed it and discovered that I was pretty good at it, and so I just kind of ran with it. Fast forward a few years and now I’m a QA engineer at globaledit!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.56.57 PMBut you still enjoy video games, right? Do you have other hobbies?

Yeah, of course! For a couple of years, I was a pro-gamer for the massively multiplayer online game, World of Warcraft. It was like being a sports athlete… except for a computer game. I practiced with my team, got flown out to tournaments, and was even sponsored. It was an amazing experience and gave me a pretty solid excuse to visit new countries and experience different cultures.

Nowadays, I’m not competing professionally, but I still enjoy gaming as a daily part of my life. Aside from that, I picked up salsa dancing last year, and it’s been a pretty positive change so far. I practice several times a week and have performed at several salsa dance events. I also have a salsa dance iOS app in the works right now.