Taking Reinis to coffee

Laptop screen showing the conversation with Reines, a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at Emergn

Reinis Vate is a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer at Emergn who not only works on full-cycle quality assurance, but also helps build the practice and mentors teammates. Outside of work he enjoys a rush of adrenaline through motocross and enduro rides on his local forest trails.

What’s your role at Emergn, and how long have you been with the company?

I’m a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer and I’ve been a part of Emergn since April 1st, 2020. It does sound like April fools, but it’s definitely not. I am working in a high-performing product team on the full cycle of quality assurance (QA) – from clients’ requirement refinement, feature verification, and testing front-end and back-end services, till developed features test automation to ensure flawless continuous delivery. We also revise and challenge existing testing approach to reach maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction with high-quality deliveries. 

I am also a part of the Emergn Quality Assurance practice leadership team, which includes establishing and polishing high standards for the ways of working, to deliver the quality our clients’ desire. And the part which I enjoy the most is being a mentor – helping and guiding a handful of people from the QA practice, so they can succeed in their careers. 

Please tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

IT has always been a passion of mine. Therefore, after finishing high school, it felt like a natural step to apply for Computer Science at university. I learned a lot about the basic principles and theories of computer science during my studies at Ventspils University. Before graduating, I was offered an opportunity to join a software delivery company as a QA tester, which I took. I had multiple projects to work on as a QA specialist back then, which gave me invaluable experience. Meanwhile, I also took the chance to learn more about test automation as it came in handy working with the projects. Which is something I usually advise others – learn more to broaden your point of view and upskill. You never know when it will become useful, as after six years I eventually decided to pivot my career to test automation entirely. 

What’s the most exciting challenge for you as a Quality Assurance Engineer? 

No doubt it’s the implementation of brand-new test automation frameworks for a solution under test. It’s always challenging to define the scope, test level, technology to use, tools necessary to enable continuous delivery, transparent reports, and effortless maintenance. 

And to tell you the truth, it’s usually the challenging solutions and the client engagements that are also the most rewarding ones. I’ve had a couple of them during my career. The most challenging so far actually is the one I’m currently working on. Right from the start, I’ve been responsible for the test strategy and technical implementation of automated testing for front-end solutions with microservice-based back-ends with CI/CD pipelines. It was experimental from the very beginning, requirements also changed along the way quite rapidly, so we had to adapt and apply agile ways of working at every step. We aligned and revisited our testing approach many times to make it appropriate for the business needs. 

Outside of work, what’s one thing people should know about you?

Outside work I still tend to spend quite a lot of time in front of a computer screen – either it’s healthy curiosity about trendy implementations of Linux (like Pop!_OS), simple brainteasers on ‘hackerrank.com’ or a game with friends in popular genres (FPS, MOBA, or MMORPG). 

Off the screen, I own a 2013 KTM XC-F 250 dirt bike, which I love and fear at the same time. The love part comes from the feeling of wind, the smell of the woods, the vibration sensation in the chest revving the bike. The fear originates from the adrenaline rush of the close calls, fast corners, jumps, and of course the falls. I appreciate having the opportunity to go offline (literally, because in the garage there is no network connection) and enjoy motocross track or enduro rides with my friends. Rides in local forests are exceptional, the environment is changing all the time – it is impossible to predict if there will be a fallen tree around the corner or mud on the trail due to the weather changes. It takes significant concentration and therefore really helps me to disconnect from the everyday stress. 

What’s one way you live out The Emergn Way? What does it mean to you? 

For me, it’s the way I care about my client and the end-user. It has never been just about the QA – it is about the relationship with the customer and making sure it’s the right problem we’re trying to solve. I find it especially important to be involved from the very beginning of the product development as it ensures we can outline potential data inconsistencies if data sources are known already or in case they are missing. Also, the input from the technical implementation perspective is helpful right from the start, when the early decisions and requirements for the product have been built, to guarantee the best possible outcome. 

The Emergn Way for me is also about following the best practices, taking that one step more than expected, to ensure our client and the end-user will have the best user experience – the solution feels easy to use, polished, and thought through. 

If someone were to visit Latvia, what’s the #1 thing you’d recommend they do or see? 

It’s definitely the nature – our forests, coastline, and the Baltic Sea. My opinion might be biased, as I’ve spent five years living and studying at Ventspils, but I would recommend visiting the beach here. It is a wonderful Blue Flag beach there – it never disappoints! 

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