Grace Owolabi works as a quality assurance (QA) engineer at Brightspot, helping steer delivery projects to completion and to ensure they meet each customer's exact requirements and expectations.
How long have you worked for Brightspot? What brought you here?
It will be a year and a half in January. I was a college recruit, so met with Avery Davila at the Howard University career fair where I learned about the available roles. I remember the one thing that really drew me in was the product because she had a live demo going on at the time. I think I fell in love with the product at first sight, and so I applied—and here I am.
What do you like most about being a QA engineer?
I really enjoy the diversity of the technology and tools that I work with at Brightspot. No two projects are exactly the same. Getting to work on different projects, most of the time at the same time, and learning these different applications and technologies is probably what I like the most about being in QA.
What is a typical work day like for you in your role?
It starts with stand-up meetings around 9 a.m. Before that I take about 30 minutes to an hour to look over the work I did the day before and identify whatever I want to discuss at the stand-up. After the stand-up, I basically sit in front of my computer and start testing. Then I might have mini huddles with developers, other people in QA and our product managers. Who I speak to depends on what questions I have, and what help I need to move the tickets forward and ultimately get them wrapped up. I feel like QA is also about 30-40% documentation. I personally like documenting what I've tested, as it helps me in case I have to look back at that particular ticket. Even if it’s been a couple of years, I can always pull up my notes to see what I did and how I did it. As much as I would like to store everything in my head and have it all ready to go whenever I need it, it’s nice to have notes that I can fall back on.
In your time at Brightspot, you’ve worked on lots of really interesting projects. Does one stand out as a favorite?
I feel like the work we did for Vodafone New Zealand is always going to have a fond spot in my heart because it was my first solo project. It was a good first project, too. It wasn't particularly easy and it had its challenges, but I was able to really grow as a QA engineer. I think I just liked facing those challenges and learning from them.
What’s the best piece of career or life advice that you ever received?
I think it’s to move forward, regardless of the situation. It's not easy to have a positive outlook in every single situation, but can you rise above the negative and think about what’s next? If so, then you’re good. The thing that stays true to my heart is that life is really complicated but we should take it one day at a time, and take it easy. Still try to enjoy as much as you can without taking everything so seriously.
In 2022, you traveled to Orlando to volunteer with your co-workers at the Special Olympics USA Games. Can you tell me more about what that experience meant to you?
It was really nice. I’ve worked remotely most of my time here at Brightspot, and I don’t think I had actually gotten to interact with many co-workers before the trip. It was very interactive and traveling in a group with my co-workers meant I got to know some of them much better. So that was really nice and I really liked that. The experience of volunteering was tough, but it was very encouraging seeing all the athletes as well as the organizing team who were working really hard to make that event a success. Every time I think about that event, I feel encouraged and motivated to just move on and move forward—regardless of what’s going on I still smile, so that’s my biggest takeaway.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Brightspot?
I think besides the people, it’s definitely the product. As I mentioned, during the recruitment fair, the product really won me over. When I did join the company and I saw more of the product I was even more impressed. I’m just really excited working with the Brightspot CMS everyday and I’m also looking forward to how the platform will evolve in the future. I’m grateful for the development team and the company as a whole, with everyone working together side by side, pushing the product to be better and better for our clients.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I’m a big reader, so reading. I really like the way books make me feel, and I can easily get lost in a book. I also like walking and being outdoors (though not when it's too hot!). So the fall weather is kind of my domain! I like taking walks in the evening when it’s a little bit windy and feeling the wind on my face.
I know you recently moved to Texas. What has been your favorite part of your new home?
Definitely having family around. When I moved to Virginia I was living alone. I had just gotten out of college and my friends were kind of scattered around. I had to make new friends and make a new life there. I’m really grateful for the experience of living alone, but I can see the pros of having someone else around me. I just feel much more confident and I don’t really like being alone, apparently. So I’m grateful to have family around.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
My favorite movie of all time is actually a competition between two films: About Time or Everything, Everywhere All at Once. I think I just like the concept of time warps. Those two are my top choices. I just recently started logging what I really like. I didn’t really used to pay attention to what I thought was good and my favorite or anything. But I really like those two movies a lot.