We talked to Dmitriy Nortenko, founder of QAMadness, about software testing, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dmitriy Nortenko: My entire family had coronavirus. It was a difficult time, and I wouldn’t like to go through the same experience again. Fortunately, everyone is doing fine now and looking forward to vaccination.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded QAMadness.
Dmitriy Nortenko: I guess I had an entrepreneurial mindset from an early age. But when it comes to the story of QA Madness, it seems that I happened to be at the right time and place. Probably, it is not the answer an aspiring entrepreneur is waiting to hear. Nevertheless, if I were to write a guideline on how to start a company, it would be impossible to repeat. Both hard work and circumstances played an important role.
How does QAMadness innovate?
Dmitriy Nortenko: We are at the point where businesses have to be innovative no matter what. COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, and business owners are to come to terms with it. It is essential to analyze business processes, reconsider usual practices, and decide upon improvements.
What makes it challenging and especially interesting, there is no universal way to innovate in the present climate. In most cases, the solutions are highly personalized and vary from company to company. The pandemic and the restrictions it brought along turned every business owner into an experimentalist. The common denominator is efficiency, for which we all strive.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dmitriy Nortenko: Like any other tech company, we were to learn a lot about the extraordinary circumstances on the go and to find ways to navigate through the unknown. Monitoring the news and working with clients from all over the world allowed us to keep track of how things unfold. The rest was about adapting, brainstorming, and the hard work of the team.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dmitriy Nortenko: One of the main challenges was an immediate shift to the remote mode. We handled it well logistically, but it turned out that not everyone can work efficiently from home. Eventually, we were to let some people go. When a company isn’t able to monitor a person directly, and a
specialist isn’t good at self-management, there’s a dead end. It was tough to part ways with people who worked in the company for many years. Unfortunately, they couldn’t embrace the changes and adjust to the new circumstances.
Ironically, we often talk about flexibility, but the lockdown showed that that’s not one of the skills people truly possess. Flexibility refers not only to businesses that should respond to changes fast. It is also a trait every employee should demonstrate in conditions like these. It is necessary to get your act together, to become disciplined and more responsible, even if it takes an effort. Both sides should contribute. Unfortunately, we had to learn that in a complicated way.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Dmitriy Nortenko: Actually, there weren’t any changes in the tools or software. We didn’t start using time trackers or become harsh with controlling people. I don’t think it is appropriate. The QA Madness values responsibility and open communication. I believe cooperation is more efficient when based on trust, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dmitriy Nortenko: I prefer to think about other tech companies as business partners. The IT market is vast, and there’s room for everybody. The resources companies spend to fight with one another, however, are limited. It can take too much time and money while making too little sense.
You can come up with a list of rivals and find antagonists on a growing market easily. Or you can focus on finding your sweet spot and look for opportunities to fulfill your ambitions. The only thing our company may be competitive about is professional expertise. That’s where we’ll put the most effort, aiming to create better conditions for current and potential team members.
Your final thoughts?
Dmitriy Nortenko: The IT market is dynamic, and it keeps growing. There’s an opportunity for everyone to stand out if you do your best. Instead of trying to grasp a larger market share, focus on the quality. Learn to hear the clients and provide the solutions they need. Be responsible for your work. Despite all the changes we’ve experienced through the year, there is nothing new to this formula.
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