Merlin Fernandes

Merlin Fernandes

QA & Release Manager


Inside Track

Portland, OR USA


I’m a firm believer that you have to try, but if you still don’t get any success, then you have to go back to the drawing board to come up with something new. You have to have the willingness to change.

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in Dubai—I came to the U.S. when I was 19 and was the first person in my family to go to another country.
Attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham where I received my bachelor's degree in management information systems.
After graduating, I got my first professional job as a technical writer.
I wanted to become a quality assurance engineer, so I took the ISTQB certifications and voluntarily tested software while working as a technical writer.
Got a job as a QA engineer and absolutely loved the satisfaction of delivering quality products to end users.
As the industry shifted towards an agile methodology, I became a certified scrum master in order to help organizations shift towards faster deliveries in shorter time increments.
I was starting to get bored of the work and I decided to take a three month break from my career to enjoy some time with my kids.
I am now a QA engineer and release manager for Inside Track, an organization that supports students throughout college in order to ensure their success.

Education

High School
Bachelor
Management Information Systems, General
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Certification/License
Scrum Master
Certification/License
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB)

Career

QA & Release Manager

I handle the quality of products produced by software engineers.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Engineering
Problem Solving

Day to Day

My day starts off with a lot of stand-up meetings. After checking in with the teams, I meet with my leads to see if there is anything that I could help with. There are lots of meetings throughout the day. I check my tickets to see if anything is ready to be tested. I also develop testing protocols. My main job function is to ensure that everyone is getting the support they need to finish projects and that everything is being tested to completion. I also research ways to improve processes.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Good communication is very important. There is a lot going on within the world of QA and a lot of people on different teams are involved, which means everyone needs to be informed and on the same page. Programming experience is beneficial, but not required depending on what kind of QA you are doing. Be open-minded, adaptable, and willing to change rapidly (or switch your focus if needed).

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Get an engineering or computer science degree. That is where the world of QA is heading and it will give you an advantage. Get an ISTQB certification. That helps build the foundation of what QA is about and what your purpose is in the engineering process. Take some Agile courses and do some reading to learn as much as you can about the processes behind QA.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Science
undergrad
Bachelor
Engineering, General

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"How can you be the leader? You won't be taken seriously."

Challenges I Overcame

Work Stress
First-Generation Immigrant