Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been working for Aries? What did you do before joining Aries?
I started at Aries in 2017 as a member of the Client Services Team. I have worked in publishing for over 20 years wearing various hats, including Production Editor, Tech Support, Account Coordinator, and Quality Engineer. Publishing is my second career. I have a Master’s degree in Zoology, where I studied the behavior and potential brood parasitism of a threatened species of bird, the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).
What have your roles at Aries been?
As an Account Coordinator initially, I supported small societies in the configuration and usage of our solutions, Editorial Manager and ProduXion Manager. Later, I supported two of our large commercial publisher customers. I then made the move to Aries’ Quality Engineering team. My role as a Quality Engineer (QE) primarily entails testing our software products before code is released. I also write test plans for both existing and new features. This work contributes to ensuring we produce quality software that makes the lives of our customers easier.
How have your previous roles helped you in your current position?
Having worked directly with our customers allowed me to bring my experience of user behavior and needs to my work as a QE. As a field biologist I learned the importance of observation and data integrity. I have the unique perspective of having authored a peer-reviewed (albeit brief communication) publication of my own.
Tell me about your department and the people you work most closely with.
I work as part of the Aries Quality Engineering team. It is a great group of people with different experiences and unique perspectives they bring to the job. I do my day-to-day work on the cross-departmental Targaryen development squad.
How do you collaborate with other departments within Aries?
The Aries Targaryen development squad has Software Engineers, another Quality Engineer, and Product Management folks. Each agile development squad at Aries has a key area of focus, with team Targaryen’s being the LiXuid Manuscript feature and customer-funded development for EM/PM. We are extremely close-knit. Everyone has a say and can put forth their points of view about feature design, implementation, and testing. We then work out the solutions that produce the highest return for our customers as a team.
Describe your typical workday.
Each day is different. However, because of our development cycle, the same types of tasks are repeated according to the cadence of the releases. As an agile-based company, we do our work in two-week sprints. I might be spending several days manually regression testing existing features or writing up test plans for new features. Other times I might be working on training modules or other supporting tasks. I also attend our squad’s scrum and sprint planning meetings, which keep us on track for meeting our objectives.
What do you most enjoy about your job? What do you enjoy most about working for Aries?
I love the investigative aspect of software testing. I am a bit of a data geek, so I really get into slicing and dicing all the ways I can try to break something. Aries has great people and a meaningful mission – it’s easy to want to work here.
What are you currently reading, listening to, or watching?
I watch a lot of true crime documentaries – again, the sleuthing fascinates me. Reality TV is also a guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoy the musical genres rap and hip hop, both contemporary and old-school. Unfortunately, I can’t listen to my favorite music while I am working or I’d be singing the whole time!
Tell me about some of your hobbies/interests outside of work.
I love to cook and am always trying new recipes. I also love to entertain. I have a Christmas party every year that I start planning in August – I take this stuff seriously. My friends enjoy that I curate playlists and happily DJ their gatherings. My husband and I enjoy camping in the summer and taking our German Shepherd, Daisy, for walks.