Building Tools, Breaking Boundaries: My Architectural Path in QA at Centric

Meet Victor, our go-to QA Architect at Centric IT Solutions, the brain behind designing and improving the tools and processes our QA teams use every day. On any given project, you'll find him hands-on, helping with automation tasks and making sure everything runs smoothly. With a career packed with growth and learning, Victor's journey at Centric is all about tackling new challenges and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in quality assurance. Whether it’s through mentoring others or diving into complex problems, he’s always finding ways to leave a mark.

Can you provide an overview of your role at Centric IT Solutions and your responsibilities within project / teams?

My current position within Centric is QA Architect. From this role I'm involved in defining, designing and implementing the tools and processes used in the entire QA discipline. It's a position that requires heavy involvement in anything technical, but also things like cross-discipline coordination. At project level I'm providing support for multiple projects, assisting them with the implementation of various tasks, usually in the automation area.

What do you see as the biggest career opportunity?

I think the biggest opportunity for me in Centric was Retail, the project that I was assigned to after joining the company. When that happened I was coming from a company where I didn't work with .net, which is the technology that is dearest to me. So here is me, freshly employed, being presented with a massive enterprise scale application which needed automated testing everywhere. The back-office application needed desktop automation support with .net. The API needed automation support, also with .net. The front-end needed automation with Java. The web client needed automation support with web technologies. Many modules, each with different technologies and ways of working. I felt like the little kid in the  candy store, so many opportunities to learn, to be creative, to make an impact. Add the support of the people in the project to the mix and I was on a path that allowed me to progress professionally to where I am now. Don't get me wrong, I was not a Junior, I already had 15 something years of experience when I joined Centric. But this was a few levels above anything else I experienced up to that point.

Why did you choose Centric?

This is almost 10 years ago. Back then my old job closed I started looking for a company that had to meet a few criteria. On the technically side of things, I wanted to return to .net, after working with different technologies for almost 7 years. I always loved .net and not being able to use it at work was something that I wanted to change. Secondly, I wanted a company that provided stability. Finally, I wanted an employer that had a good reputation for creating a healthy work environment. So I chose Centric because because it met all my criteria and because of the overwhelmingly positive feedback about the Iasi office that I received from friends and colleagues. I definitely chose correctly.

How do you and colleagues make each other better?

I think there are three things to consider here: opportunity, support and a healthy environment. A technical challenge to overcome can be an opportunity to learn and to make an impact. Do that with the support of your team, a mentor or the discipline and it becomes a less stressful experience. Add a well organized work environment that provides the commodities of a modern office and you have the means to do it in a fun environment. That is probably the most common scenario. Or, you can be the mentor and become better yourself by helping someone else in his or her journey.

Centric is a company that is focused on personal growth, on making yourself "better". More than that, Centric is a company that is actively investing in people. A lot of this investment is technical, but also soft skills, personal wellbeing, etc. Pick your favorite.

What is your favorite project/part of the job?

Hard to tell. I'm involved in many projects and each comes with its own interesting aspects. I'm a technical person, so in most cases it's the technical side of things, seeing/working with new technologies, systems, architectures, etc. But there is also the people side, where you help a team through the initial challenges until they take over and start steering the ship themselves. You can make an impact in many ways, and each is rewarding in some way.

But probably my favorite part of the job is the fact that I'm continuously learning something new. You find a new library, a new way of doing something, you spot an opportunity for improvement, you put that idea forward, refine it using the feedback from your colleagues and then see it to implementation. This never gets old for me.

What is your favorite project or part of working at Centric?

Some of the tools that we use as QA in Centric are built in-house. I like working on these tools, because I can put my technical skills to use. Also, it's fun to build things for once, instead of trying to break what others did.

Centric looks at the QA discipline somewhat differently than other companies. Your role as a QA is obviously to ensure quality, but you usually have the opportunity to be creative and build your own tools, frameworks, scripts, etc. Don't want to do the same thing every n weeks? Good, I'm glad that you think this way, come up with a plan to automate as much as possible. Once the plan is approved, do it yourself or ask for help.

What achievements or milestones are you particularly proud of?

There were probably a few milestones along the way. Firstly, putting together the tooling that allowed my first project in Centric to start developing their automated testing. Then moving up from project level to office level by designing and working on some of the tools being used by multiple projects in the office. Finally, company level, being made Architect and getting involved in solving more than just a technical challenge. It's one thing to create something in response to a very precise project need and it's an entirely other thing to design and implement it in such a way that it can be a solution to a company-wide need, where you have to take into account that different projects work in different ways, people have different skill sets, technologies differ, etc. You can't just say "work this way from now on", you have to adapt and provide a solution that is reasonably easy to implement without being disruptive. Otherwise it won't work.

What opportunities do you still hope to seize at Centric?

I'm amazed that after so many years in the company I still run into new things. New technologies come up all the time, new challenges in one project or another. Things rarely get stale for me in Centric, there is always something interesting to do.