My Move to Truecaller: Meet Ana Filote, Test Engineer at Truecaller
As the tech industry continues to grow, being a woman in the engineering field can present unique challenges but learning opportunities.
Entering the tech industry as a female can be an intimidating experience. It can be bewildering where to start and how to get your foot in the door due to the lack of female role models in the field.
Follow Ana Filote, Test Engineer at Truecaller, on her career experience, and explore the challenges and learning of being a woman in tech.
She was born almost 32 years ago in Bucharest, Romania, and spent the happiest part of her childhood in the countryside, playing in the fields surrounded by nature. Ana is the mother of two girls, 5 and 3. She enjoys planning, not because she wouldn't like the unexpected, but because she gets a lot of energy from it.
Can you tell us about your career journey and how it brought you to Truecaller?
I guided my career based on my school strengths. I was pretty good at math and physics, so it made sense to follow an IT college. Then shortly after graduation, I discovered the QA area, and I felt it fitted my structure perfectly.
"There was also my personal life plan, and the decision to move to Sweden and explore how our family would fit in a new culture".
My first position as a QA was in the Automotive industry, testing the entertainment system for BMW vehicles. Here, I understood the essential features of a mobile device that could influence the interaction with another system. It was a great experience, but after a while, I felt it was time for a change. I started looking into more software-focused areas like web testing, looking into the possibility of growing into an automation tester at some point. I switched to the web area last year.
And this was my career plan! But then there was also my personal life plan, and the decision to move to Sweden and explore how our family would fit in a new culture and country. It was the move that opened the door to the fortunate road, which brought me to Truecaller. Even if there was a bit of good timing, I believe my previous experience and work helped me open this door.
Why did you decide to apply to Truecaller?
When I decided to apply, I knew I had no prior background in Mobile testing. But I had enough experience to know that software testing principles are pretty much the same. I knew I would need to fill in some gaps, but I was willing to take this responsibility.
Still, one of the most crucial factors for my decision was the research I did on the company before applying. I was pleasantly surprised to see a company working for a good cause, which supports women so much, and whose culture is based on great values like helping each other, never giving up, or being fearless. I guess that made me feel safe applying.
What do you enjoy most about your work so far?
The fast pace. It’s been almost three months at Truecaller, and it feels at least like 6 months in terms of how much knowledge I’ve gained.
Every new feature that comes to us awakens my inner child, which is always so excited to see it grow and play for the first time while trying to break it. And just as much, I like that, in the end, I can see the product and say: "Hey, I am part of the team who has done this".
What is the biggest challenge you face as a Test Engineer?
The main challenge is knowing the product that needs to be tested on multiple levels - frontend, backend, business logic, where conflicts might appear, etc. I believe that the more information you gather about the product, the more efficient you become in your testing.
But for me, right now is also imagining all the ways I can break something in the app. As I said, I’m coming from a slightly different background, and sometimes I watch my colleagues performing some tests, and that rings a bell: “Hm, that’s a smart idea!”. So then, I try to extrapolate it into different scenarios.
How was Truecaller's work to integrate you into the team? Did you have a TrueBuddy?
I was lucky enough to have had two TrueBuddies - Piotr and Milena. They impacted my integration, both on technical and social aspects. Honestly, I loved their vibe since the interview phase, and later when I joined the team, I wasn’t disappointed.
Then there are the weekly team lunches which help bond with the rest of the team. Moreover, there are the daily tasks, the work-related communications, and the friendliness they showed to me.
Ana Filote, Test Engineer at Truecaller attending the Culture Onboarding session
What was the most significant learning throughout your career?
Understanding that working, most of the time means people and communication. And as long as we have the same target and try to understand each other's needs, work shouldn’t be a heavy stone but a rewarding experience.
Any advice to young women who want to build a career in tech?
As long as you like it, go for it! There are no boundaries out here in the field. This comes from a girl who became a mother very early after beginning her career in tech and who had long periods of parental leave for both of her children. I lived for a while with the anxiety that no one would consider my working profile interesting anymore after such long pauses (3 and half years cumulated).
It was not the case. With minimum effort - some online courses to remember/improve part of my previous knowledge - I boosted my self-confidence and joined back without any issues.
Do you want to build a career in tech?