Hire Us

How We Hire QA Engineers For Coupler.io

Every time we open a QA Engineer vacancy at Railsware, we receive a huge influx of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t hire every talented QA who comes our way, but our well-structured hiring process helps us find the best fit for our teams.

We’re excited to shed some light on how it all works – particularly in the context of our Coupler.io product. We’ll even invite you to participate in one of the stages, if you’re feeling up for a challenge!

How we work at Railsware and Coupler.io

Let’s begin with a few words about us. Railsware is a product studio and software consultancy, meaning we build products for both ourselves and our clients. Our portfolio of in-house products include Mailtrap, TitanApps, and the star of today’s show – Coupler.io.

Coupler.io is an all-in-one data analytics and automation platform, designed to help professionals gather, transform, understand, and act on their data.

We should clarify that, regardless of the product, project, or role, our work approaches at Railsware are the same. We follow Lean development practices, use tools like Jira to organize our taskloads, and communicate asynchronously when possible. Additionally, we don’t allocate line managers to projects. Everyone is an expert in their craft and has autonomy over their day-to-day work.

Role of a QA Engineer at Coupler.io

Before we get into the steps of hiring QAs for Coupler, here’s a brief rundown of what we expect a successful candidate to do:

  • Take the lead on establishing quality assurance processes, best practices, and benchmarks
  • Identify areas for additional testing and improvement, according to broader product objectives
  • Write test plans and conduct product testing events to streamline development processes
  • Find and investigate edge cases, both technical and product-related ones
  • Collaborate with the engineering team and customer support to resolve bugs and maintain Coupler.io quality standards
  • Support the release of new features and help keep our knowledge bases up to date

There’s much more to the role than what we’ve listed there, but we won’t go into excessive detail right now. Instead, we’ll move on to the skills and competencies we look for in an ideal candidate.

Must-have skills of QA engineer candidate

Based on the nature and diversity of those responsibilities, we look for people who:

  • Think outside the box and solve problems of varying complexity
  • Translate highly technical concepts into plain English and communicate tech problems to engineering teams
  • Take ownership of their work, use initiative, and execute tasks with a sense of urgency
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge of networks, HTTP stack, web, API, and client app architectures
  • Pay attention to detail and strive to improve their skills in different areas, i.e. become more t-shaped.

Nice-to-have skills

You don’t need any special skills to be allocated to Coupler.io. That said, we consider the following as nice-to-haves:

Startup mindset: Although we’re not the newest kids on the block, Coupler.io is less than five years old. Our user base is growing fast and we’re innovating on the go. A great candidate is adaptable, open-minded, and creative in how they approach new problems or tasks.

Experience collaborating with customer support: An ideal candidate can always see a problem from a customer’s perspective. They know how to communicate effectively with both customer support specialists and customers themselves.

Familiarity with ETL and data analysis tools: We’re data-mad at Coupler.io. Candidates who are familiar with tools like ours, or ETL/data analysis processes in general, have an advantage. Experience with scripting languages like Bash, Python, Ruby, etc., is also a plus.

Our four-step hiring process

At Railsware, the hiring process is the same for all roles. It consists of four steps: application, test task, remote interview, and some form of live collaboration with the team. Steps are interchangeable depending on the role. But here’s what it typically looks like for the QA Engineer position:

1. Application

This part of the process is pretty self-explanatory. A QA candidate hits the ‘apply now’ button in our job description, opening an application form (we use Typeform here). It’s a basic questionnaire that takes less than 10 minutes to complete. We don’t ask candidates to transcribe their CVs, attach a long cover letter, or answer technical questions.

Once submitted, our HR team screens the application. If it looks like an initial match, we’ll pass it to the hiring team (which includes QA Engineers) for review. If approved, our team proceeds to the next step.

2. Test task

The test task is one of the most crucial stages. Not only does it confirm if a candidate has the skills for the job, but it gives them a sense of what to expect from the role.

We give a document with a task description and instructions to each candidate. The task usually includes screenshots of some part of Coupler’s UI or links to a dashboard. Candidates can provide their analysis in the same doc.

Apart from technical accuracy, what do we look for in a completed test task?

  • Logical structuring of findings with clear explanation of business cases
  • Information is prioritized and easy to read
  • Evidence of attention to detail (e.g. noticed smaller edge cases, discovered a well-hidden bug)
  • Basic understanding of how Coupler.io works and how people use our product

Fancy putting your skills to the test? Here’s an example of a test task we would share with a candidate. We invite you to test this TikTok Organic dashboard and tell us what bugs you found. We added some specifically for you, but maybe you’ll find some real product issues too! Be brutally honest. We can take it :)

Bear in mind – this isn’t a real test task. We only share the real one when an NDA has been signed. The example we’ve linked to is simpler, but close enough. It’ll help you hone your skills, prepare for the process, and be first on our contact list when we go looking for more specialists.

On that point: We may reach out to schedule an interview, so don’t hesitate to send us your CV. In any case, we’ll reply with a breakdown of the real dashboard errors. That way, you can compare your findings and understand your score.

Anyway, back to the process. Once the candidate has completed the test task, we review it and provide feedback within a couple of days. If it’s good news, it’s time to meet face-to-face.

3. Technical interview

Next up is a one-hour video call where we get to know each other better. The test task already gave us a sense of QA competency, so we use this interview to assess experience, work approaches, and soft skills.

If something about the test task caught our eye – for example, the candidate found a lesser-known edge case or made a unique suggestion – we may also discuss it here. The goal is to understand how a candidate problem-solves and makes decisions.

However, the tech interview is a two-way street. Candidates are encouraged to ask plenty of questions about Railsware, our products, culture, benefits, team dynamics, etc. If we make a good match, we move to the last stage of the hiring process.

4. Pair interview

This final step is a pair interview (RPI) with our Hiring Manager and a QA Engineer. We do a lot of pair work/programming at Railsware, so it makes sense to include it in our hiring process.

During the RPI, a candidate collaborates with our specialists on a QA task that mimics a real-world assignment for our team. The task structure helps us evaluate crucial skills for allocation to the Coupler.io product. Before the interview, candidates have the chance to install or sign up for any needed software.

The goal of an RPI is to learn how a candidate handles synchronous collaboration, new tools, tasks, and unforeseen challenges. Of course, we don’t expect people to get everything right. But it lets both sides answer questions like: Is this a good team fit? Could we build great things together?

Conditional last step: Job offer

Last of all is the offer stage, initiated when the candidate was successful in previous stages. Following the RPI, our Hiring Manager, a QA Engineer, and HR representative discuss their feedback and decide whether to move forward. Shortly after, our HR team gets back to the candidate with an answer – hopefully a job offer!

Hiring QAs for Coupler.io: A quick recap

  • We look for QAs who are t-shaped professionals, natural investigators, and capable of taking initiative
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills are must-haves for our team
  • A startup mindset, experience working with customers, and knowledge of ETL tools are a few nice-to-haves
  • The hiring process consists of four steps: Application submission, test task, technical interview, and pair interview
  • Last but not least – don’t forget to test the dashboard and let us know what you find. Our Coupler.io team looks forward to hearing from you.