Hi, I’m Rainer Plaschka, test lead at Acclaro. Together with my test lead colleagues in Bangkok, Thailand and Rosario, Argentina I look after testing services at Acclaro. With 29 years of localization industry experience, I manage localization and linguistic quality assurance (QA) initiatives for software applications, websites and mobile apps. Among various tasks, this typically involves creating or reviewing test scripts and test plans, setting up, verifying or troubleshooting test environments, supporting and training a global team of testers as well as performing full bug management cycles.
I’m based in Boston, and I’ve been working from my home office for several years now. My day usually starts at around 7:30 AM (although my night’s sleep ends when the family cat, Ray, walks over my chest to demand his first of several breakfasts, often at sunrise). My wife is a teacher and leaves the house early. So, I start my day with pet duties — feed the cat, walk and feed the dog — and then have a quick breakfast myself.
Morning emailing and bug tracking
To start the morning, I log into my work computer and check email. I’m the first team member available in U.S. time zones to address time-sensitive requests, or address in-progress test tasks assigned to our Bangkok team. We process numerous test projects with quick turnaround times that benefit from having test leads in several time zones. Or I may need to jump on a new testing related request or inquiry from any of the project managers at Acclaro. Sometimes just “checking email” can therefore take up my entire morning.
I then move on to my own projects. For those in progress, I often need to monitor activity in our bug tracker tool, Mantis. As testers start logging bugs, I like to stay ahead of the game. It’s helpful to make an early check as part of the bug triage to catch any issues with the reports. If I find any, I’ll reach out to those testers with advice, a reminder of proper bug reporting practices and a request to make needed edits and corrections. This proactive approach pays off, especially for large projects with multiple languages when little time is available.
Apart from working on any phase of an active test project, I also work with other Acclaro team members to discuss and create quotes and proposals for existing or new clients that request testing services. I’ll also give feedback to Sales and Pre-Sales on best testing practices or feasibility of specific testing projects and process strategies for potential clients.
Pause for a light and vegetarian lunch
Whenever I have an open window around midday, I’ll pause for a lunch break. I go for something light and vegetarian. I’ll also check in with the pets who are waiting for some special attention and of course treats or lunch themselves!
Busy afternoons with the west coast
These days, many of my test projects are based on the West Coast, and at around noon my time I see the “lights come on“ in our San Francisco hub. Emails, meeting invites, Zoom and MS Teams chat notifications, etc., are the harbinger of the busy part of my workday.
Later in the afternoon I often respond to popup requests for some of our larger program customers’ linguistic quality assurance (LQA) initiatives, some of them with continuous weekly tasks. These are usually fairly urgent tasks with quick turnaround times, and a test kit (test instructions, test script and bug tracking setup) or other test lead action is typically due by the end of my day so that the job can go out to the test teams the same day (Pacific Time) without losing a business day.
Winding down with the dog park and music
Now, it’s time for walking the dog, Wolfi, a 7-year-old Golden Retriever. My wife and I head to a park at the outskirts of the city where dogs can run off-leash. Not surprisingly, this is a favorite time of the day for all three of us, and we certainly enjoy the fresh air, exercise and socializing.
After the dog park outing we head home for dinner. My wife and I catch up on each other’s day and we settle into well-deserved downtime. As Ray and Wolfi come over for a “snuggle session,” we’ll all watch some TV or listen to music as the day winds down.
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