Interview with our Test Manager of the Year

Isabelle Magnusson leads the Quality Assurance team in Ticketmaster’s Gothenburg office in Sweden, and recently won Test Manager of the Year at the 2016 European Software Testing Awards. We caught up with her to find out a bit more about her success:isabelle

  1.       How does winning this award make you feel?

I feel very proud and a bit surprised to be honest.

  1.       What is it that you love about being a test manager at Ticketmaster?

I’ve been given a lot of freedom to do what I believe in from the start. My team is always striving for improvement, but will still keep challenging new processes. I have a team of testers with very different backgrounds that makes my role as manager very attractive.

  1.       How long have you been part of the Ticketmaster family?

5 years

  1.       How has Quality Assurance and software testing in general changed from when you first started?

I started my career as a trainee at a consultant company where I practiced all kind of test techniques and processes in a variety of organisations. Back then the most important part of my CV would be the ISTQB certificate. Today certificates like that are not very attractive.

  1.       What does the future of QA and software testing look like from your point of view?

I don’t believe in QA “departments”. The tester is a part of the development team and the quality assurance is not not just an activity for the tester, but rather a whole team approach. The tester in the team is still the test expert and can coach and drive the test strategy though. The opinions regarding manual and automated testing differs a bit. I believe we will not be able to automate everything but the role of the manual tester will not just be about following step by step test cases. Instead it will focus on validation from the start of a project.  

  1.       What does a day in the life of Isabelle Magnusson look like?

I scroll through Slack and mails from bed. The benefits of working with several time-zones, someone is always working, right?  After leaving my daughter, Juni at preschool, I take the bus to the office where I have my breakfast while catching up with the team. I spend quite some time coordinating bugs reported from the markets and aligning with product managers and project managers. I’m coaching the testers in their job in the development process, representing QA in different contexts. I still like to be a part of the development and step in where we are low in resources when it’s needed. We are currently recruiting a whole new team so I also spend a lot of time in interviews and reviewing CVs. After office hours I try to spend as much  time as possible with my family.

  1.       Please describe what you feel is your biggest career achievement to date:

Being a part of moving the agile process at Ticketmaster forward have been a great journey. I’m really proud of how far we as a team have come.

  1.       Please describe the vibe in the Ticketmaster Gothenburg office:

It’s a very friendly atmosphere; I consider my colleagues my extended family. We have a lot of fun and we work hard to achieve what we have committed to.

  1.       What’s it like to work at Ticketmaster?

It’s a great place to work. Being a global company the opportunities are endless.

  1.   What do you love about working at Ticketmaster?

It is a large organisation but I still feel that each individual counts. Ticketmaster invests a lot in people. I love having the freedom to do what I think is best and the responsibility that comes with it.

  1.   You recently participated in the Ticketmaster International Hackathon. How was the experience?

It was a lot of fun. I was collaborated with colleagues from Sweden and Canada. It was a great opportunity to innovate with new features and methods.

  1.   What was the first live event you went to?

Tracy Chapman

  1.   If you could go to any live event, which one would it be?

I love Christmas. I’ve been listening to Christmas songs since early November and my favourite artist is currently “She and him”. I would love to see a small, intimate live event where they perform songs from their Christmas albums.

  1.   What’s your passion?

Except testing? I’m a foodie. I love to find new restaurants and have their tasting menu. I plan my vacations based on what restaurant I want to try out. Unfortunately I’m not a very frequent customer since I had kids, so currently I have to settle with experimenting in my own kitchen. I’m planning for my next stop to be Fävikin Magasinet in Åre though.

  1.   What’s one thing that no one at work knows about you?

Hmm, I think they know most of me, I’m like an open book.