The Humans of smrtPhone

Our “smrtie of the Month” is someone who sweats all of the small stuff to make sure we deliver the best product possible – QA Engineer Ioana Parge!

Name

Ioana Parge

Title / Role in the Company

I am a Quality Assurance Engineer. I test the new features before they go to our clients, on both web and mobile. It’s our job to ensure everything is running as expected, based on how it’s outlined in the Roadmap. If it’s not, we fail the build and discuss with the Dev team and give feedback. 

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?

1 year! 

What’s your background? 

I studied this line of work in school and graduated with a degree in Engineering and Quality Management. After that, I completed a manual tester course. 

I have always been interested in the subject and quality control. I like things to be in order. If something says it’s going to be some way, I want to make sure it is that way. If it says it is supposed to be green, I want to see it as green.

Ioana Parge on the beach in a white dress

What was your first job? 

In high school I worked as a promoter and brand ambassador for extra money. I stood in the grocery store, with a product for people to try and information about it, and the goal was to get them to buy it. It was interesting because I had to speak to people. I’m shy so it was hard to do at first, but then I got the hang of it and it was fun. 

My first job in quality assurance was during my last year of university. I worked for a large company called Stabilus. They produce hydraulic cylinders for automotive, medical devices, and chairs. It was my job to make sure the chairs went up and down. That was a really intense time in my life. I worked at night and went to school during the day, plus I was studying for my exams. I went to work at 10:30pm, finished at 6:30am. Then from 7am-3pm, I was at school. Then I would go home and sleep two hours and then start the cycle over. I did that for almost a year. Sometimes I would go hide in the bathroom and take a 2 minute nap. 

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? 

I love the team. They accepted me with open arms. I was nervous at first. I wasn’t sure how they would react to me because I’m married to Alex [smrtPhone Co-Founder and CFO]. I was worried they’d be like, “Oh, here comes Ioana, Alex’s wife…” But it was nothing like that. They are awesome. If I have a question and feel like it’s a stupid question, they are so helpful and always reassure me that it’s not a stupid question. Adi, Ovi, Miha, Andreea – I work with them every day and they are wonderful to me. 

Ioana and Andreea, smrtPhone's QA department

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words: 

Family. We are a big family. A unit. The product, the people, the company – we are all one. 

When there is an emergency, no one in the company says, oh I don’t know if I want to get involved or not. We show up. For the company, for the product, for each other. Even when Alex and I moved, the Support team helped us carry our stuff! 

Improvement. I’m not just talking about the product, but also the overall culture of the company. We want to improve our product more and more and be more good at what we do, but also we work to improve our skills as people and professionals too. 

Flexible. For the product, but also for our team. We work from home or the office and everyone supports each other in having good lives. Everyone is supportive, understanding, and human. 

Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  

I love all of them because I’m a part of them. But if I had to choose, two rise to the top: 

 1) smrtDialer – when I first came in, the smrtDialer interface update was my first project. I saw the last version and then the new version. It was such a great improvement and I liked all of the updates. It was really satisfying. 

2) smrtCast/Broadcast [smrtPhone’s high volume text marketing platform]- It’s still technically in beta, but this version has passed QA. It is memorable to me because it was the first Roadmap build I worked on totally on my own. I didn’t have Andreea with me, and I did all of the testing from the first part to the last part. 

Iona Parge with her husband and her two daughters

What do you like to do in your free time? 

I like to travel and spend my time with my family. My biggest focus is to enjoy my family, especially my children. I have two daughters, 7 years old and 4 years old. 

Name something that is on your “bucket list”

I would love to go skydiving but I don’t have the courage to do it. 

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? 

I worked as a clown. I know how to do balloon twisting, and I worked children’s parties. 

It wasn’t planned, it was something that just happened. I wanted to live near the sea in high school so I was searching for jobs. It was a job description I saw, to go and live by the sea and they would teach me everything.

My most impressive balloon creation? I can make a Tweety Bird inside a cage!