Today we continue our latest blog series offering a peek into the daily lives of IQMS’ directors. From human resources to testing and training to development, meet the key department leaders who are molding our company’s future and continually advancing the EnterpriseIQ ERP and MES software.
Meet Christina “Tina” Jolicoeur, Director of Quality Assurance.
Tell me a little about the testing and quality assurance department:
My department works with just about every department in the company to make sure that the EnterpriseIQ ERP and MES software works. Our overall responsibilities include testing issues and escalating them to programmers, then receiving the fixes back and either pushing them out to customers or back down to support. We are also in charge of translations, third party software validation and a little bit of developing. We are basically the one stop shop. If somebody has a problem with something that anyone uses in the company, they come to us.
Tina, you’ve been with IQMS for an impressive 13.5 years. Care to share any memorable experiences from your years here?
For me personally, growth and change have always been very rapid here at IQMS. Before I worked here, I wasn’t really a proponent of change, but now I almost have to have it. I’m addicted to it because we change so often. For example, I started at IQMS in October of 1999 and by December, I was already tapped to be a training specialist and traveling to Chicago every two months to do ERP training. And then I got to move into testing, then got to be the manager and now the director.
On a company level, there was also an exciting time when, about seven or eight years ago, we changed our internal infrastructure and things really took off. The economy had started to go downhill, but Randy [Flamm, CEO] was a huge proponent of growing the internal infrastructure of the company, knowing that once we made it through, things were going to explode. And he was absolutely right. While other people were laying off and not growing, we didn’t stop. We weren’t hiring all the time, but we didn’t stop programming. It is really exciting to reap the benefits of those structure and software improvements. If you are around long enough, you can look back and reflect and see that not only did we make it through a tough time, but we are better for it.
What are you passionate about?
I absolutely love to read. I also love to learn, which is very nice in this company because we are constantly developing new things and trying out different software. So I guess you could say my passions would be learning and reading.
I’m excited to read a new book called Mary Coin [by Marisa Silver]. It’s based on a famous dust bowl picture of this woman who was really only in her later 20s or early 30s, but she looked like she was 50. So someone wrote a whole story around a picture. I think that if you don’t know enough about history, you’re not going to be able to use that to better yourself in the future.
EnterpriseIQ is very complex. Does your department utilize any internal tools to help you test the software?
At IQMS, we are encouraged to embrace something, even if we aren’t sure that it is going work. For example, we just implemented a new internal system called YouTrack. It’s a way to easily track all of our issues and share information with everyone involved (like programmers, developers and testers), so rather than sending emails back and forth, it’s all in one spot.
I have other internal products we have used in the past that have changed my life. One of them is Perforce and the other one is FinalBuilder. If we didn’t have those, we wouldn’t be able to manage everything that comes through this department. That’s why I am embracing YouTrack, even though it means changing something that we have done for the last 20 years.
Are there any mottos you and your department live by?
IQMS uses the EnterpriseIQ software to run our business and the employees are typically the first to experience the new enhancements. So we have this little cheer in my department:
I like to update,
Yes I do.
I like to update,
How about you?
It’s a little sarcastic, but we update three to four times a week and our customers update once a year, so it’s a whole totally different mindset.
Your department has been growing rapidly. What traits do you look for when selecting a new team member?
I always look for new team members with curiosity, an aptitude to see the big picture and the ability to grasp that a minor change could have huge effects across the software. I also appreciate the ability to follow rules and know when to break them. We gain all of our new employees from technical support, so they have to have a pretty good understanding of the software.
Tina, your knowledge of the EnterpriseIQ software is extensive. Can you please give us a quick tip that our readers should be sure and know about?
I love the Knowledge Center. I use that all the time. And of course, our help files. I guess the tip is: You can’t remember everything that the software is capable of, but we have excellent help files and that’s the first place I go to.