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Introducing Paul Burt!

Picture of Fred Stevens-Smith
Fred Stevens-Smith, Thursday January 22, 2015

I'm way excited to introduce our first ever evangelist, Paul Burt! Paul is the man. He takes QA seriously without taking himself seriously, so he fits right in at Rainforest. We've had a total lack of dialogue and engagement with the QA community so far, and we hope that Paul joining Rainforest is a step in the right direction.

paul-burt

Paul, who are you?

Hi, I'm Paul!

I'm currently exploring the QA frontier with Rainforest. I also do QA! (Really really, well).

Usually that involves writing SQL, Ruby, and a few automation test scripts. Sometimes it's fixing broken process. Otherwise, it's solving puzzles and learning new things.

In my personal life I enjoy urban hiking, books / comics / movies, and homebrewing beer.

I also dig conversations. So, feel free to say Hi!

Why are you joining Rainforest?

Fred, Russ and I grabbed coffee a few weeks back. After chatting it was immediately clear we shared similar perspectives. That is, there's a lot of unnecessary pain in software testing. There's an opportunity for us to fix that!

Fast forward to the present and they'd extended an offer. Get paid to help folks (many of them friends) enjoy their jobs more? Yeah, that sounds fantastic.

Why should our customers care that you've joined the team?

I'm really, really, good at what I do. There are certainly sharper SQL Sorcerers, or stronger backed men and women who'll brave the Javascript salt mines.

My real talent is having pretty good technical chops, but also being pretty gregarious. More often than not, I speak in plain English. Outside strict engineering circles, I don't find a broad crowd that speaks developer-ese.

The good for the Customers? The plan is for me to be on loan. I'll be sharing informative blogs, visiting folks who want an in-office resource for a day, and much more.

Tell us about your career so far... what brought you to us?

Oh boy. What's the max character limit on this blog? We might hit it.

The short version is I'm a reformed Mathematics Teacher. I've always toyed with web technology through the years. When I realized Math Education wasn't my bag, I meandered my way here.

"Do you understand relational databases or SQL?"

Sure Don't!

"Ok, learn about it. You're hired."

That about describes my first gig in tech. It was a data normalization job for a real estate company who aggregated databases. Later on, my focus put me into the role of checking financial systems records for a company shifting into Sarbanes-Oxley accounting practices.

Most recently I worked for Glassdoor, and Cotap. At Cotap I experienced running my own QA team (note: it was a team of one), and driving a product 'mobile first' for the first time. I learned a lot.

I got in touch with Rainforest through Alexis O'hanian, a high school friend. We suffered through 4 years of German together, and kept in touch. Alexis went on to co-found Reddit, and I hear they're doing okay these days :)

What are you going to be doing at Rainforest?

Russ just said, "Hey new guy, I take my coffee with cream and sugar." So, that... (kidding!). The plan is to write blog posts, share some accumulated wisdom, meet with others and get them to share their accumulated wisdom, etc.

I'm hoping to do meetups, host talks, and really just all around raise the bar on what it means to 'Do QA.' Rainforest is a no brainer for the smart, informed, Tech crowd. Anyone I can help join those smart or informed ranks, naturally complements us.

My official title is QA Evangelist. But, I don't plan to talk about Jesus unless he submits some Pull Requests.

Filed under: hires