As Mobile Heartbeat continues to innovate and transform clinical communication and collaboration, we’re looking to fill open positions with employees who are eager to work on an important product that affects hundreds of thousands of users and their patients. This monthly article series highlights some of the current Mobile Heartbeat employees who exemplify our values and are helping us work toward our goal of improving communication in healthcare.
This month’s interview is with Lynn Ferreira, our director of QA.
Can You Tell Me About Your Decision to Become an Engineer?
It was more of a career progression than any specific decision. I actually have a Master’s degree in economics, so QA wasn’t something I initially planned on doing. When I got out of school I became an analyst, and over time I got involved in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations. They’re essentially systems that large companies use to manage internal business—everything from HR to Finance to supply chain management. I took a job where I was the test lead for an ERP implementation, and that led to working in QA, and eventually to where I am now, the Director of QA for Mobile Heartbeat.
What Made You Want to Work at Mobile Heartbeat?
About five years ago, I spoke with a recruiter who was looking for someone to lead QA. At the time, QA was basically one engineer, so I came in to interview and I met with a few people: Saji Aravind, Mike Iwanek, Brian McKee, all folks who are still here today. We talked about what they were looking for and what I was looking for.
I liked Mobile Heartbeat because I thought the product was an interesting idea, and for me working in the mobile space was something new. I had also never worked in healthcare technology, so it was an interesting intersection of areas where I hadn’t worked. At the time, the company was very small, it was clear there weren’t a lot of processes in place, and I felt like I could help the company in terms of process, skills, and resources.
I think at a lot of companies, they’ll have a product and then try to retrofit it for mobile. But here, with mobile being the main product, it was a different paradigm. The focus on mobile testing was appealing to me. There are a lot of complications that you can only imagine when you start working in mobile. It’s always a challenge, but it’s good.
How Would You Describe the Work That You Do Here?
There’s always something new going on. Essentially, we’re trying to ensure a high level of quality for the product that we’re giving to our customers.
One thing that has been a challenge for me is that, with modern software development becoming more agile, there’s this push and pull in terms of quality and speed. From the QA standpoint, we want to maintain a high-caliber product, even though the software is being developed more quickly.
Something else we need to be careful of in QA is risk, so we want to make sure risky changes aren’t made late in the development cycle. There’s this balance between wanting to fix bugs, and not wanting to cause new bugs.
In particular, working on an app that is used in hospitals, perfection in necessary. For example, you don’t want to run the risk that a notification is missed, because that could be the notification that a patient has stopped breathing. We have to take the job with a real level of respect and understanding that what we’re doing is important.
How Would You Define the Impact Your Work Has on Patient Care?
It can be a challenge. There’s definitely an expectation of quality that is higher than at other companies, because of the importance of what we’re doing. In my role, it’s trying to figure out how we can best test the product, using both manual methods and automation, what are the things we can improve upon, and of course calling out risks and concerns so that people are aware when there could potentially be a problem.
The great thing here is that Mobile Heartbeat employees are very supportive of quality concerns. Everyone works together to mitigate risks because we’re all focused on providing the best product for the users.
How Has Your Experience Here Differed From Other Companies?
People at Mobile Heartbeat are very earnest about making sure that we’re building, testing and releasing a product that is really a world-class CC&C solution for the customers.
I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the things people are interested in when they’re looking for a new role. It used to be that people cared about the company that they worked for, then it became all about the benefits, and now everyone’s got pretty similar benefits in terms of software companies. But one thing that seems to keep coming up is this idea of working for a company whose mission you feel really strongly about. That’s something that Mobile Heartbeat has that’s really amazing—what we’re doing is helping the users, helping the nurses do their jobs more efficiently.
Everyone here gets the opportunity to visit our customers and see our product in action. That’s something other companies don’t do, and in the end, if we have some small impact on a patient and how quickly they can get care, then that’s really amazing to be part of. So that’s something that makes me proud to say I work for Mobile Heartbeat, and proud that we do what we do.
What Direction Do You See the Company Taking in the Next Few Years?
So much has changed in my five years here, certainly the size of the company. In terms of office space alone, we went from a small office downstairs to the one we’re in now, and we’re even expanding that to accommodate the people we’ve been hiring and will continue to hire.
I’d say a lot has changed just around the way that we work. We have more processes, we’ve moved into more Agile development and implemented the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), which has been a big change for the better.
But I think there’s still a lot that will change over the next few years. The people we have here are very interested in and focused on improvement, and we’re still at a size where, really no matter the person’s role, if they have an idea about how to do something better, they can make that change happen.
For instance, late last year, a few of us had the idea to launch a Women in Technology group, when we realized there were a lot of newer women at the company who had limited interaction with each other. In just the short time since its formal inception, we’ve done a few networking activities, as well as a recruiting event to hire more highly qualified and motivated women. I think it has been a success, and hopefully it will continue to be in the future as we work to advance the professional development of women at Mobile Heartbeat.
In terms of the product, our capabilities have certainly expanded. We have more API-driven features than we did before, and we are continuing to build upon and add new integrations with other products.
I’m really looking forward to the next five years, and continuing to be a part of our growth and success.