Mark Barton can break or fix anything. And he does it with style, thanks to his vast array of flannel and floral shirts.
As Lead Quality Assurance Engineer for Tigerpaw, Mark uses his technical skills to put our developers' code through the wringer before it is released to customers. But he's just as good at finding solutions and building whatever comes his way, whether it's an elevated service ticket or his latest home project.
Learn more about Mark and how he always has the end user in mind during our fifth installment of Tiger Tales in which we highlight members of Team Tigerpaw:
How long have you worked at Tigerpaw and what brought you here?
I am currently going on 11 years. Before I joined Tigerpaw I did a lot of different things from managing a Domino’s Pizza, traveling the world as a United States Marine, sweating a lot as a packing plant worker and working as a welder to make security doors for prisons.
I always said I would go back to school when I was 30, because before that I wouldn’t know what I wanted to do. I went back to school and got my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and ended up graduating summa cum laude. I started writing code for several years before deciding breaking code is more fun than writing it, so I transitioned over to the QA-side and have stayed here since.
What is the best thing about working at Tigerpaw? Do you have any fun stories to share?
The people and the culture are the things that brought me here and are keeping me here. I love being able to come to work in the summertime looking like I am going on vacation.
I have a lot of fun stories to share. Since I am on a culture/people/environment theme — Dave and Linda Foxall, the owners, used to always bring their dogs Molly, Harley and later Katrina into work with them. When Ryan in support was first hired, Harley really liked him and hung out in his cube, and for some reason really enjoyed relieving himself on Ryan’s stuff. Nobody else had this problem … just Ryan.
Describe your work on the QA Team. What does your typical day or week look like?
My typical day is actually pretty fun usually. I mean, I get paid to break stuff and answer questions. Developers send their code over to be looked at. We look at it with a fresh set of eyes, because anytime you work on something for a period of time you become desensitized to it and sometimes miss something obvious. We are here to catch those issues, and then test their code with more out-of-the box thinking and complex scenarios to make sure they follow the same rules and give the results we are looking for.
My usual week involves me doing a lot of everything. I joke that I am a jack of all trades but master of none, since I do QA, have done development, write SQL queries, answer questions for support, answer questions for sales, do calls with sales reps, do design work with developers and many other things that just happen to pop up.
How does the QA process work to help deliver working solutions to our customers?
We help put normal perspectives on a technical aspect. We try to make sure the technical aspects of what development is putting into the product is not only functioning properly but is also usable from an end user perspective and try to make sure it is in the product in a way that makes sense.
When you aren't at Tigerpaw, what are you most likely doing?
I have a wide range of interests outside of Tigerpaw ranging from building custom furniture in my garage to playing bass guitar on Rocksmith, or just hanging out on the deck under the gazebo playing cards on a nice summer day or cooking a nice soup up on a cold winter’s day.
Have a product request to share with Mark and the QA team? Create a Tigerpaw Community profile and visit the Feature Requests forum. You can share your ideas for product updates as well as vote on your favorite suggestions.