KJR Collective Catch Ups: Steph Singer

The Collective

18 September 2018

A couple of times a month, we like to get to know members of the KJR Collective a little better. Today we catch up with Steph Singer.

Years in the industry: over a decade

Years at KJR: two years

Based in: Melbourne

Currently working with: Telstra Wholesale and as a mentor for the Young Women Leaders in AI program

What Steph loves most about her job…

Paid to embrace an obsession for quality? Hell yeah! There are no excuses for laziness or inaccuracy in Steph’s world, the only way is the right way: “Why are we making the same mistakes over and over? I feel like I have the answers!” The embodiment of KJR’s values (be an explorer, be a champion), doing things the right way often means changing with the times – for Steph, adopting change is a chance to explore and often leads to finding even better ways.

How Steph got into this industry…

It’s a fated tale of falling head over heals with quality assurance. With a role in systems administration at Bank of Scotland in Steph’s homeland, ever striving for greatness, she asked to lend a hand to the testing team. Her motive? As she moved around various teams at BoS, she was forced to use buggy software – “it made me angry” – but also shone a light onto an area where she could make a change. Spurred on by positive feedback and a sense of accomplishment, the decision was made that this was her path to pursue. Not one to settle, prior to KJR Steph took the natural step into business analysis and project management, but has ultimately found quality assurance offers her the “best opportunity to make an impact”.

What Steph thinks about the future of tech…

A word of caution, but also sense of opportunity from Steph; “We need to remind people to look at the ethics and consequences of what it is that they’re building. Not just what it can do but all the stuff we’re not expecting it to do!” Central to her concern is the future of AI and what can and will happen if bias and ethics are not addressed as a matter of extreme importance. Not one to stand back, Steph is contributing her expertise as a mentor in the newly created Young Women Leaders in AI program. She will join with other influential women in the industry to encourage and guide young women towards a successful career in AI.

She also does other things…

Because you can’t be all tech all the time – or can you?! Joining with other members of the KJR Collective, once a month the Melbourne office turns into a ‘dungeon’ and Steph comes out to play! Her alter-ego (Dungeons and Dragons character) is a small in stature, mighty in spirit elf ranger, not lacking in similarities to Steph. On the edge of good and evil, her elf has been described as “chaotic neutral”. But there’s nothing neutral about Steph’s other passion – working out. She keeps her analytic mind sharp with strength training, swimming and yoga six times a week! Phew.

Steph’s final word of advice…

Clients, stop breaking Steph’s heart! “Clients so often contact KJR when they think they need us, without realising that the sooner we are brought in, even at the very beginning, the more our experience will benefit the project – saving time and money. The nature of a quality assurance team means we’ve seen failure after failure. We know what not to do and it’s with that experience we can guide people into implementing things the right way.”

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