Meet Tracey Shirley

Tracey Shirley & Emal Sakwall (@zigadore)
october 28th, 2016

Tracey Shirley - image by Emal Sakwall

Welcome to the 10th blog post in our interview series. Let’s pause to mark this occasion and fire up the confetti cannon. We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know our crew. And, while those colorful tiny pieces of paper fill the backdrop, let me introduce you to our own Tracey Shirley.

Meet Tracey. She is compassionate, kind, clear, logical, efficient, and analytic. She keeps projects on track and uncovers software bugs in a way that leaves us all inspired. I know I want to be like her. Read her answers to my questions.

Name, Company, Title, City

I’m Tracey Shirley. I work for Infinity Interactive as a Project Manager/QA Lead and work from wherever I wake up in the morning.

When did you first work with Infinity?

Summer of 2011.

What are six words you think of when you think of Infinity?

Family. Integrity. Humor. Growth. Solutions. Opportunity.

I am curious about what brought the word “family” to mind?

Wow, I’m surprised how hard this question is - which makes me think the “family” part of my answer must have been an emotionally-based response, harder to define and articulate. Me thinking…(insert Jeopardy music here). We have all worked places where, even if you were part of a team, most people were primarily looking out for themselves, how do “I” shine. People at Infinity are more interested in how do “we” shine. Coworkers seek to build each other up, not tear each other down. We see each other’s warts, but we focus on each others’ strengths (and offer Compound W when/if needed). “Families” work together for the good of the whole, learning and growing together.

When you say “wherever I wake up in the morning,” do you mean you are living a nomadic life? Tell us more about it. How does work fit with this lifestyle?

We have RV’d for years, but now that Jim, my husband, is retired, we have taken it to the next level - so ‘home’ is wherever the tires stop for the day/week/month. Sometimes they just stop on the side of a road:

A picture of Tracey’s RV in the foreground and a beautiful mountain range and sunset in the background

We just returned from a 4 month, 19 state trip. We whitewater rafted in Colorado, helped fight a grass fire in South Dakota, hiked Independence Rock in Wyoming, ate more Amish baked goods in Indiana than we should have been allowed to, and sampled moonshine in Tennessee.

Working on the road is not as challenging as it sounds. Verizon has really good LTE and 3G coverage for most of the country, and we also take advantage of free wifi when it is available. We use an Ubiquiti NanoStation locoM2 (with the Ubiquiti airGateway Access Point) to create a private local network when accessing public networks. This is a pretty sweet setup, the NanoStation is logged into the public network but all of our devices are logged into our private network.

How did you end up in a QA role? Will you tell us about your approach to testing software, your philosophy?

I worked for a call center a number of years ago as an account supervisor, and one of the accounts I was assigned to was for a scanner hardware/software manufacturer. One of my duties was working with engineering when bugs were reported from the field to help determine the root cause. I also worked with affected customers to find the commonality so a fix could be implemented.

My approach to QA is to be methodical with testing in regard to how a product/service was designed to be used and after that test how you think the least technical person you know (think your grandparents) would use it. And to never forget we’re all on the same team.

What is your favorite time of day/week/year?

Dawn through sunrise is my favorite time of the day - it is such a quiet perfect time. Thursday is my favorite day of the week - I still have one more business day to (hopefully) tie up loose ends. Fall (before DST) is my favorite time of the year - the days are warm, the nights are cool, the sky has its own distinct color of blue, and it isn’t dark at 4:30 p.m. I hate DST, and if you wanted to start a petition to abolish it, I would sign it!

What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?

The feet God gave me so I can:

Have you always been into fitness? If so which sport and why?

I did basketball, volleyball, and track in school. Then, grown-up life happened and regular exercise became weekend sporting interest (skiing, racquetball, etc.). It has only been in about the last 10 to 15 years that I came to appreciate the importance of regular exercise.

What is one thing you think people might not know about Infinity, but should?

We really (really) care about our clients/customer’s success. We are happy writing software, but our ultimate goal is to build relationships.

Tags: culture people interview