Hotels.com invests in meet-up programme to support UK QA industry

SoftwareTestingNews Editor Cecilia Rehn recently spoke with Hotels.com’s QA and recruitment functions about its investment into industry meet-ups to promote learning in the wider community, as well as emphasise the organisation’s positioning as a tech leader.

Hotels.com’s quality assurance function

A key part of any technology company, Hotels.com operates a QA function from offices around the globe.

“We have a healthy sized QA department,” said Kashif Saleem, Director QA, Hotels.com. “We are spread over a number of different offices including in London, Rome, Budapest, Seattle.”

Kashif explains that at Hotels.com, each delivery team is split into core functions, of which one is QA. Including vendor partners, the hotel-booking site employs more than 40 quality assurance specialists.

Meet-ups a great way to interact with the QA and testing community

Hotels.com’s previous meet-up was held last June, founded and organised by Andrew Odupitan a technical QA Head Hunter at Testing Circle. Solidifying client relationships is a key part of a recruiter’s job description as well as identifying key areas of business growth, through internal interaction. Andrew has been strategically reaching out to the community in preparation for the next event.

“Through surveys, research and conversations with testers, automation engineers and senior QA managers, it becomes clear what topics are new, emerging, and of the most interest to attendees. We then invite key speakers to address these demands,” he said.

Kashif reiterates that the only theme of the meet-up is quality assurance, in order to ensure a wider conversation benefitting many.

The meet-up will see Hotels.com speakers sharing case studies and learning, as well as external speakers.

“We don’t want it to be a Hotels.com only show, so it’s important to be seen as giving back to the community by inviting external speakers,” explained Clare Watts, EMEA Recruiter, Hotels.com. “There is also a popular Q&A session, which means people get more value out of attendance.”

Hotels.com has also held similar events in the DevOps and agile space, highlighting its desire to be seen as a thought leader in the technology sector.

Recruitment challenges

Although operating in the travel sector, Hotels.com is keen to position itself as a technology company and wants to attract the top tech talent.

“In terms of the technology skills that we are looking for, it hits a very competitive part of the market. Especially within the London area, where there are a number of organisations competing at the same talent pool,” said Gurdev Landa, EMEA Technology Recruiter, Hotels.com. “Events like meet-ups give us the chance to market ourselves as a technology company. We build a lot of our own products and services internally, and we are interested in proactive candidates who show creativity, innovation and are technical. A meet-up is a great place to give back to the community, as well as give us exposure to curious people, keen on learning more about what we do here at Hotels.com, and how to contribute.”

Details of the next meet-up

Hotels.com’s next meet-up will be held at 6:30 pm on the 13th October 2016 at The Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4EX.

If you’re interested in coming along, more information can be found here.

 

Written by Cecilia Rehn.

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