Sparta News, Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight – Vanessa Gil Carrillo

The next Spartan in the spotlight is Vanessa, our Quality Assurance powerhouse, whose been at Sparta for almost two years.  

Vanessa’s career trajectory from a TV show’s product team to becoming an integral part of Sparta’s QA landscape is a testament to adaptability and unwavering dedication. However, her role isn’t just about testing—it’s about crafting an app that feels like a second nature to our users.

Join us as we take a closer look at the Vanessa’s role and her ability to seamlessly blend tech expertise with an adventurous spirit.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE COMPANY?

I started in January 2022, so it’s almost two years now, just about 20 days away from hitting the two-year mark. When I joined, we were a smaller team, around 24 people. As the company grew rapidly, I’ve had the opportunity to closely collaborate with many colleagues. It’s been both challenging and rewarding to adapt quickly and contribute to the company’s progress. The influx of new team members brings fresh perspectives, which contribute to the company’s growth. Overall, it’s been an amazing journey, witnessing how far we’ve come and the potential for further growth.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR ROLE?

I’m a part of the quality assurance team, specifically as a Functional Tester. My role involves ensuring the functionality of various aspects of our products. This begins right from the conceptualisation stage, where I assess how a new feature might impact user experience. We focus on making our app user-friendly and essential for our users. Once developers complete their work, our team tests the features thoroughly to ensure they function as intended. Our goal is to maintain Sparta’s app as one of the best in the market, ensuring a seamless user experience.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?/CAN YOU GIVE ME A RUNDOWN OF YOUR CAREER PATH UP UNTIL THIS POINT?

I initially studied social communication, which is similar to journalism. However, my transition into the tech industry was unexpected. I was working in a TV show’s product team when an opportunity in quality assurance arose. Despite having no prior tech background, I was offered training and introduced to this new world. Communication skills, honed through my previous role, proved beneficial in my testing role, where clear communication is pivotal in ensuring a product’s quality. Since then, I’ve been dedicated to roles in the testing domain, continuously learning and adapting to improve processes and communication.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING AT SPARTA?

One aspect I appreciate is the open environment where everyone’s opinions are valued. We can freely express ideas and suggest improvements as a team. The diverse workforce brings perspectives from various backgrounds, enriching our daily interactions and fostering creativity.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

I take pride in building and managing the quality assurance team. When I joined, it was a small team, and now, with strategic hiring and efforts, we’ve expanded and managed to keep pace with the company’s growth. Creating structures for new verticals has been a significant achievement, contributing to the company’s progress and maintaining high standards of quality.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE OUR COMPANY CULTURE?

I believe our company culture stands out in how it values the quality assurance (QA) team, often an overlooked aspect in many organisations. Here at Sparta, QA is integrated into the core processes from the beginning of feature development. Our inputs and suggestions are encouraged and considered because of our deep understanding of the app and user experience. This unique approach values the end user above all else, putting their needs at the forefront of every decision.

WHAT DO YOU THINK SETS OUR COMPANY APART FROM OTHERS IN THE INDUSTRY?

I find our company’s prioritisation of the user experience as the key differentiator. Sparta’s unique approach values the end user above all else, putting their needs at the forefront of every decision. This focus on the end-user experience isn’t just a buzzword; it’s deeply embedded in our processes, setting us apart in delivering high-quality and user-friendly applications.

WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON HERE AT SPARTA?

I’ve had two particularly intriguing projects that stood out for different reasons. One project involved a significant visual redesign of the app, a massive six-month effort that profoundly impacted Sparta’s appearance and functionality. It was challenging yet immensely rewarding as it enhanced the user experience drastically. The second project, initially assumed to be straightforward, turned out to be unexpectedly complex. Despite the hurdles, we successfully navigated it, learning crucial lessons about prioritisation and aligning with user values. Both experiences were challenging and contributed significantly to our growth.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

If I could advise my younger self, I’d emphasise that career choices aren’t set in stone. It’s okay not to have everything figured out initially. Explore various paths, say yes to opportunities, and be adaptable. Life unfolds in unexpected ways, and these experiences help in discovering your passion and what truly resonates with you.

HOW HAS YOUR ROLE EVOLVED SINCE YOU’VE BEEN HERE?

My role in quality assurance has seen a significant shift from solely focusing on testing the final product to being involved at the inception of feature development. We now emphasise preventing issues by being part of the planning process. This proactive approach not only ensures better products but also accelerates our release cycles. Moreover, the recent addition of a manager has further streamlined our processes, guiding us to be more involved from the project’s inception to anticipate and address potential issues beforehand.

WHAT’S THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

The most crucial lesson I’ve learned is the significance of effective communication. In the tech world, precise and clear communication is fundamental. It’s not just about conveying information; it’s about ensuring that every detail is comprehended accurately. Being a mediator between tech and non-tech teams, clear communication is vital to prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is aligned toward a common goal.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS/YEARS?

I aspire to foster a culture where the entire tech team actively participates in the quality assurance process. Quality assurance isn’t just one team’s responsibility: it’s a collective effort. Collaborating ensures that everyone understands the user’s perspective, resulting in a better product. My goal is to emphasise that QA is a process involving the entire team, not just a task to be ticked off.

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I wish people understood that quality assurance isn’t limited to just coding or non-tech tasks. We’re translators, bridging the gap between technical and non-technical aspects. It’s crucial to know that we focus on user experience, ensuring the app works seamlessly for all users, regardless of their technical background.

CAN YOU SHARE A PARTICULAR SKILL OR EXPERTISE YOU’VE DEVELOPED IN THIS ROLE THAT YOU DIDN’T EXPECT TO ACQUIRE?

Surprisingly, I’ve delved into financial calculations and analyses more than expected. While not an expert, I’ve gained insight into assessing values and recognising discrepancies. It’s been enlightening to contribute to this aspect, even though traditionally handled by CO’s. Learning this has added depth to my role and understanding of the app’s metrics.

IF YOU HAD THREE WISHES, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

My wishes would focus on a safer and healthier world. First, eradicating diseases like cancer. Second, creating safer streets for bikers and drivers to share. Lastly, being able to learn anything I want as quick as possible.

WHAT’S THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?

The last song I listened to was ‘Guided by Angels’ by Amyl & the Sniffers.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGE-WATCHING OR READING?

I’m currently reading ‘Mistborn: The Hero of Ages’ by Brandon Sanderson.

WHAT’S ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST

I feel there’s more distance to cover, perhaps farther than where I’ve ventured so far. The idea of setting out on another bike trip, perhaps even farther away, fascinates me. The extent to which one can travel on a bike is truly incredible. I’m keen on pushing my limits, not only in terms of physical distance but also in pursuing my writing ambitions. Partnering these two passions, embarking on a journey while working on my first book, is something my partner and I aspire to do. Spain seems like a great starting point, but Europe offers numerous places to explore. Among our dreams, discovering hidden treasures stands out, though it might be one of the more challenging feats. The specifics of our next destination remain uncertain, but the thrill of the unknown is what makes the journey truly remarkable.

Vanessa Gil is our Functional Tester here at Sparta and can be contacted at
vanessa.gil@spartacommodities.com


Sparta is a live, market intelligence and forecasting platform that enables oil traders, refiners, banks, hedge funds and wholesalers to have access to real-time and global actionable insights to capture market opportunities before others.

To find out how Sparta can allow you to make smarter trading decisions, faster, contact us for a demonstration at sales@spartacommodites.com

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