Interview with Victoria Santiago, QA Engineer, Checkout.com



Victoria Santiago from Checkout.com shares her insights on being a QA at Checkout.com and a woman in Fintech.

We recently caught up with Victoria Santiago from Checkout.com on her life as a QA Engineer.

How did you first get into tech?

After finishing high school, I studied computer science engineering at university. Coding was only one element of my degree. I was always very good at maths, apparently, I learnt to count before I learnt to speak, so this made sense to me. When I went to uni I had done no coding at all. It was difficult, even with a maths brain like mine. It’s important to just keep going!

So, what was your first tech role? 

It was as a Quality Assurance Engineer. I wasn’t planning on a QA role specifically, but I would definitely encourage people to consider it. What I really like about it is the balance between spending time coding working directly with many different teams.   

How do you think we can get more women into tech? 

We need to get more girls choosing to study it at university! I was one of only 5 girls out of 50 people studying the course. I experienced the usual stereotyping but ultimately, the more girls who study tech, the more women we’ll see enter the tech workforce and it’ll become less of an issue!

What is it about Checkout.com you found so appealing? 

I thought the work they do is very relevant and useful. And it continues to be. One of my projects is around payment authentication and creating security codes – it’s the part when you make a digital payment and you’re sent a security code to enter. I’m behind some of that work, and it involves more complicated processes in the background than you’d imagine. 

I’d previously worked with mobile apps and I was told I’d be given the opportunity to develop my back-end skills. This was a massive positive for me – getting a full front-end and back-end view of their technology was super important. To find a company that proactively gives you the chance to learn new skills is amazing.

How would you describe Checkout.com’s culture?  

It’s all about being one big team. We have grown a lot in the last two years, but we try to continue to do a lot of things together. For example, for our last team trip, we went to Bordeaux for 3 days. 250 people from across Europe’s offices spent the weekend together.

What’s also great about my job is that I can also work from anywhere in the world if I need to. I’ve worked from Spain, Berlin and even Mauritius before! All I need is a decent internet connection and I’m good to go. I’m often working with other remote working colleagues, too. 

Most stages of our hiring are also done remotely and we are finding new ways of running our final stage interviews and on-boarding processes digitally. 

So, what does your hiring process look like?

Checkout’s interview process starts with an email then a follow up call with our recruiters. You’ll then have a call with one of our QA Team, then asked to do a technical exercise before being invited into the office for a final stage interview where you’ll meet the QA team, Project Manager, QA Manager & HR.


How do you relax after work?

I’ll often go to the gym or spend time cooking at home. I don’t tend to code after work as I need to be able to disconnect. I find that the disconnection often gives me clarity. When writing with words, you often need to step away from the problem for it to become clear. It’s just the same when writing with code!

What would your Plan B Career be?

It would be fashion design. You might think this is a surprising choice! But just like coding, you need to be focused on detail and you can create something out of absolutely nothing. 

Victoria’s Top Tips
  • Studying and working in tech will always be a challenge: stick at it! Embrace the challenge. 
  • Don’t listen to negativity + ignore stereotypes
  • Choose your study and career path based on what you really enjoy doing
  • Take inspiration from those who’ve taught you – they’re followed the same path, faced the same challenges – look where they are now!
  • Don’t get complacent: keep looking for your next challenge

One final piece of advice for women in tech?

Continue to be yourself, forget stereotypes, and always remember – you are not alone.



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