Joining A Startup As The First QA

Lego human in a chicken costume

In a series of 5 articles I’ll guide you though a story of joining a startup as the first QA, providing practical advices based on my experience and lessons that I’ve learnt so far from day one to first month.

The series contains:

  1. How to prepare for a leadership role
  2. First day in a new job – 3 things I learned the hard way
  3. First week as QA Lead in a startup – 5 steps for 5 working days
  4. First month as QA Lead in a startup – 6 pieces of advice
  5. What I learned after 30 days as QA Lead in a startup


I’m a software QA engineer and I’ve recently joined Fiit – the third VC backed startup in my career. For the first time, however, I am the only QA in the company.

Before I started at Fiit, I had worked for two established startups, Base and Onfido, with engineering teams between 50 and 100 people. In each case, the team of test engineers was already in place, along with somewhat established QA process. Given that, I was just an additional force needed to jump right into these new, exciting projects that screamed for a tester.

Now, however, the game is different. This time there’s nothing in place. That means no boundaries, but no safety net, too. It’s a blank page and the most exciting thing about being the first one in a role.

How To Prepare For A Leadership Role

In the first part of the series I’ll tell you what you should do before joining a startup as the first QA. You’ll learn why preparation is important and how to do it right.

First Day In A New Job – 3 Things I Learned The Hard Way

On the first day, save yourself first.¬†Interested why? In the second part you’ll learn 3 concise takeaways that I wish I knew before starting at a new company.

First Week As QA Lead In A Startup – 5 Steps For 5 Working Days

In the third article I go into more QA-specific detail and list 5 steps that you should do in the first week as QA Lead in a startup, backed by examples of how I have done it.

First Month As QA Lead In A Startup – 6 Pieces Of Advice

In the fourth article of the series, I zoom out and talk about what to do in the first month as QA Lead in a startup, providing 6 pieces of advice with examples from my experience.

More coming soon!

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