What’s it like to work at PatientsLikeMe? We are continuing to reveal just that with our monthly blog series “A Day in the Life,” which features employees from different departments. So far, we’ve interviewed User Experience Engineer Cris Necochea, Research Assistant Shivani Bhargava, Office Manager Alison Dutton, Research Scientist Timothy Vaughan, Biz Dev’er Arianne Graham, Product Manager Maureen Oakes and Community Manager Jeanette DeVita. Today we’d like to introduce you to Brian Boyle, who joined the company six months ago to help us maintain excellent quality assurance (QA). What that means is that when you find a bug in our platform, Brian is the guy who makes sure it gets fixed!
1. What’s surprised you the most since joining PatientsLikeMe in March?
PatientsLikeMe is an amazing office to work in. I was immediately welcomed by a team of talented and brilliant individuals. The people here are so nice to be around. The bar of excellence is raised daily, and we challenge ourselves to produce the best possible product. Every morning I arrive to an atmosphere that is rich with confidence and satisfaction of our product.
2. Tell us about the role of the Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer.
My job at PatientsLikeMe is to collect bug reports from users and co-workers and send them to the engineers. The engineers take the information, locate the problem and fix the code that caused the error. When I collect the bug reports, I research what is causing the problem and prioritize the bug queue. The bugs on my radar are ones that a user would find and that could disrupt their experience on the site. Solving these problems is very rewarding and important for the user experience.
3. What do you find satisfying – as well as challenging – about your job?
Working closely with users to understand their perspective and then carrying that viewpoint to the engineers is my first priority. It can be challenging working through the volume of requests and researching all of them, while putting them in an acceptable order to be fixed. Fortunately, the engineers are very helpful, offering insights and understanding. I sit with a team of amazing developers I can turn to and ask for help. Working with the engineers to solve problems is immensely satisfying.
4. I understand you have a lot of active hobbies, such as rock climbing and skiing. How does that fit into your approach to wellness?
I have found that engaging my mind and body in physical activity encourages a healthy perspective to my thought process. My time away from work is spent working on goals and physical challenges. I have a few different levels of activities that I use to distill my thought process and better serve my prioritization skills.
Skiing and team sports are hobbies that I do every once in awhile that allow me to focus on something new for a day. The next level of activities are accomplished a few times a week; rock climbing, yoga, mountain biking and road biking are things I can do after work. My favorite activity is skydiving. I have been jumping out of planes (almost) every warm weekend since 2007. I have over 550 jumps, and I am a tandem instructor at Jumptown in Orange, MA.
My passion in skydiving is tandem jumping and big way jumping. Tandem jumping is hooking up a first jump student to my parachute and taking them on their first skydive. Big way jumping is when I take my own parachute and go up with 60 of my closest friends and jump out of three different airplanes at the same time. I use skydiving to set long term goals. It can take years to attain certain skills in skydiving, and accomplishing those goals is very rewarding.
Interested in making a difference in patients’ lives? Check out our Careers page to see our current job openings. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, PatientsLikeMe is looking for a Marketing Analyst, Outcomes Research Scientist and more at the moment.