The mabl team now numbers 83 people in 64 cities - and we’re growing quickly! But we wouldn’t have reached this point without veteran team members like Software Engineer Tamara Yu, who joined mabl in 2018.
Whether you’ve worked with Tamara as a mabl user, mabler, or prospective customer, you’ve seen her collaborative nature and leadership firsthand. In her four years at mabl, she’s led mission-critical projects that resulted in valuable improvements to our test automation solution, woken up in the middle of the night to resolve urgent product issues, and supported countless software testing questions. We’re incredibly grateful for her knowledge and insight, which is why we’re spotlighting her experience in our second Meet the Mabler blog series!
Please tell me about your career before mabl.
After finishing my undergrad and grad programs in computer science at MIT, I joined Lincoln Labs, which is a federally-funded R&D center operated by MIT with a mission to use advanced technology to address national security challenges. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as a member of the Technical Staff for over 13 years working with many projects and technologies, I developed a diverse set of skills that were pretty applicable to working at a startup: writing technical papers, building prototypes, deploying prototypes to get user feedback and iterate, working with sponsors to secure funding, and more.
What brought you to mabl?
When it was time to move on, I was introduced to a great recruiting firm called Planet Technology by one of my colleagues. They helped me explore a variety of roles at early and late-stage companies. After a few weeks, I was fortunate to have a few exciting opportunities in both the startup space and with super-scaled tech companies.
What made you decide to join mabl?
The interview process played a big role. It didn’t feel like interviews at other companies. It felt natural - like a preview of what it would be like to work with the team. I really respected how everyone approached getting to know me and I took a lot of time beyond the formal interview process to learn as much as I could about the company and the opportunity. The team was so patient and open with me.
I also felt like it was a unique opportunity to join a startup building a modern SaaS product that also has all the ingredients for success; a great team, a compelling vision, interesting technical challenges, strong VC backing, and a market that’s changing quickly, etc. I thought the opportunities at larger companies wouldn’t be so different in a few years, whereas the timing of the mabl opportunity was - and is - pretty special and rare.
What’s the best part of working at mabl?
I really love learning and the opportunity for growth is incredible here. By joining a startup, I was gearing up for a steep learning curve, yet mabl blew my expectations out of the water. In a few short years, I’ve learned so much about designing and building new systems, designing and evolving organizations and processes, managing people, hiring great talent, and so much more. I also feel like I’m growing in new ways as the company grows. Lately, for example, I've been thinking a lot about building software for scale, both inside and out. How can we bring powerful ideas that have traditionally been on the tool belts of only software engineers - such as abstraction, reusable components, parameterization, developer workflows – to a diverse customer base so they can scale the impact of their testing efforts? How can we build things in a way that is easy to enhance and maintain by a growing engineering team?
I also value the autonomy that I have as a member of the product team here. Everything begins with developing a deep empathy with the customers. As an engineer, I listen to their challenges first hand in feedback calls and use data to validate my intuition. Armed with that context, my product squad is entrusted with autonomy to build the right thing. It's very gratifying when a feature I help define and create gets into the hands of customers and works well! And if it didn't hit the mark right away, we listen and work hard to improve it. At mabl, everyone is focused on doing the right thing for our customers and our product.
Finally, I have been amazed at how supportive everyone is of our responsibilities and interests outside of work. I feel like mabl gives you the opportunity to build a great career as well as the latitude and flexibility to have a great personal/family life.
What advice would you have for people who are considering joining the team?
You have to be comfortable with ambiguity and agency. People aren’t going to tell you what to do very often, so you have to take initiative, explore, learn, contribute to your team’s direction, and embrace change. That said, this is a great group of people to work with and to learn from. I especially love the cross-functional nature of the teams. Be ready to stretch beyond your core responsibilities! Everyone is genuinely supportive; help, feedback, or advice is never more than a Slack message away. They inspire me to think deeper, reach higher, and have more fun.
What are you excited about in the future?
I’m excited about the unknown. I am regularly surprised by what my day, week, or month will bring. We love diving into the abyss of a new challenge and coming out with new insights that will shape the future of our company and quality engineering. The opportunity for growth and learning has never been greater and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.
Join mabl's Growing mabl Software Engineering Team!
Mabl is hiring a remote or Boston-based Software Engineer to join Tamara and our team of seasoned entrepreneurs and world-class engineers in building the future of software testing. If you’re ready to be part of a supportive, driven organization solving software development’s biggest challenges, apply today!