We are excited to announce a series of exciting new blog posts!
My name is Hailey and I am Betabound’s new Community and Recruitment Manager! I was actually a Betabound tester for many years before I got this role, so it has been amazing to learn everything about the platform after seeing it only from one side for so long.
If you are a frequent tester in Betabound, you may wonder what it is like to be a Centercode Program Manager. They’re the incredible people that run the various tests you can participate in. I was always curious about that when I myself was a tester.
But they do SO much more than that, and I wanted to give them a place to talk about their job, how they got here, and some advice they can give to you to be the best tester possible.
That being said, this marks the first in the series of posts dedicated to our wonderful Program Managers. You may recognize some of these names, so hopefully, this will give you more insight into the testing process. Today I am talking with Carol Lee, who currently manages many mobile phone and streaming device tests.
An Interview with Carol Lee
Can you talk a little bit about your background and how you came to work at Centercode?
I graduated with a master’s degree in experimental psychology, which taught me many useful research skills. The biggest thing that comes to mind was having the heart of a researcher. I loved designing tests, selecting appropriate methods and testers, and creating surveys to reveal answers to unknowns.
I also learned and enjoyed statistical analysis, critical thinking, ethical conduct and adapting to changes in research plans, modifying study designs, and troubleshooting problems as they arise.
Eventually, I got some project management experience when I got the opportunity to work as an event coordinator for a festival in San Juan, Capistrano called Goin’ Native. I coordinated the speakers, bands, booths, and food business plan- it was such a good time.
Later when I heard that Centercode was hiring, I was excited since I could take the skills I learned in school and as an event coordinator to become a Centercode Program Manager. And the rest is history.
What is your daily routine like as a CPM?
It varies so much, which is what I love. Some days I am meeting with clients to go over weekly findings and other days I’m reaching out to recruit testers for a project or creating a new project space.
On other days I’m getting ready for the test to begin. I am always monitoring my tests to make sure everyone is participating, assisting testers, and nudging those that are behind. Once a test is winding down you’ll find me creating final reports and calculating incentives for testers that qualify. Every day is so different!
Lately, I’ve also had the time to add skills to my Program Manager toolkit by learning ClickUp and helping to improve the Centercode Program Manager process by going over our current guides.
“You have to have a passion for learning and improving upon yourself as well as wanting to assist the clients that need our help.”
What are some things that make a successful program manager?
I think you must have an organization system in place, where you can see at a glance what you’ve done and what you still need to do for each stage in a project. This is because you could be dealing with several projects at a time.
As a Centercode Program Manager, it’s imperative that you keep track of each one or it will not be a success. You need to be reliable, punctual, professional, and not afraid to ask questions or for help when you need it.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I love how you get to be different things at different times. You’re part business analysis, report administrator, and problem solver. I enjoy the fact that I’m not doing the same thing every day. I learn something new practically every day.
If there’s one constant in technology, it’s there will be change, you know? You have to have a passion for learning and improving upon yourself as well as wanting to assist the clients that need our help.
What piece of advice would you like to give to testers?
Make sure you have the time and energy to test the product and that you truly enjoy the process of helping to make a better product. There will be issues and breakdowns and products won’t work as they should.
Don’t just apply for the free gadgets, because if you’re not helpful and contributing to the product’s success you’re less likely to be asked to test again.
Now onto some fun questions! If you could choose any one thing to test, what would it be?
At the moment, it would be a self-cleaning litter box since we just got a second cat with these long legs and the litter is getting everywhere. They have so many features and include a mobile app that monitors everything you can think of.
And for my final question, what’s your favorite hobby outside of work?
Right now it’s really about learning more and being out in nature. I love traveling to different parks, especially out here on the West Coast. I was so excited to move here about eight years ago from Texas.
I’ve been to about 15 National Parks so far and we are going to Yosemite a second time this summer. I don’t go to these parks as a thrill-seeker but I enjoy hiking the easy to moderate trails to really take in the park’s natural beauty.
When I was a stay-at-home mom, I got the opportunity to get certified as a master gardener and a master naturalist. Currently, I am starting to learn more about different edible and medicinal plants versus those that are harmful, just in case you’re out in the wild.
And that was all I had to ask Carol! If you have any questions for her, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can look forward to more test manager reviews in the coming weeks!