August 6, 2021

How Eboney Robinson Went From a Bootcamp to QA Engineer

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Eboney Robinson’s journey to tech began in 2012 when her mother picked up a flyer. It was for the SLICE Program, which provides employment and educational opportunities to young people from low-income backgrounds. 

Today, Eboney works at Radancy, an enterprise SaaS talent acquisition platform, as a Senior Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer and is the first in her family to be employed in the technology industry. In this interview, she discusses her job at Radancy, what initially sparked her interest in technology, and how she’s giving back to her community.

Hi Eboney, tell us more about what you do at Radancy.

I have been a QA engineer at Radancy for more than nine years and I’ve recently been promoted to senior QA engineer. I create test plans, test cases, and scenarios for Radancy’s Unified Platform. I use automation to make sure that I don’t have to repeat similar tasks.

I was placed at Radancy during the SLICE Program. Once I graduated, I was offered a full-time position.

Could you tell us more about SLICE?

SLICE is a free, year-long program at Columbia University that offers people from underserved communities the chance to learn computer skills that may lead to information technology careers. I was 18 years old when I began the program.

SLICE is sort of a bootcamp. It gave me training for quality assurance and covered all my expenses related to the program.

The program was very beneficial for my career. When I got the job at Radancy, my mentor, Taryn Collins, helped prepare me for how to present myself at work. She taught me everything that I needed to know. I was very young at the time and the position at Radancy was my first real job.

How did you find out about your interest in technology?

I grew up in the Astoria housing projects. Most of my family went to the same schools, but I wanted to venture out of my neighborhood. I went to Thomas Edison in Jamaica, Queens, which offered a more technical education. There, I joined the robotics department and became part of the basketball team. I realized that I had a knack for technology and basketball brought out the competitiveness in me, which helped me flourish at Radancy. 

How did this employment change your life?

I’m very grateful for my position at Radancy. It helped me move out of my mother’s house when I was 20. It allowed me to become financially independent at a young age and helped me explore my interests. 

What kind of support did you find valuable in your professional development?

When I started, I found the support of my manager to be very valuable. She always gave honest feedback and encouraged me to ask questions. I was the first person hired for the QA department and my manager, who created the department, was hired three days before me. So, I basically trained most of the people who work in this department today. 

I also want to mention that my fiancé Andre Melvin was a big part of my success. He was by my side throughout the SLICE Program. He was my support, my rock, and my coach. 

Outside Radancy, can you tell me more about your various initiatives?

In 2015 I decided to start a business called Kwiet. It’s pronounced like “quiet and the name is inspired by the fact that whenever I meet people, they ask me why I am so quiet. 

Kwiet is based in New York and it’s essentially a printing company. We put vinyl on shirts. We tie-dye them. I also create branding for clubs, and so on.

At the same time, I wanted to give back to the community, my family, and my friends, so alongside Kwiet, I began a field day program. In my neighborhood, being overweight has become a real issue. So, every year, we get the kids out of their houses, participating in outdoor activities, and getting fresh air to be more active for a whole day.

The kids see what I am doing, and they want to become more physically active too. Some even ask to volunteer. Today, many people in my neighborhood look forward to this field day.

During this event, I also help organize pop-up shops, so I try to encourage entrepreneurship as well.

You’re setting an example for others to follow.

In a way, yes. My sister looks up to me, and she used to tell me how she wanted to be just like me. She wanted to go to the same high school that I went to. During field day, we get to teach kids how to become more active, promote teamwork, and encourage healthy competition.

Eventually, I want to introduce these kids to the world of IT. Right now, I’m showing people the program that I’ve been in. Whenever there are new job-related or training opportunities, I always share them with everyone in my community.

What are your tips for young people getting into tech?

I highly recommend the program that I’ve done. Just lookout in your neighborhood. There might be similar programs being advertised. 

There are also many other programs and avenues out there available to young people. You just need to browse through the Internet, which can show you everything that there is to know for free. YouTube can teach you a lot of things. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep your head up.

Do you have any other things to mention?

You could say that I grew up with Radancy. They also have a regular program regarding the experiences of women and people of color in IT, which has been very helpful in my professional development.

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Julian Canlas

Julian is a tech writer, specialising in community-first SaaS content strategy and narrative journalism

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