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Summer internships with Tuxera – Rostislav’s story

  • August 26, 2016 /
  • by Rostislav Skudnov

Internships with Tuxera – Rostislav 's storyRostislav is a Junior Engineer in Tuxera’s QA team. He’s a computer science major at the University of Helsinki. When he’s not studying or working, he enjoys traveling and reading books about history and economics.

Computers – my passion since early childhood

I started learning to use computers before the age of six, and when I was seven, we had a computer at home. Just like other kids, I liked to play games, but my parents would not allow me to play on the computer for more than one hour per day! Another challenge for me was that our home computer was not very powerful, and it could run only some of the games that my classmates were playing (at that time, only two out of my 25 classmates had home computers). Therefore, I had to learn about computer components, their characteristics, and prices in order to persuade my parents to buy them.

When I was 13 or 14, I joined a youth programming club where I received my first education in software engineering. After a couple of years of studying there, I was able to use my programming skills to solve my school math problems, and that felt very satisfying! Later, when I finished secondary school, I learned web application development and did some work in that field as a freelancer. That leads me to today, a fourth-year student of computer science at the University of Helsinki.

It was a lucky coincidence that I visited Tuxera with my university’s student organization. This way I learned what a great company Tuxera is, and immediately applied for a job! That’s how I became a Junior Quality Assurance Engineer and started working on Tuxera’s main products – file system drivers and testing tools. I had knowledge of how file systems work theoretically, and now I could finally apply that knowledge in practice!

Testing and ensuring your data is reliably stored

One of the best things about Tuxera is having the freedom to choose what part of the system to work on. There are several components of the quality assurance process. One of them is the “build system”, which compiles our software for all possible devices that our customers have. Those devices may be anything from smartphones to drones to automotive navigation systems, may have one of several CPU architectures, and have very unexpected configurations. A part of my work is to make sure that our testing tools compile and run correctly on all devices.

Another part of my work is developing the testing tools themselves. File systems must support a large set of features: operations on file data (reading and writing of data from/to files), operations on metadata (reading or modifying file type, owner, permissions, size, last modification time, etc.), directory operations (copying, moving, creating, and deleting files) and other things that aren’t so easy to describe.

As a part of the QA team, I develop and run testing tools that verify the correctness of our file system drivers and tools. Through my experience at Tuxera I have learned that there are many ways how a file system could fail, which means that somebody would lose valuable data. The QA team’s work includes developing tools that would simulate situations where data may be lost and verifying that data is reliably stored.

Colleagues that are always willing to lend a hand

I love that all of my coworkers in the QA and development team are eager to help and share their knowledge. Whenever I have a problem or a difficulty with something and ask for help, I always get a very intelligent and thorough answer. Sometimes I ask about very difficult concepts, and despite being very busy, my colleagues always find time to clarify the concepts to me in depth. Plus, when I come up with ideas about new testing features, my colleagues give helpful feedback and encourage me to implement them. One such example is a method of software testing that I learned in a university course on software security. I have successfully used this method to identify areas in which our software could be improved, and most of those improvements have now been implemented.

Final thoughts

I greatly enjoy that there is no bureaucracy and red tape in Tuxera. For me, that means I don’t have to write formal requests for basic things and instead rely on common sense. Our managers treat me and other employees as equals, and I have never been told to do something I did not want to do. Lastly, the atmosphere around the office is very friendly and welcoming. Tuxera is the best place I have worked so far, and I am looking forward to tackling new challenges together with the team!

Rostislav Skudnov
Rostislav (Slava) is one of our Quality Assurance Engineers. He will be graduating as a Master of Science in Computer Science from University of Helsinki in 2017. Previously he has been working on Web application development with HTML5 and Javascript.
During his free-time he likes to learn about new technologies, travel, and read history books.