Meet The Team - Richard Barnes - Software QA Analyst
Tell us about yourself
I'm Richard Barnes and I joined Neurovalens in May 2021. I'm a Software QA Engineer and my role in the company is to test our iOS and Android apps to ensure they work as well as they can, both in terms of being bug-free and user-friendly. Whilst this can be done by simply picking up a phone, connecting a Modius headset and using the app, we mainly try to write automated code that will test every screen on multiple phones at the same time.

I've been working in Software QA for over 10 years now, testing software in Finance and Security companies before joining Neurovalens. However, like many in the industry, I took the circuitous route into IT. After leaving school I graduated from Queens University, Belfast with a BSc in Music Technology, which was a mixture of sound-recording, music composition and music performance, with a module of C++ programming thrown in for good measure. I then spent several years as a peripatetic piano teacher in local schools. After seeing an article online for an InvestNI-funded course for non-IT grads, I was successful in achieving a place in the first Software Tester's Academy. This conversion course consisted of several months of classroom training, followed by a work placement which led to the offer of a full-time job. Whilst there was an obvious adjustment going from having the best boss in the world (myself) to working in a large team with structure and deadlines, I settled in quickly to the role of testing software and haven't looked back.

What attracted you to join the Neurovalens team?
Having dabbled a little in the world of automated testing, but still working mostly in manual testing, when the opportunity arose to join Neurovalens and get the opportunity to learn automation testing for apps, I jumped at it. I also liked the idea of also having some physical items to test, with both Modius headsets and many, many iOS and Android phones currently scattered all over my desk. Whilst I had no background in healthcare, the company appealed to me, with a product that was innovative and capable of changing people's lives.

What motivates you in your work?
There is no such thing as software that can't be improved, either by thinking about how the average user would use our app, or by trying to find a bug to fix before the software is released. I get to experience new testing techniques at Neurovalens, and we are constantly coming up with new iterations of our testing to make it bigger and better. The company itself is at a very exciting stage, recently obtaining their first two FDA approvals, with more on the horizon, and it is great to be a part of that.

Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of work?
Music is still my main interest outside work and you can usually find me in the evenings or weekends playing piano somewhere, whether it's background music for a drinks reception, accompanying a choir for a concert, or rocking out with a band. I also support the best football team in the world and have indoctrinated my son to feel the same way, so we enjoy watching the matches on TV, with the occasional trip to England.
June 20, 2024 — Craig McConnell