Submitted by: Russel Smith
Learn how Russel uses Zight to make fixing bugs easier and more!
About our power user, Russel Smith
Russel Smith is the co-founder and CTO at Rainforest QA. Boasting the only AI-powered crowd-testing platform, Rainforest QA is built for rockstar, faster-than-the-speed-of-light development teams who want to spend more time coding, not testing and bug-fixing.
How did you get into this industry?
I’ve been coding since I was a child, after buying an old Sinclair QL and learning to write very very terrible code on my own – I eventually moved on to writing software for Psion handheld computers, mainly games!
During University, I ended up helping other students with their dissertation projects for money, whilst working at the IT helpdesk. I didn’t manage to find a job straight out of university, I ended up spending the summer earning money via eBay, eventually finding a programming job in a newspaper classified. We were writing e-learning systems for a Fortune 50 company.
When you start a new project, what process do you follow?
Depends on what the project is, but generally I like to prototype things really quickly to see if they’re actually practically and valuable. Most of the things I work on are technical. Even if they don’t look pretty, they’ll still be useful – which is good, as I suck as a designer.
What does the future of product look like?
I believe it depends on the stage of the company. I think the longer term product vision should come from the founders, but it’s super important to have everyone aligned and on the same page. The more disconnected, the worse it will be. However, having seen what a difference professional product makes, I believe we’d have had an advantage from building out the team earlier (we’ve also brought on a fantastic VP of Product recently). As for product itself, making something people want – the YC mantra – means talking to your customers a lot. Data is great, but it doesn’t tell the whole story and is easy to get wrong.