Director of Product Management and Quality Assurance
Tamaika, a born and bred Virginia native, has been the Director of Product Management and Quality Assurance at Ntrepid for nearly six years. She initially accepted this role because she was interested in the opportunity to work with a cutting-edge product.
"I was going to be the first person on the East Coast to help build up the quality assurance side of Ntrepid. I found that really exciting — much more than the position I was in at the time — so that’s how I ended up in this role.”
Tamaika has been in QA for 17 years. She went to school for Computer Information Systems with a focus in business process improvement. One of the best things college did for her was teach her how to learn fast, a skill that comes in very handy in the technology industry.
Since then, she’s worked for small companies and large government contractors. At other companies, Tamaika was hired and promoted within a single role. At Ntrepid, however, she has been able to explore options outside of that box.
“If you want to do a lot of different things, you can do that here. You can be exposed to different areas and transition to new roles.”
A mix of technical and business savvy, she is passionate about product management and quality assurance. It doesn’t matter if you can get to market fast if the product isn’t high quality.
"That's why I’m passionate about quality. Quality has to start at the very beginning to make everything else work. It costs way more to fix at the end than it does to implement at the beginning."
As the first person to establish the quality assurance process for the company, Tamaika was responsible for educating the entire team. She enjoyed the opportunity to build something from scratch.
“Everyone had to adjust to the new workflows, but they were all really passionate about their product. That’s the trick. You want to work with people who believe in what they’re building because then they will do whatever it takes to make sure they produce a quality product."
After six years, establishing the QA process is still one of Tamaika’s proudest achievements. She has since been able to have a direct influence over some of the company’s biggest products.
“I’m trying to help make products better through the QA process. If it takes me five clicks when it should take me two, that’s not a good user experience.”
She is an advocate for everyone on the team — as well as for the customer and the user — ensuring that Ntrepid is creating products that meet user expectations and industry needs.
"I work with people who are passionate about what they are building. That’s unique to Ntrepid because our engineering team really has control of the tech stack. They have the ability to solve problems with full control of the tools."
Because their work solves real problems, the entire team is excited about delivering a quality solution. It’s one of the many things she loves about her co-workers.
"I really like working with smart people who can solve hard problems. You can tell our people aren’t just trying to put in their eight hours — the passion and drive to produce a good product is there."
Tamaika cares about cybersecurity and solving the problems it presents and is inspired by team workers who share that passion and aren’t afraid to be hands-on with their projects.
"I look up to our VP, Mike, because he still does hands-on coding. He doesn’t ask his team to do anything that he’s not willing to do. I really respect that about him. He gets great results from his team because of his leadership style."
In addition to caring about the workplace experience, the company cares for their employees on a very personal level.
"If someone has a family issue or needs extra leave, we work with them to make sure they get what they need because family comes first. Depending on the situation, we are flexible as far as letting people work remotely."
Ntrepid treats employees well, which creates a happy and productive work environment. They show the same care to their customers.
“Customers say we are one of the most flexible vendors that they have ever worked with and we will bend over backwards to make sure their needs are met — even if it requires us to do some sort of custom solution that we can’t sell to anyone else."
Tamaika has had the opportunity to grow during her time at Ntrepid, from personal development resources to the chance to take her entire team to a conference.
“Ntrepid is one of the few companies I’ve worked with in tech that actually pushes people to go to conferences, take training, and pursue education."
She has made very good friends during her time here. The team runs the gamut of having people recently out of school to people, like her, who have been working in this industry for over twenty years.
“I definitely think it’s a great place for any stage of your career. No matter who you are, you can find people here who you are able to make friends with. That’s one of the things that makes it fun to work here.”
Star Trek vs. Star Wars? Both! But I only like Star Trek — the show, not the movies.
Cats or Dogs? Dogs.
Favorite Website: Yahoo. I’m one of the few still using it as my homepage.
For fun: I love to take spa-type vacations or go to the beach. My favorite trip so far was a two-week Mediterranean cruise for my 40th birthday.