Jonathan Huie, FindLaw.com's Lead Quality Assurance Analyst, hasn't visited his native Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in nearly 20 years. Why? It's not that the Southeast Asian country has been ruled by a military dictatorship for the past several decades, Huie "just [doesn't] like hot and humid weather."
Fair enough. He wouldn't be the first one lured here by the Bay Area's famously perfect climate.
The seasoned software engineer immigrated to the U.S. with his mother when he was 13, arriving in Hawaii after his aunt petitioned on their behalf. While he has fond memories of his Burmese childhood, he said he has no plans to visit in the future.
Huie earned his computer science degree from the University of Illinois and got his first job in Santa Barbara, then moved to Silicon Valley in 1991 and worked for Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. (now part of Oracle), and Adobe Systems Inc., among other big-name tech firms.
So what does he do all day at FindLaw?
Well, you know those error pages you get sometimes when you hit a virtual dead-end, often with a "404 Page Not Found" message? Huie's job is to make sure you never see those when you visit our Web site.
That's not all he does, but he said software bugs returning that particular error message are relatively common. The goal is to find and fix these (and myriad other) bugs before a new product or section of the site is launched, often under significant deadline pressure. And since every project is unique, he has to quickly learn new technologies for each one.
Huie is part of a six-member quality assurance (or "QA") team, four of whom work in our Eagan, Minnesota office. The job of the QA is, as he puts it, to find creative new ways to break the code.
You read that correctly.
"We try to break things to make sure we can't break anything," Huie said. Think of it as a crash test for our website. He and his team also conduct usability tests, which help make our site more efficient and user-friendly.
But even though Huie's job is to tame our code before it sees the light of day, he said it's the people who really matter:
"The most effective way to work with someone is to get to know them at a personal level," he said. "I really like the people I work with ... we're like a family."
We like to think of our users as family, too.