David Kawa

David Kawa

Lead QA Engineer Chicago


I am part of the Engineering team in Chicago responsible for quality assurance for our automated trading platform, Metro. I test exchange-driven changes (EDCs), manage client enhancements, fix bugs and work on new features across the Metro platform. This also includes maintaining, configuring and upgrading test environments, reporting any issues, suggesting enhancements and releasing versions once they are ready for production use.

Most of the EDC projects I support have hard deadlines, so it’s really important to work in a timely fashion, get any changes into production and keep our clients in the market.

Daily life

I work closely with the Metro QA team in Belfast, supporting automated and manual regression testing so my mornings typically include checking for any communications regarding issues or functionality questions that may have arisen overnight. I then check for any urgent updates with the Metro Engineering team before testing international exchanges. Certain exchanges have limited testing hours due to time differences so that is the priority at the start of my day.

Towards the end of the day, I work on releasing any new builds and plan the following day to keep myself organized.

Working environment

I enjoy the problem-solving part of my role. It’s quite rewarding to be able to help a client have confidence when upgrading to a new version and hear about the positive feedback on our latest functionality. While I don’t have direct contact with clients, I always like to check in and see how they are getting on with new upgrades. We have daily team scrums, so I am always able to check in with my colleagues. We also have wider town hall style meetings to stay connected with the rest of the organization while we are all working remotely at the moment.

Vela has a great approach to work/life balance. I think this is especially important now while our homes also serve as our office. There are plenty of experts in the company who can help with specific questions – whether it’s trading, technical or business. I have a great relationship with my colleagues; we’re all here to help each other and that’s what gives Vela it’s really positive working environment.

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