In her role as the business development representative for QASymphony, software expert Rachel Kramer brings a great deal of experience along with a unique and diverse professional skill set. Rachel’s versatility has been central to her success with QASymphony, and she has made critical contributions to a number of projects undertaken by the company’s different divisions, including projects yielding the company’s JIRA testing tools.

Rachel lives just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, which is close enough to keep her daily commute relatively brief. While proximity to her place of employment is certainly a benefit, Rachel is most likely to cite the fact that her home is located close to the parks and preserves she so frequently visits for long hikes and occasional backpacking trips.

1. What is your hobby?

As long as the weather cooperates, I like to go hiking and backpacking whenever I have time away from my professional responsibilities.

2. How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I began hiking as a response to working in the tech industry. While I enjoy what I do and love working on the development of new QA tools and things like JIRA test management, it’s really important to reconnect with nature as often as possible.

3. Tell us what you love about it.

Even though hiking or backpacking can be taxing from a physical standpoint, it has this rejuvenating effect that makes every long hike or steep climb entirely worthwhile.

4. Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes, a number of my colleagues meet up for long weekend hikes and backpacking trips. It’s a nice way to establish a rapport with co-workers and to contribute to a positive company culture.

5. Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I have invested in a lot of equipment, but I’ve also benefited from a lot of hand-me-downs from more experienced hikers and backpackers. I sort of laughed at the thought of ever needing hiking poles, but I quickly realized how great an investment I had made.

6. Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I try to find used gear from other backpackers, but I also go to High Country Outfitters for anything I can’t find used.

7. Are there any good books for beginners?

I think the best book for a beginner would be any wildlife or wilderness guide specific to the area in which they plan to hike or backpack.

8. How has this changed your life?

It’s provided me with a potent source of renewable energy and vigor.

9. What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Though it may not seem like a necessity at first, hiking poles are indeed a practical investment for any backpacking trip.

10. Are there any other hobbies you have?

Yes, but none that I take as seriously as hiking and backpacking.