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September 27, 2016

Starting a Career with Edge Testing

I joined Edge Testing back in May 2013 after studying Civil Engineering at University. I’d decided to pick engineering instead of Computer Science but realised pretty early on that it wasn’t the career for me.

I’d noticed Edge advertising for their trainee software tester programme and decided to give it a shot. As I read up on Edge, I was impressed by the stature of the clients that they had accumulated despite being a relatively young company and admired the company’s core values. As I discovered more about the profession as a whole it sounded like something I would like and that Edge would be an excellent fit – I have thankfully been proven right. Despite not holding an IT related degree, Edge were willing to take a chance on me as I had developed skills that could transfer in to a career in software testing.

After joining, I found out that myself and three other new starts were the first to join the newly established trainee program. To date Edge have now brought more than 50 Test Analysts through the Edge Academy.

The training programme involved courses, practical exercises and an internal exam. I enjoyed the detail and focus of each individual course as well as the overall structure of the programme. A light-hearted but memorable introductory exercise was to have us write instructions describing how to put a jacket on. We were to assume that they would be used by someone who had never seen a jacket before. The aim was to show the level of detail required for test scripts and requirements and what could happen if they were followed literally as they were written – let’s just say that it was harder than it sounds, after following them ourselves, we ended up looking pretty ridiculous.

The training was based on the ISTQB fundamentals with the aim to have us passing the ISTQB foundation level certification within the first year. I’ll spoil the surprise and let you know that I passed the ISTQB and have stayed with Edge ever since. Preparing us for and putting us through the ISTQB so quickly showed me that Edge don’t only care about the skills a tester needs but also getting them industry recognised certifications.

Liam Docherty

After completing the initial training I worked from the Digital Test Hub on my first two client contracts. These were relatively small projects lasting only around a month each but my third contract lasted over eight months with my time split between working in the DTH and working on client site. It was great to experience both sides of the DTH, firstly the quick and clean on-demand projects and then a contract that covered multiple projects with a lot more client engagement.

On my next two contracts I worked on client site full time. One of the clients was located through in Edinburgh and the other down in Warwick. This was the next logical step in my development and was something that I relished. Warwick was also my first experience of working away and while I wasn’t necessarily a fan of turbulent flights on the small planes between Glasgow and Birmingham it was definitely a rewarding experience.

That brings me up to my current client. I’ve been there for a year now and it was my first experience of working for an asset management company. This was slightly daunting at first but I have used the skills picked up from the training and previous projects and applied them in the same way I do to all new projects.

I’ve arrived at a point in my career where I have more responsibility than ever before. This has helped me to realise that I would now like to take the step up to becoming a Senior Test Analyst. Hopefully my current project will provide me with opportunities to show that I am capable. After that the next logical step would be to move on to Test Management, we’ll see…

 

By Liam Docherty, Test Analyst, Edge Testing

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