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Case studies


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A road to become a Software Engineer in Test Anna Włodarczyk

A road to become a Software Engineer in Test

These days, it is very trendy to change IT-related jobs, and we can see this happening every day. Moreover, from our experience, it looks like it brings benefits for both sides: people entering the IT-World and our industry learning from other’s experience.

I would like to share a brilliant example of a successful transformation from a University Teacher to a Software Engineer in Test with the audience. Take a look at my short interview with Anna Włodarczyk.

Anna Włodarczyk

Hey Anna,

What was behind the idea of becoming a tester?
I see myself as a perfectionist. Generally, If I cannot do something correctly, I prefer not to do it at all. Before I started working as a Software Tester, I could not always do my work at a high level. In many situations, high quality was unacceptable. I could not bear it. In the IT industry, quality is essential. Customers expect reliable products they can trust. That’s why I decided to work as a person who cares about the quality of the software.

Did you have technical experience either in work or education before?
I didn’t have any technical experience. I graduated from the History faculty, and then I worked as an academic teacher for nine years. My education and professional experience didn’t give me the technical skills desired in the IT industry. I was an ordinary computer user, and my husband used to resolve all my computer problems 🙂

When did you decide to change your profession?

I started to consider changing my job a few years ago. The university situation where I used to work has become difficult and uncertain, especially for humanists. I wanted to change my career to more stable but as ambitious as my previous one, which would create new possibilities. I concluded that these conditions would be met in the IT industry. I knew that not all workers graduated from computer science. I thought that it would be good to learn how to program. I shared this idea with one of my friends, who is a developer. He advised me that the best way for a humanist to join the IT industry is testing. Testers don’t have to code from the beginning, so this is a good starting point for a person without technical knowledge. I remember that I asked him how to become a Software Tester. He told me that he had no idea. The final decision about changing my job I made after obtaining a Ph.D. degree. It was the perfect moment for changes. I started to be interested in software testing, and I realized that this is something to me.

How did it happen that from a non-technical person, you started working on a large project in a modern Software House?

As a person with academic experience, I decided to train myself. Theoretical knowledge about the quality assurance process I gained from books, articles, and webinars. Apart from it, I started attending tester’s meetups and workshops in Białystok (BiałQA) and Wrocław (TestCamp). During these events, I received substantial motivational support from many people working in IT. I assumed that I would start looking for a job after six months of preparation. After three months in the BiałQA group on Facebook, I saw a job offer from TJ.Software (today BlueRider.Software). This offer was different from most others because it did not contain a long list of technical skills that candidates must have. I decided to send my CV, but I did not have a big hope for success. Suddenly, the same day I was invited for an interview. The interview probably turned out not bad because a few hours later I received a cooperation offer. I achieved my goal a few months earlier than I planned.

What was the most challenging in your transition — when you compare the previous job to the current?
I think that using English in my daily work was my biggest challenge. I had been learning English for many years, but I didn’t use this language at work. At University, I worked on Eastern themes, so I had a lot of contact with the Russian language. I didn’t feel so confident in English. In my new job, I started working on a British project. I had to deal with reading and writing documentation in English and communicating with native speakers. In the beginning, I was afraid that I would not understand something, or I would make some mistakes. Working in an international environment gave me a chance to break language barriers.

What gives you the most excellent satisfaction in your work?
I react very enthusiastically to bugs 🙂 As a quality engineer, I am aware that bugs are prevalent in software products. Despite this, every bug I find gives me great satisfaction. I am also delighted when bugs are fixed. I have a feeling that I contribute to the fact that customers will never see this problem. Another thing that gives me great satisfaction is participation in the business process. In BlueRider.Software testers are involved in shaping new features and defining acceptance criteria. It gives me a feeling that I participate in creating modern business solutions.

What would you recommend for people that have similar passions in terms of how to become a tester?

In the IT industry, there is a place for different people, also without extensive technical knowledge. In the beginning, a positive attitude to quality assurance and openness to learning is more important than technical skills.

I must admit that Anna brings a passion for quality to our QA team and shows how you can progress from a nontechnical person to a valuable team member in a brief period by earning stable peace of theoretical knowledge and opportunity for practice with outstanding professionals. It is vital to start your career with IT to have a chance to learn from professionals.

Blue.Rider.Software Head of Development leads our QA team — Andrzej Rusewicz. He gained his experience and love for quality as a leader in the world’s biggest IT companies like Google, Microsoft or EA. Starting from young and ending on senior testers, all of them can progress extremely fast having an opportunity to get knowledge from Andrzej itself and processes designed to deliver quickly with the best quality but grow their professional skills continuously.

Anna Chmur