Meet our Academy Consultants – Caprice Thompson

woman wearing blue sitting at a desk with colleagues

Read about the range of roles and responsibilities Caprice has enjoyed over the first two years of her tech career

A tech career is one that truly evolves over time. Consultants trained through the Ten10 Academy are placed into client environments where they learn from a range of different teams, gain experience with new coding languages, and sometimes work completely different positions across different industries!

Caprice Thompson is just one example: over her first two years with us she’s worked with clients in the Healthcare, Legal, and Media/Entertainment sectors, helping with them everything from automation frameworks to quality assurance and conducting demos for Product and UX teams. We spoke with Caprice to learn about her career transformation and the support she’s received along the way.

How do you feel you’ve transitioned from the Ten10 Academy to your client work?

I think I’ve transitioned quite smoothly. The Academy definitely helped bridge the gap between learning technical knowledge and applying it to real-life projects, which is always good because I was quite worried before I was going to be chucked into the deep end and having to code lots of stuff that I’m not sure about. But it was a gradual process. My manager helped me and we had lots of introductions to learn about the architecture and other things needed for the project. Everything was also completely new to me. I did do a Maths degree and Masters, but we didn’t do much coding on the course. It’s nothing like what I do now or what I did in the training.

Take us through your placement – what client teams have you worked with and what specific projects have you been responsible for during your placement?

Throughout my two years of work, I’ve had three clients. My first client was for a healthcare company and I was a Software Developer in Test. They didn’t have an automation framework at the time so we were responsible for making that from scratch for their web application. There were only three of us so it was quite a small team, but I enjoyed seeing that project go from almost nothing to where it was when I left. We were automating the front end and then we did some back-end, and then I was responsible for doing the scenarios and a full E2E testing.

For the client I am with now, I’m a QA engineer. l mainly do front-end testing but I will also do some manual testing and part of the writing test cases which I am really enjoying at the moment.

What parts of the Ten10 Academy training have been most useful in your placement?

I’d say the coding. During training, we had some practical exercises to code into a rock-paper-scissors program in Java and my first client used C#, so they’re both object-orientated languages. I still use that because now I’m using JavaScript and TypeScript. I think once you learn one language, everything kind of goes in place. Obviously, it’s still hard to learn the rest, but it makes it a lot easier to understand. I also think the most useful is the Agile methods that we learned because I use Agile every day with my current client.

What is a normal working day or week for you?

We start bright and early with a 9 AM stand-up. There are nine of us on the team and we discuss what we’re going to do that day and if there are any blockers as we work in two-week sprints. We do bi-weekly demos to Product and UX [teams] so that takes some time up too. Every day is different, so I might start with a plan of what I’m going to do, but then something else might come up and I might have to fix or test something so it just changes every day.

Have your role and/or responsibilities changed during your time on placement? How have you handled the change?

Definitely from when I first started. I was initially in another team and I was mainly doing automation work. Then I moved to a different team and now I’ve got more of a QA role. I do manual and automation testing, but now I’m part of the ‘four amigos’ process and writing test cases, going through the whole journey so I have a lot more responsibility. I know that soon my responsibilities will change again because we’ll be doing more integration testing and working closely with the developers so I think that’ll be quite interesting.

When I had the initial change, I was worried. I just thought “I’m in this team getting comfortable. Everything is good.” And then I got a message saying they were going to move me to another team. So I was nervous, but now with the new team I enjoy that just as much and they’re all really nice. I think you just have to be prepared for change and accept it, plus you’ll learn a lot more. You don’t want to be comfortable and stuck somewhere. You want to keep learning different things.

What technology, tools, frameworks, and processes have you gained experience with since starting client work?

Our code is TypeScript, our test framework is Cypress and we write that in Gherkin. We also use AWS GraphQL and Postman. For Agile and planning, we use Jira. There are a lot of tools that were different from my first placement so at least I now have a range because my first client was C# and Selenium now here it’s Typescript and Cypress. I think I prefer Cypress as it’s a lot simpler.

How has your client supported your development?

I’m supported really well. When I first started with my client, I was paired up with another person. We buddied up and she showed me the ropes on how she does things, what to look out for, and this went on for at least a couple of months or so and we are now really good friends. I can ask her anything. Before I started working on stories and tasks, I was given another ticket for a visual testing tool, just to get me up to date with how to use their processes, how their PRs are structured and things like that. It was good to get that experience before I started adding to their code base. I also still have fortnightly one-to-ones with the Test Lead, so he gives me a little development plan of what I need to work on, what’s going well and what they think I would benefit from.

What support have you received from Ten10 during your placement?

I’ve received a lot of support. They always have different initiatives throughout the year that you can get involved in and talk to the newer Academies. I recently did a Lunch and Learn on a visual testing tool which is what I worked on with my current client project. It was kind of giving back to Ten10 and showing them the knowledge I had gained. The Wellbeing Team is also really good. They’re always there if you have any questions related or unrelated to your project. And of course, there are always socials going on monthly so it’s nice to see how people in your cohort are doing and meeting other people. We’re all in the same field, so it’s great to talk to them and see what they’re doing.

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