Meet our Academy Consultants – Taya Hethershaw

young people working on a laptop

Meet Taya Hethershaw, who joined her client as a Quality Assurance Analyst after completing the Ten10 Academy

We pride ourselves on delivering industry-leading support for our Academy Consultants as they are deployed into client workplaces. In fact, it’s what makes us one of the top graduate employers in the UK. After providing this support for over a decade, we’ve grown a community of technologists who encourage continued professional development and knowledge sharing. To show you what we mean, we’d like you to meet Taya.

Before joining us, Taya worked in retail and graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in English Literature. She joined the Ten10 Academy in July 2022 and quickly joined her client in the retail healthcare industry after her training in September 2022. Since then, she’s grown into an Academy Consultant who not only delivers great work for her client, but also continues to develop, shares her experiences, and supports the other consultants she works with.

Take us through your placement – what teams have you worked with and what projects have you worked on?

I’m currently working as a Quality Assurance Analyst and I’ve worked with a few different teams within my client’s Quality Assurance department. This has helped me create connections and relationships within the wider team and business while building a greater understanding of the purpose of their work as a whole, rather than project-specific. I have mainly performed manual and regression testing in these roles while building my confidence and stakeholder management skills. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn from different teams and work in different work environments.

Alongside the other Ten10 Academy Consultants on site, I was temporarily responsible for migrating their quality assurance information, capability information, and processes across to their internal knowledge base for upskilling.

What technology have you gained experience with since starting client work?

The main tool I use is qTest which I use to create test cases and sessions, and log my testing effort. I also had the opportunity to view and gain experience with the crowd-testing portal they use, which I had no experience with before.

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

The transition from Academy to client work was easier than I expected. I had only ever worked in retail before Ten10, so I was apprehensive about taking on this new position. As soon as I arrived at the client site for my first day, I had no reason to feel nervous. Everyone was so welcoming and I felt that the Academy training and the Academy Team had prepared me for what to expect, so nothing about my new role or first week came as a surprise.

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

Before joining Ten10’s Academy my knowledge of technology and the IT industry was very limited. I graduated from university with a degree in English Literature and never really learned about technology or expanded my fundamental tech skills. I initially thought transitioning into the tech industry would be difficult because of how limited my tech knowledge was but from the beginning, Ten10 reassured me that this would not hinder my progression and development into any new opportunities.

All of the training I received from the Ten10 Academy has been useful for me as it has provided me with a foundation level of technology knowledge and skills that I have repeatedly used and developed while with my client. The foundations of testing and the APIs and web services modules have been particularly useful for my role as a Quality Assurance Analyst.

What is a normal working day or week?

A normal working day for me involves checking emails and messages and interacting with my team to see what work needs to be done during our daily catch-up calls. The rest of my day is consumed by completing any tasks that are assigned to me and assisting others where I can. During the week I also keep in touch with the other Ten10 Academy Consultants within my client where we share our progress and offer our support to each other where we can.

How is your client supporting your development?

My client has been extremely supportive of my development since I started working with them. They support my continuous development within projects as well as my personal and professional development. They have taken the time to provide all Academy Consultants onsite with weekly workshops covering all areas of quality assurance to enable us to continue to upskill and learn and become strong Quality Assurance Analysts.

On every project I have been positioned, they have ensured I meet with my Test Manager or Test Lead once a week to talk through any concerns or to answer any questions that might have developed over the week that couldn’t be answered in the moment.

All of the support they provide has enabled me to feel confident in my abilities and see a progression in my skills.

What support have you received from Ten10 during your placement?

Ten10 has provided so much support to me from the moment I joined the Academy to being placed with my client. I regularly receive messages from the Academy Wellbeing Team checking in on me and ensuring everything is going well. Once a month I attend a catch-up meeting with the Academy Team and the other Academy Consultants placed with my client, where we can share what we’ve been working on as well as raise any concerns.

Ten10 has supported my personal development by providing the resources for me to study and take the ISTQB Foundation level exam, which has made me more confident in my day-to-day work.

Even after finishing the Academy training, I was encouraged to continue reaching out to the trainers for help if I needed it. I have been able to take advantage of 121s with the trainers on topics of my choice. When I was struggling with getting my practice test automation to work, I reached out to Matthew McCormick (one of the Academy trainers) and was provided with resources, support and follow-up meetings until I was able to progress.

Have you been given any extra opportunities through your client work?

My client has provided me with lots of different opportunities in the last year to experience all aspects of their company. They organised for me, and the other Academy Consultants on-site, to visit their local manufacturing and distribution site and also a local store so we could learn more about all areas of the company, despite working in Quality Assurance. Alongside this local store visit, while working on my first project I had the opportunity to travel to another store to see in person how our system was affecting day-to-day procedures and how the consumers were using the tool to gain a better understanding of how to progress in improving the efficiency of the system.

Grow your team with people just like Taya

We’re dedicated to finding the best talent around and giving them the skills they need to excel in your business. Want to learn more about how we do it? It all starts with booking a tour of the Ten10 Academy.