Meet Tristan, who joined us after completing a master’s degree in Economics and is now working as a quality assurance analyst
Tristan studied at the University of Cape Town and moved to the UK in 2018. After completing a Master’s degree, he was looking to make the leap from academia to the workplace. He joined the Ten10 Academy in 2022 – now he’s a member of our Academy Consultant team working with client teams across the country.
We caught up with Tristan to get an insight into his training, transitioning to client organisations, and the work he’s completed after his first year working in IT.
How do you feel you’ve transitioned from the Ten10 Academy to your client work?
Fairly well. I joined the Academy after completing my MSc in Ecological Economics at the University of Leeds. Although I didn’t have a strict Computer Science background, I found that didn’t matter because the Academy training started with first principles and built off that foundation, following a well-structured and robust framework.
I’d say that if you can handle the training then you’ll be able to manage the transition to the client side. Of course, there are always going to be components of adapting involved, along with learning curves to overcome but after over a year with my client, I feel well-embedded and able to make productive contributions within my team.
Take us through your placement – what client teams have you worked with and what specific projects have you been responsible for during your placement?
My placement experience has been unique in that six of us from the Academy all started with a new Ten10 client around the same time. We were part of the formation of partnerships, we settled into roles and figured out the dynamics of the various business relationships with exposure to all tiers of management.
I’ve been a part of five projects so far. I was initially placed on a Drupal regression legacy project, completing manual testing (executing test cases and following user journeys using the UI).
I have worked closely with the other Ten10 Academy members at my client site, forming an agile team to create content for the QA Sharepoint site alongside our other work responsibilities. We all pulled together to populate the space by migrating pages across from Confluence as well as researching topics and producing domain-specific knowledge pieces.
I then moved to a couple of re-platforming projects, which meant getting up to speed with the project, understanding complex system diagrams, gaining experience with accessibility testing, and transitioning to in-sprint testing within an agile delivery pipeline.
I’m currently placed in a cloud-based data testing role for the Common Data Model (CDM) team. I picked up the tech stack required for the role, including advanced SQL table creation and writing Python scripts. I contribute to daily stand-ups, backlog refinement, retrospectives and sprint planning/reviews. I complete data testing tasks and help refine the process by streamlining table validation by coding generic Python scripts to run against the CDM.
What parts of the Ten10 Academy training have been most useful in your placement?
I would say the Agile methodologies, including the practical project we did because there is a real push across projects to evolve ways of working. I also found foundations of Technical Testing helpful, especially the Databases and SQL components.
What is a normal working day or week for you?
The office is located in Whitely, and I live in Southsea. The client has modern offices with great facilities, even a ping pong and pool table on the third floor! It’s a really friendly work atmosphere with plenty of desk space, partly enclosed cabanas, and private meeting rooms.
My team works remotely which means I don’t need to be in the office every day, although I enjoy going in to meet up with colleagues within the department. It’s nice to have that choice.
Have your role and/or responsibilities changed during your time on placement? How have you handled the change?
My title on the client site is Quality Assurance Analyst – the role gives you exposure to different technical domains and you are immersed in a culture of continual learning and delivery. I’ve gained professional experience and my technical abilities have grown allowing me to take on more responsibility and contribute to my team’s overall output.
What technology, tools, frameworks, and processes have you gained experience with since starting client work?
I have used Postman, Databricks, Azure Storage Explorer, SQL, Python, Sharepoint, Confluence, Miro, qTest, Jira, and project architecture diagrams. As for Browser Extensions, I have used EditThisCookie, Tampermonkey, Snow Web Application Metering, WAVE Evaluation Tool, Accessibility Insights for Web, axe DevTools. For web accessibility testing, I have used ModHeader to Modify HTTP headers, Event Tracking Tracker, Bug Magnet, Screenpresso and Lighthouse.
How has your client supported your development?
Members of the Quality Assurance department have been extremely supportive of my development journey, we have all the resources required. We had weekly workshops for Academy Consultants which covered different components of quality assurance. This empowered us to enhance our skills and evolve into proficient Quality Assurance Analysts. A couple of us presented and handed over a project to the entire QA department, with over 100 people, upon completion. We are always encouraged to set professional goals and self-develop alongside our workload.
What support have you received from Ten10 during your placement?
The Academy Wellbeing team has been there to help throughout my placement. Especially initially with finding an Airbnb for accommodation and any specific enquiries that aren’t found in the documentation. Ongoing group meetings with Ten10 are personal spaces to give feedback about the placement and to offer any support/guidance. I feel like I’m able to reach out to people at any time outside of the regular catch-ups.
Have you been given any extra opportunities through your client work?
I attended an internal data event earlier in the year, involving speeches and discussions where I got to meet members of my team in person as well as the different data hubs, including speeches from an ML Ops Engineer and Data Scientists. I also went on a guided tour of my client’s cutting-edge manufacturing facility. Seeing the stages of creation for the product from start to finish. I also have the opportunity to do a store visit, which I’m excited to book in the new year.