Read how Casey swapped managing a coffee shop for coding and consulting in our test automation team
There is a wealth of talent out there just waiting to be given an opportunity. Take Casey for example: the former manager of a coffee store who was looking to make a career change. At 35 years old and with no university education, Casey joined our Academy to kickstart his tech career. He’s been a part of our team ever since.
Before the Academy
“I spent much of my working life in hospitality before joining Ten10. For seven years, I worked for a major coffee chain and had risen as far as I could without changing roles – managing a busy store and quite a few members of staff. I had worked hard and progressed well, but I never felt that it was what I truly wanted to do.
“The company announced they were going through massive digital transformation and rolling out new applications for store managers to use. These included apps for attendance, planning, and target measurement. All of the managers received training so they could pass it on to the other store employees and I found it an incredibly engaging process. We tested software and provided feedback to improve how it would work for end-users. Because of this, I started to read more about application development and testing. I quickly felt it was something I had an aptitude for and would enjoy. When I was looking for possible routes into tech careers, I found Ten10.”
Training at the Ten10 Academy
“While I was always interested in technology, I also found aspects of it quite daunting. I don’t have a university education. I’m also a bit older, so technical learning wasn’t a prominent part of my lower levels of education. Working in tech seemed like a world away. I needed direction for where to start and I expected barriers on my way getting into the industry – likely the need to complete some self-learning courses, spend some money and there’d be a struggle before I could land that entry-level position to start my career off.
“I had a friend of a friend who worked at Ten10 and he said I should speak to Jenny, who runs the graduate recruitment for the Ten10 Academy. I asked her what I needed to do before applying – what courses or training I had to do – and she just said “Apply!” We had an incredibly easy conversation about my previous experience, what I was looking for, and why I was interested in tech. From then I finished my application, recorded a video interview, had a phone interview, and took part in an assessment day. The whole process was geared towards understanding my capabilities and how I tackle problems rather than testing my existing tech knowledge.
Casey’s Academy Training
Core training started: July-August 2018
Core training modules:
Specialist training: October-November 2018
Specialist training modules: Software Development – Advanced programming concepts, object-oriented design, software development ecosystem
“Once the Academy started, I relished the modules covering test automation, coding and Java. I liked the strict logic of it all – once you’ve learned the rules, you can build such a range of different things with the same building blocks. My favourite thing about the training was it touched on so many things at a high level but you always learned how to ask the right questions. When I came out of the Academy, I didn’t know what my first day working on a client was going to be like, but I knew how things should fit together and what questions I should ask to get the project moving in the right direction.”
After the Academy
“My first project after the Academy was working with a senior tester on a two-person project for a UK law firm. We were system testing a case management system remotely with Citrix Receiver. I then was part of a team that carried out integration, functional and regression testing for a major UK supermarket. I created complex test data using Oracle EBS/MWA Express, manipulated RDS database tables using SQL, and conducted API testing using Postman. Then I worked on a range of test automation projects in languages such as Java, C# and JS, using technologies like Selenium, Drone and Kubernetes.
All that time I was learning while gaining valuable experience and there was someone from Ten10 to help me when I needed them. I was never just passed onto a project and left to ‘sink or swim’ – I could always ask my Academy trainer or other consultants at Ten10 questions I had. That means when a client works with an Academy Engineer, they get not just that person’s knowledge, but also the knowledge of the rest of the Ten10 team. I now sit in one of Ten10’s consultancy teams and pass my expertise on to the Academy Engineers from our newest Academies.
“I’m thrilled with how much I’ve developed in four years. Reflecting on the Academy, I feel that I learned so much so quickly, but I was never overwhelmed by it. There was a very natural progression of knowledge, and I can talk about things now that would’ve totally lost me four years ago.”