Meet our Academy Engineers – Olivia Quickenden

Ten10 Academy Engineers

See how Olivia transformed her career and became a Ten10 Junior Consultant

Every year, people come to us having never written code in their life and leave as the next generation of software engineers, business analysts, and developers. Want to see that transformation in action? Meet Olivia Quickenden, who was part of our April 2021 Academy.

Before the Academy

“I studied Biology at university, specialising in zoology and marine biology. While studying, some of my modules were mixed with Computer Science students, who were 98% male. When you don’t see people like you represented somewhere, that can easily put up a bit of a mental hurdle. You think ‘if nobody who does it looks like me, it probably isn’t for me’ so tech didn’t appeal to me at the time.

“Through the summer of my final year, I went to Singapore to carry out some scientific diving and data collection. When we got back, we had to analyse it using code and although everyone else in my group hated this, I really enjoyed it. I graduated in June 2020 and in September I was browsing the Prospects website to narrow down my career options. While looking into tech, because I enjoyed my research project, I saw that many of the options on the site required a STEM degree but Ten10 did not. So I applied to become part of their next Academy.”

Training at the Ten10 Academy

“As part of applying to the Academy, we had to complete two tests. Any student who has just graduated naturally dreads the thought of facing more tests, but I enjoyed the process. It was refreshing to have a different experience compared to academic tests – these were to assess our aptitude for logic puzzles and technical thinking, rather than grading us on how many correct answers we got.

“Once I joined the Academy, I loved seeing how diverse our cohort was. It was a great mix of people from different backgrounds – so different from that class I’d been a part of in university. Our training started at the bare basics: teaching us what information is and how it can be used. From there we started to write our own code and build our own websites.

“When it came to specialised modules, I thought Business Analysis was the right path for me. I really enjoyed everything about coding, but I was intimidated at the start by just how big that world is. However, I was invited onto the Development training and learned more about Java and other programming languages. I use these skills practically every day now as I write test automation scripts.

“Before joining Ten10 I had never worked remotely before, but completing the Academy during the 2020 lockdown prepared me well. Everyone was available for small chats or video calls, and now I work with a client that has their development team split across three countries.”

Olivia’s Academy Training

Core training started: April-June 2021
Core training modules:

Specialist training: June-August 2021
Specialist training modules: Software Development – Advanced programming concepts, object-oriented design, software development ecosystem

After the Academy

“My first work after the Academy immediately had me using my Java and Serenity BDD knowledge – it was a four-month project, writing a full automation pack for a retail website. I’m currently completing mobile test automation for another client, using Espresso and Kotlin, and I work directly with the client’s developers, their Product Owner, and their Test Lead.

“Not even a year removed from the Academy, I’ve gone from having just a passing knowledge of coding to helping clients automate their tests across multiple platforms. It’s been a tremendous transformation and I still speak with my trainers at least once a week. They’re always available if I want to pick their brain about a problem.”

From Craig Booth, Ten10 Academy Lead Trainer

“Olivia thrived in the Academy, picking up the technical skills and methodologies quickly. She’s come so far in a short period, which is a testament to all the hard work she has put into the program. She’s currently working on highly niche tooling for a client’s failed mobile automation suite and making a real success of the project, as well as performing functional and regression testing. As a result, the client is getting the skill set of 2-3 testers from Olivia alone. She’s making the most of this opportunity for self-development and I’ve no doubt that her career will progress quickly as a result.”