Thomas Massey RITTech MBCS
Thomas Massey RITTech MBCS, tells us about joining the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) as an apprentice and how BCS has supported development in his testing career path.
I graduated with a degree in Computing and Information Technology Incl Professional Experience from Queens University in 2020. I applied for the Belfast Met network apprenticeship programme and joined Enterprise Digital Development (EDD) in November 2020. EDD sits within Digital Shared Services (DSS) and provides an in-house digital, data and technology capability for the development and support of bespoke digital services. I took on the role of ICT Level 1 Apprentice Tester in the EDD Test Team. The test service is the primary quality link between EDD customers and the internal development teams, providing Quality Assurance Testing.
My initial role was focused on quality assurance, so my objectives included learning about manual testing techniques, how to carry out regression tests and review team regression guides and master templates.
Working in EDD meant I was introduced to lots of new technologies, e.g. Teams, Slack and Webex for communicating with the team, JIRA for recording work tasks and Sharepoint and Confluence for sharing technical resources. I also used different testing tools such as OBS, Greenshot, AXE, Wave and Sortsite.
I job shadowed a Test Analyst who was embedded in an Agile development team and I attended Agile ceremonies. This was my first experience of working in an agile team so I completed some LInks elearning courses in Agile and Scrum.
My main responsibility was to verify manual regression tests were accurate for the system in development, but I was given the opportunity to carry out some in team manual testing of stories. If I identified any bugs, I added evidence and comments to the story and followed the Test Service Defect Management Procedure when logging the related defects.
I completed the LinkedIn training pathway on how to become a software tester and the pluralsight course of creating automated browser tests with Selenium 3 in C# before successfully passed the apprentice programme in June 2022, becoming an ICT2 Tester. My role changed and I began learning new coding skills that were related to the courses I completed previously, focusing on providing automated regression testing services. I now have responsibility for maintaining automation suites, regularly running these scripts to ensure any system defects are identified and logged in JIRA.
BCS and RITTech
Digital Shared Services (DSS) has an organisational membership (OM) scheme with BCS and I was offered a professional membership licence (MBCS).
BCS offers a professional certifications portfolio for my chosen Software testing certification, BCS - ISTQB certified career path, so I was able to identify professional training courses, to help support my personal development and agreed these with my line manager on my PDP. I achieved ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level in November 2022 and have found this to have really aided my development when working with different teams.
I was also eligible to apply for RITTech professional registration. RITTech is a professional registration for IT technicians working in the digital space and demonstrates that you are a trusted professional. RITTech sets the industry standard for technical skills and conduct, recognising and validating your competence. In January 2023 I was awarded RITTech Professional Registration and added to the public Register of IT Technicians.
I applied for the recent ICT Level 3 competition and I’m pleased to say I passed. I am looking forward to being promoted to an ICT Level 3 Test Analyst later this month and excited for the new challenges ahead.
I hope to further my professional development by applying for BCS Advanced RITTech professional registration when I have the necessary experience, and also complete more ISTQB testing courses e.g. ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level - Agile Tester Extension in my Software testing career path.
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