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Career Reboot: Three Stories of QA Engineers

In February 2023, red_mad_robot Central Asia held a bootcamp for novice IT professionals. It lasted eight weeks, the best participants received an offer from the company.

We asked the guys to tell us about the bootcamp and the transition to IT. We publish their stories.

By nature, I'm a little stuffy: I love order and I want everything to work as it was intended 

Daniyar Bekeev, Middle QA-engineer red_mad_robot Central Asia

Before testing, I worked as an engineer at an international FMCG company that makes cigarette products. The tasks were different: together with the team, I improved the production of cigarette filters, monitored the quality of tobacco and engaged in engineering projects for equipment. 

I worked in the tobacco industry for seven years, but in recent years I realized that I was standing still, and there were no prospects: to achieve heights in production, you need to work for decades. 

Since I graduated from matmeh, many of my friends from the university worked in IT. And I decided to take a closer look at this area. By my nature, I'm a little stuffy: I love order and I want everything to work the way it was intended. In production, I worked in the quality department, my tasks were very similar to what a QA engineer does. That's why I decided to master testing.

I had a financial cushion, it was enough for six months without work. I studied quietly for four months: I took a course on automation in Python from Google, read the book "Testing Dot Com" by Roman Savin and "What is testing. The course of a young fighter" by Olga Nazina. I also watched a lot of videos on YouTube that my friends advised me.

I found out about the bootcamp by accident: I came to the Digital Almaty forum, and there was a red_mad_robot Central Asia stand. I decided to apply and passed the selection. At the bootcamp, we were divided into teams, mine was developing an application to search for ATMs on the map. 

The application that Daniyar's team worked on

At first it was difficult to coordinate with the team, but then we built normal processes. It also so happened that the second tester in the team was poorly involved in the work and I had to take over his tasks. The workload has become more, but it has helped me to pump my skills better in practice.

After the bootcamp, I was offered an offer from Robots, I accepted it: while I was at the bootcamp, I got into the atmosphere of the team and what it does. Six months later, I became a QA-stream host: I work as a tester myself and distribute tasks among other QA engineers. Then I want to increase the expertise in different directions. Maybe I'll even start learning programming.

I wish patience and perseverance to everyone who wants to move into IT. Every year the requests to junas are growing, we need to put more effort. It may not be easy, but if you believe in yourself and work hard, everything will work out. 

When I worked in a bank, I invented a game for myself: I imagined that I was Sherlock Holmes, and I was looking for all sorts of inconsistencies in checks and documents

Elena Tusupzhanova, Middle QA-Engineer red_mad_robot Central Asia

I graduated as a financier and after graduation went to work in a bank. In seven years she has worked her way up from a cashier to a corporate client manager. It was a good experience: I understood how medium and large businesses work, I liked to communicate with clients and see how and what decisions they make. But in the end I hit the ceiling. It was possible to grow into a leader, but I didn't want to. 

Soon she went on maternity leave and got a job in a call center in an IT company. The difference with the bank was very noticeable: everyone in the bank is trying to please the client, the employee there is a cog in a large system. In the new place, everything was the opposite: they helped me to integrate into the processes and took care of me. I fell in love with this atmosphere and decided to try to move into IT.

I've always enjoyed finding mistakes and fixing them. When I was still working in a bank, I invented a game for myself: I imagined that I was Sherlock Holmes, and I was looking for all sorts of inconsistencies in checks and documents. So the work became not a routine, but a challenge. 

While still on maternity leave, I got hooked on a video by YouTube blogger Marmok. He found a lot of bugs in the games, sorted them out. I really enjoyed watching it, I wanted to try to do the same. So I decided to master testing — and besides, career guidance tests said that this specialty was suitable for me.

I took courses from , there were cool practicing teachers there. They gave knowledge without water and taught only what would be useful in the work. By the way, I still use materials from the course. 

The teachers of the course offered to go to the bootcamp. I did a test and passed the selection. At the bootcamp, my team was developing a Public Services application. It was a cool experience of immersion in the IT environment: we worked on Agile, conducted daily meetings, set sprint tasks. 

And also, it seems, they got their mentor. They asked him questions, often arranged phone calls and discussed all the problems — from communication in the team to "what to download and install to make everything work". But he always supported us and helped us — it's very cool.

At the end of the bootcamp, I received an offer from Robots and have been working here for six months. In the first days I panicked a little: it seemed that I should know everything right away. But I was very gently put to work: they built a development plan, checked my progress, gave feedback.

The coolest thing in work for me now is to see the result. You test something first, and then the product is launched and benefits thousands of people. It's very inspiring. 

I liked to understand the queries that users wrote, I wanted to understand how to eliminate these errors at the technical level

Danil Kim, Middle QA-Engineer red_mad_robot Central Asia

I graduated from college with a degree in Computer Engineering. This is generally related to IT, but the knowledge was basic. I started studying programming myself, and at the same time got a job as a content manager in a large group of IT companies. Then he transferred to the position of a support specialist in the monitoring department. 

I liked to understand the queries that users wrote, I wanted to understand how to eliminate these errors at the technical level. When I began to think about where to move on, I decided to try testing and started studying at the QA course from Astana Hub.

I was advised to go to the bootcamp by friends who worked in IT. It seemed to me that I still didn't know enough, but I decided to try. Even if it didn't work out, it would be a cool experience and a cool case of working on the product. But everything worked out, and I passed the selection. 

At the bootcamp, my team and I worked on the application of Public Services. In addition to bootcamp, I also worked and continued to take a course on testing. But I had enough energy and liked everything.

The application that Danil's team was working on

When I was interviewed for Robots at the end of the bootcamp, I was very nervous. I thought I was answering the wrong thing and the wrong way. But it turned out that I answered well for my level.  

Now I am working on a digital bank for SMEs, I am responsible for testing the merchant's personal account. At the same time, I master automated testing and learn Java — it helps to communicate with developers in the same language. Every day I realize that knowledge is never enough, and I try to learn more and more.

For novice testers, I have one piece of advice — don't be afraid of difficulties. They will always be there. But it is important to learn to overcome them and move on.

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