As a software company providing bespoke solutions for clients, thorough testing is an integral part of our process (and success!).
Why? It’s simply not enough to build and introduce new software to a business and employees, and expect it to be successful. You must ensure that different employees can use it efficiently and effectively, in a way that works for their role needs. This means in-depth user testing and user journey mapping to make sure the new software adds value to the business rather than hinders it.
Our in-house testing engineer extraordinaire, Meg Mackay, shares with us when her love for testing first started and why it’s a vital element of any software project.
Hi Meg, could you tell us about your career journey so far, what inspired you to get into software testing?
It was during a lunchtime catch up at a previous job that I discovered the world of testing. A colleague began explaining what was involved in their job as a tester when my curiosity was instantly sparked. I remember being intrigued at the possibility that you could make a career out of essentially tinkering and breaking something! My interest and enthusiasm didn’t subside, so shortly after I put myself forward for my first testing role..and the rest is history!
As I developed my skills I continued to be fascinated, I also enjoyed the fast-paced environment you find yourself in as a tester, which eventually led me to work at Leeds software company, NewRedo.
What are the most important lessons and skills you’ve learnt in your testing career so far?
Never stop learning. To be at the top of your game you have to continue your learning journey and be open to new ideas – there’s always a new approach or concept to test or skills to brush up on.
I also think the nature of what we do, working on different projects in varying sectors, has given me a greater ability to work faster and learn quicker.
How would you describe your approach to testing?
For me it’s about understanding the group I’m working with and being able to effectively communicate with them. Understanding the needs of the team I’m working with really is key to my role as a tester to ensure we all work together collectively for a successful project outcome.
This often means I have to challenge approaches and processes – I’m the person who has to ask the awkward questions essentially! Being able to navigate this, communicating effectively and respectfully, is vital for driving a project forward.
Can you describe the testing process?
Usually, I’m involved in a project right from the beginning, before any software is designed or built. This way I can work with all those involved to create a solid testing plan, utilising the right tools at the right stages of the project to ensure all aspects and user needs are covered.
If it’s not possible to be involved from the start, then I’ll work together with the team to improve the existing software framework, finding opportunities to make it more robust and efficient.
How do you find working at NewRedo compared to previous jobs?
It feels very much like a family! The owners Phil and Royd have a very personal approach which I find incredibly motivating. It’s knowing that they’re available on the end of the phone if you need them which gives you confidence (even if you never end up needing to call!).
Where do you see yourself in the future?
As I progress further in my testing career I’d still like to be very hands-on with the actual testing side, working with teams to help shape their approach, but I’d also like to be able to mentor others. I get inspired by those who want to learn and the energy they bring.
What advice can you give for anyone thinking about becoming a software tester?
Stay curious! As a tester you need to leverage your curiosity all throughout the project journey. Ask questions, how does the system work? Why is it breaking this way? Your curiosity is your driving force to project success.
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