"Everybody works together, regardless of what projects they're working on individually".
Senior Test Engineer, Cameran Pullan, joined Audacia in January 2018 with no prior experience in the software industry. With training and hands-on experience, Cam has applied his growing skill set to various projects. Here he discusses his career journey in more detail.
What was it that initially inspired you to get into a career in Software Testing?
I knew that I wanted to work in technology, however, I wasn’t familiar with software testing before joining Audacia.
At the time I was recommended for the job by a relative who knew an Audacia employee. This employee had spoken very highly of the company and, as they described the job to me, I became really interested in the idea of working there. It sounded like a really open community and the fact they were willing to speak with me despite my lack of experience was really encouraging.
What was the training like when you first joined the business?
Our testing team was far smaller at the time, so a lot of my training came in the form of learning on the job; working through tasks with senior staff members and learning from that. At that point, there was the test manager and one other senior tester, so I worked alongside them to gain hands-on experience and report back any issues.
As we’ve grown as a company, these processes have naturally developed. With Audacia’s academy, for example, we’re able to dedicate even more time to training someone in software testing and getting them acquainted with what the role entails.
What projects have you worked on? Which projects have you found the most interesting?
The first project I worked on was with an offshore solutions provider, which I still think is a really interesting project; the bespoke online portal that was created allowed marine co-ordinators to manage everything at sea from turbines and vessels to substations.
My main project that I’ve been working on for the last couple of years is with a global food processing company. Audacia worked with this company to transform their legacy trading system, so it has been an extremely challenging (but also rewarding) project.
Last year I was also given the responsibility of leading a project, working with a global wholesaler. Overall, I’ve found the variety and scope of the projects to be a good mix that has given me some really great experience in not only testing, but teamwork.
What day-to-day tasks are involved with software testing?
In my current position there’s certainly a lot of client-facing work. I am less involved in manual testing as a senior tester; my role is more focused on advising and influencing our software testing processes so that Junior and Associate testers are clear on what is expected.
When you're a junior, the role is a lot more definitive; you familiarise yourself with an application, run the scripts you're given and enter the necessary information you need to do to carry out your duties.
With more experience, you are exposed to other concepts and practices within software testing like automation, performance and security testing. Since our testing team has grown, we have made a conscious effort to introduce new testers to these concepts as soon as possible.
One thing that's constant throughout all testing responsibilities is variety. I never do the same thing every day.
What opportunities have you been given for progression?
Having joined Audacia with no experience in software testing, the first six months, especially, were spent really learning the job; writing (and running) scripts, reporting bugs. After this initial period I was then given some performance testing to do, which I found to be really interesting and challenging. This was nice for me as I like to be challenging myself with difficult tasks where possible!
I think what’s important is that Audacia offers a very clear idea of the progression journeys available at the company. You need to be doing this to be an associate, demonstrating that to be a senior. Having these requirements & competencies clearly outlined gives you something to work toward and helps you shape what you get involved in day-to-day.
How would you describe the culture at Audacia?
I think the best word to describe Audacia is collaborative. Everybody works together, regardless of what projects they’re working on individually - someone is getting involved. Helping someone out with a piece of code, writing a test plan. Sure, everyone has their own niches, but everyone is more than willing to lend that knowledge.
As you move around projects, I find that you get to know people really well and the result is a working environment that genuinely feels both highly social and professional.
What do you enjoy the most about working at Audacia?
The people. I just enjoy everyone that I work with. They're just very helpful. Very nice, very intelligent, and everyone is really wanting to work to the highest level and deliver something amazing. Why wouldn't you want to work somewhere like that?
Audacia is a leading software development company based in the UK, with headquarters in Leeds. Find out more about what it's like to work here and our current open vacancies on our careers site.