Case study

Junior software test analyst — Pravesh Patel

Pravesh successfully changed career from working as an illustrator to becoming a software test analyst

How did you get your job?

After graduating from Leeds Beckett University, I began a successful five-year career as a technical 3D illustrator, but later decided to change career to a software test analyst after my role began to diversify.

After unsuccessfully applying for numerous roles, primarily due to my lack of formal industrial experience and industry standard qualifications (ISTQB), I began researching into local institutes where I could do the ISTBQ course and examination. I learnt about FDM's graduate programme and was happy to discover that their graduate schemes are not just for recent graduates.

My training was extremely intensive and there was a lot to learn and understand in a limited amount of time. There was a structured schedule for every module, which concluded with a combination of practical assignments and examinations. The training included UNIX, SQL, JavaScript, and VBScript for automation testing and the ISTQB industry standard qualification. I had very little previous experience in terms of programming languages, so to successfully understand and pass these modules was very satisfying. Also, the modules were practical to the workplace so have been really valuable.

Upon completing my training FDM put me forward for my current role at the Co-operative Group where I started as the first junior software test analyst from FDM.

It is very rewarding when working on a client's site to see the projects you have worked hard on for several months go live and become a success.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

Studying multimedia technology at university allowed me to develop a wide variety of IT skills. Plus, gaining the industry approved ISTQB certificate became essential once I realised my main interests were in software testing.

What are your main work activities?

I work in the digital IT team, liaising with various sections of the business, including food, marketing, funeral care and legal services. We are the central department that all areas of the business are directed to regarding everything that is digital.

I work alongside multiple specialists both on-site and off-shore, for example, product owners, business analysts, project managers, software developers and IT helpdesk specialists.

My current role involves attending daily stand up meetings, writing test conditions, test scripts, regression packs, conducting session-based/exploratory testing, reporting defects, reviewing documentation, wireframes and managing multiple projects simultaneously.

What are your main career ambitions?

I have now been at the Co-operative for a year and I am overjoyed that my contract has been extended. I have been given more responsibilities such as managing projects independently and running system tests.

I am so proud and grateful for this unbelievable opportunity FDM has given me and I am pleased that they saw my potential and invested in me. It has provided me with the chance to excel and accelerate my career as a software test analyst. I feel that I have already made a positive impression within my team and have established a great, positive working relationship.

My aim now is to develop further, enhance my technical knowledge and learn as much as I can in order to further secure a fantastic future in the IT industry.

What do you enjoy about your job?

It is very rewarding when working on a client's site to see the projects you have worked hard on for several months go live and become a success. I am gaining valuable work experience in a career I thoroughly enjoy.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

I am responsible for establishing a test suite procedure, and writing business cases to further develop the department. I am always required to work under strict timelines that are often reduced, meaning that I must work harder to achieve completion.

Any words of advice for someone who wants to get into this job?

I would highly recommend FDM's graduate programme to those wanting to kick-start their career when finishing university. I completed my training at the Manchester Training Academy and found the training to be extremely useful.

As well as further developing the skills I learnt while at university, it also taught me new skills that I would later need when working out on client site.