On the road to career development

Explore Assurity 14 June 2016 Nadine Henderson

No two career journeys are the same at Assurity. In this article, three grads from the Assurity Graduate Programme talk about their different paths of career development.

Megan Styles

“I was hired as a Tester in January 2015 and I don’t think I really ever got to be one because, during the Graduate Programme, I was instantly drawn to the Agile practice. It seemed as though the life of an Agile consultant was all fun and games.

I followed Dan Teo to Fisher and Paykel Appliances where they were attempting to become Agile. It was supposed to just be for one day in March. I was still there in September.

Since then, I’ve been on six Agile courses, plus a conference, and helped teach six courses. Number seven is next week and I’ve learned that teaching is my favourite part of being an Agile consultant. I’ve also spent time at Westpac and Heartland Bank, both in the pursuit of better software and happier people.

It turns out that Agile is not all just games. I’ve learned that, if the going gets tough, you don’t need to be alone, and that you can only learn some things through doing them wrong. I have experienced probably the steepest learning curve of my adult life – but my mentors at Assurity (you know who you are!) have always been there to make sure I’m doing okay. I’m now avidly looking forward to the next chance to prove myself."

Yvonne Tse

"I joined Assurity in the January 2014 intake of the Graduate Programme. It’s been two and a half years and I didn’t think I would come so far, so quickly. I’ve had both testing and consulting roles and I’m currently involved in customer experience testing for IR’s business transformation programme. 

My career development has been heavily influenced by those around me. I’ve been fortunate to have inspiring thought leaders as colleagues who have challenged me to be a better tester from the very beginning. Within my first few months, I was attending numerous WeTest events, internal learning groups and reading many blogs/articles – basically soaking up as much knowledge as I could. Now, much to my own disbelief, I find myself running workshops, delivering courses and writing articles. Being surrounded by others who are willing to challenge themselves to become better practitioners – along with my own desire to continuously learn – has made me the tester I am today. I’m grateful that Assurity has supported me all the way."

Calum McHaffie

"When I started in Christchurch branch back in July 2013, there were just four testers there, giving me ample opportunity to work solo on client sites and challenge myself. My initial roles were contracted purely as a Functional Test Analyst, so with each client I was always looking for ways to improve the service I was offering by bringing my technical skills into play – be it by automating tests/reports, maintaining tools and environments or just giving advice.

Having a predominantly technical background, I recognised early on that my ‘soft skills’ needed developing – as these play a significant role in the job of a consultant. Ever since this realisation, I have endeavoured to improve in this area through on-site experience, external meet ups, self learning and reflecting on any information shared by our experienced internal staff.

The process of recognising my progress/development was made all the more easier through the structure offered by Assurity’s new knowledge blocks. They gave me a clear approach to assess myself against the role of a Test Engineer. The guidance of my Circle and Practice leads has also made this simpler. As for how this has changed my day-to-day work… really, it hasn’t much. I still dedicate time to improving my skills and I still work with clients on both technical and non-technical work, always remembering to maintain a focus on building relationships."