Scottish graduates close the skills gap as they embark upon careers in software testing
IAN Campbell, Klaudia Dziubek, Freddie Swift, and Melanie Schwab are celebrating as the first four graduates of a brand new SQA-accredited software testing qualification, which has been delivered by Edge Testing Solutions.
The qualification is accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), a national body that develops and certifies internationally recognised awards, while Edge Testing, part of Eurofins Digital Testing, is one UK’s fastest-growing and largest independent software testing companies. The graduates will now enter employment with Edge Testing as qualified SQA-certified software-testing professionals.
The graduates undertook the SQA qualification as part of an intensive in-house two-year training program called the Edge Academy. This training program was set up by Edge Testing to combine hands-on experience with classroom-based software testing training at Edge’s Digital Testing Hub in Bellshill, near Glasgow. Subjects covered include theory and practice in software testing, test automation tools, Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Integration.
Edge Testing aims to promote testing, which is often overlooked as a career option in favour of software development, and the Edge Academy was its way of doing this. The four most recent graduates include Melanie Schwab, 27, who was a maths and English teacher before moving to a career in testing.
She explained: “I was aware of software testing but didn’t realise how significant it was to the development of quality software. Having used many badly designed applications and programs, I knew the frustration that goes with software that does not meet your expectations. I didn’t know how intrinsically linked testing was to ensuring that the user has a pleasant experience and how important it is for testers to be involved right from the start of the development process. It’s really opened my eyes to an exciting aspect of IT that I hadn’t fully considered before joining Edge Academy.”
Ian Campbell, 33, who came to Edge Academy as a graduate in “IT Management for Business” from Glasgow Caledonian University, continued that software testing is: “not really taught at university as a career path when you study for a computing-based degree. They very much push towards development, with testing being an afterthought. Therefore, many people lack the approach and mindset to understand what needs to be done for testing.”
The specialist qualification the graduates have earned was the first software testing customised award to be credit-rated by SQA on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. The course welcomes a diverse candidate intake who are interested in testing as a career, including school leavers with a passion for IT, graduates, graduate-level apprentices and career changers.
Klaudia Dziubek applied to Edge Academy straight after leaving secondary education in Glasgow and writes a blog in her free time to help encourage others thinking of a career in software testing. Of her time on the SQA program, she commented, “firstly, and most importantly I gathered the technical knowledge about software testing processes, models, projects, and more. Secondly, I gathered soft skills such as communication skills and self-confidence. Lastly, I improved my team working skills.”
Software testing at Edge Testing is popular as a proven career path as each graduate is paid throughout the training and a job offer at the end. Edge Academy has been running since 2013 and currently sees more than 100 of its graduates at any given time working at Edge Testing on client projects, under the supervision of experienced software testing professionals.
Duncan Small, Principal Consultant at Edge Testing, concluded: “We’re delighted to welcome the first cohort of SQA-accredited Edge Academy graduates to our team. As committed advocates of the industry, we have been dedicated to closing the software testing skills gap through our industry-leading award for software testing for almost a decade now. Independent third-party quality assurance of our rigorous program through SQA accreditation was an important milestone for us in championing this integral part of software development.”