A day in the life of a software tester junior – interview with Katka

Take a peek behind the curtain of msg life Slovakia and find out what a typical working day of a junior IT tester looks like. We interviewed our colleague Katka. But her regular agenda is only part of what she shared with us. We learned what is the difference between working in a corporate IT department and in msg life Slovakia, and what makes a person exchange a comfortable job in the finance department for a dynamic testing environment.

Kate, let’s get straight to the point: what does your normal working day look like?

A normal working day for a software tester junior is always different. The job of an IT tester is not stereotypical. On the contrary, it is so dynamic that it is impossible to determine in advance what I will do. A lot depends on ad hoc requirements and situations. It’s not like telemarketing, where I execute a plan: I call customers and when I go to the bottom of the list, or sell so many products, I will call it a day. We have divided tasks, everyone knows their daily workload. In addition to this agenda, we work with colleagues with whom we are in a team. We have various effective brainstorming sessions, working meetings , where we try to come up with more effective solutions.

Whether it’s a problem or an improvement, a new idea or functionality that could help us streamline our daily workflow. Reporting is also regular. We report on a daily basis, but not only to supervisors, but also to colleagues in the team. To let them know what we’re working on, we briefly try to specify what we’ve managed to improve or tweak that could move the whole team forward.

A common part of the day is working on developing or creating test cases that are assigned to us. We are trying to automate them. I am an automation tester who focus primarily on automated testing.

So how is the job of an IT tester dynamic? Don’t you always have the same job?

Although the agenda remains the same, the actual tasks and priorities and testing requirements change dynamically. Testing is very much about working with developers, depending on their feedback. According to what has been fixed or completed, my assignments are also based on that. And accordingly, I am also discovering new ways to interpret previous tests or information about what needs to be retested. So it’s not monotonous at all, each test is based on something different. It’s such a continuous chain reaction.

You mentioned automated testing. What does it actually mean, can you automate everything? What tools do you use for this?

We automate tests using Eclipse, Selenium, but we also use various ticketing tools. If we find that something is not working as it should, or if we find deviations, we use tickets to escalate the problem to the developers. Depending on the complexity of the problem, communication with the developers follows. When tickets are pushed into the master branch and resolved, we verify that everything is working as it should. Some web services help us and facilitate more complicated, lengthy test cases. We then automatically run the tests at a predefined time. Using the tools we evaluate the tests and then we observe the results. Automation is not about not having to do anything. It set us free from monotonous tasks that could cause mistakes due to inattention or take a lot of time.

Do you have autonomy in your team? You were talking about brainstorming. Try to describe to us what it looks like when you have an idea to improve a process, for example.

Of course we have a team leader who checks if everything is going well, but we also have a free hand to find more effective solutions. We can put forward ideas for improvement at any time. If the idea is supported by arguments and reasons why to implement it – for example, it will bring time savings or improve workflow, we get the green light. We also have the space to try to implement the new solution ourselves.

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Where did you work before msg life Slovakia? Have you tested software in previous jobs?

I am not new to IT companies, but I joined msg life Slovakia looking for no experience IT job. I’ve worked mostly in corporates where I’ve worked my way up through the ranks. Then I went on maternity leave for a year, and when I wanted to come back, I was looking for something less corporate. A smaller company where I could balance work and family life.

From those previous work experiences, I would single out the finance department in an IT company, for example. The work was fine in the beginning, but over time I started to feel an unbearable stereotype. It looked something like this: you get 100 requests a day for invoices or credit notes. Accounting, posting, recharging, summarising and closing. There are people who are comfortable with it and do it very well. But for the second category of people, which includes me, it is not enough. They are curious, they have a need to develop, to try new things. So it wasn’t a fit for me.

Then I moved on to the next company where I was looking forward to actively using German. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I covered ticket management. Communication was sparse and I missed the opportunity for development there. Nothing new to learn, no new tools or procedures. It wasn’t hard work, but the constant corporate stereotype bored and demotivated me.

So that was the impulse for you to change jobs?

Yes, that too. I wanted to do something where I could think more, take my own initiative, show the fierceness that many people have, but it’s just suppressed in corporate jobs. I also lacked active communication in German. I wanted a more intensive cooperation, a more technical agenda. The opportunity to show up.

Although I wasn’t looking for something very “IT”, i.e. technical, I still felt it was the most promising path. The ceiling of possibilities there is not so low – if there is any – so I could move up in expertise, learn new things, learn about tools, processes, improve myself. And that’s how I came across testing. I responded to a job offer for an IT tester from msg life Slovakia. I was surprised by the quick feedback and the invitation for an interview.

What were your feelings about the interview? You may have worked in IT companies before, but testing is different from working in the finance department.

I was surprised at the beginning by the German entrance exam, but pleasantly so. It was a clear impulse that German will be used in msg life Slovakia for more than just one weekly email with learned phrases. Which is a plus point for learning German. I was told that the interview would be a three-round interview, and that’s why I gave it more weight.

I was told that the third round would be practical and would give me an insight into the systems I would be working with. This formed my personal goal that I wanted to achieve. I didn’t know if I would make it to msg life Slovakia, but I would be the most disappointed if I dropped out in the second round. I wouldn’t see those systems.

I imagined it as a job in SAP, but I started googling what such tests look like. How they simulate, and what all my job would actually consist of. It was rocket science for me at the time, I’m not a computer scientist or a java developer. Fortunately, positive feedback came in and I moved on to the third round. Even if it didn’t work out, at least I would have seen the system of the work.

It was in that third round that I realized what else was behind the testing. And for whom it is. It is for people who like change, want to work on themselves, educate themselves, improve themselves, and are interested in technology. For those who want to look for increasingly sophisticated solutions. So,for me.

You have been with msg life Slovakia for a year now. What company benefits do you like best here? Try comparing them with your previous jobs.

There are certainly more employee benefits in msg life Slovakia. Working from home is definitely a big benefit for me. The fact that we are a smaller company – there are about 40 of us in the Košice branch – makes it more intimate, but we are all the more close. We have good relations with our colleagues we don’t often meet too, whether from the Žilina or Bratislava branch. This is quite a difference compared to an impersonal corporation.

Another benefit is the opportunity to get involved in different streams, for example webmarketing, where different ideas are created and implemented. The company values employees’ s ideas for improvement and gives them a platform to learn and develop.

The fact that one is educating themself is fine. But it is very important to be able to put education into practice. And not every employer will give a person this space. Today we are facing a huge information overload, so that new knowledge will be lost sooner or later without integration. The added value in msg for both parties is precisely that we can capitalize on all training, courses and other forms of education.

Corporate benefits are closely related to the phenomena of our time: work-life balance and burnout. How do you see it from this point of view?

As for burnout, I don’t think I’ve experienced it. But I’ve experienced the aforementioned killing stereotype that puts a person in a zone that’s hard to get out of. Any opportunity for a new project and self-development is then sabotaged by the stereotype because we don’t want to do it anymore. That is the turning point. When one falls into this stereotype, he has to be careful.

In msg life Slovakia I am not in danger of anything like that. If I come up with a good idea, nobody will shut me up. I’ll be given the space to realise that idea. Also the company cares a lot about feedback from employees, they listen, they try to implement, they feel the interaction here. This is another important factor. If I felt a hint of burnout or an imbalance, I know I would find a solution with management and my colleagues. Because we are a team here.

If you’re looking for a job in IT with no previous experience, check out our IT tester jobs . Or click on all job offers in our company.

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