I’m pleased to run the 15th interview in our #testerstory series with our guest Matías Pírez from Uruguay. He will tell us about his experience, how he started as a software tester from scratch and the progress he made.
Hope it will inspire lots of you who want to start in the world of testing and software quality.
We got the chance to record this #testerstory episode via racket for those who prefer to have a quick overview before reading the blog https://racket.com/emna__ayadi/rYAFf it was an opportunity for Matías to run his very first racket and he is looking forward to share more 🙂
Part 1: Introduction
- Tell us about your experience, background?
I’m relatively new in this industry. I’ve been working as a Software Tester since late 2017 when I moved to Testing from an accounting position.
Since then I’ve been working mostly with banks. Also, I had some freelance experience at uTest, working with different industries such as entertainment (VoD), travel & leisure, beauty, gaming, and telecommunications.
I really like to share my knowledge with other people who want to be a Tester. In that way, in 2020 I’ve started a YouTube Channel and Education Project called Testing Para Todos.
- Sounds like you have a different background, which is really great for the testing industry. The more we have diversity the more we are more creative while pairing together as testers. Can you tell us how you joined the world of software testing?
Yes, I’m an accountant by profession.
In 2016 I was in the middle of the Accountant career at college while I had a part-time job as Accounting Assistant in a big consultancy company here in Uruguay. To give a little more context, I’m 24 today and this was my first job.
After almost a year working in that role, I began to be a little bored with what I was doing. I felt that I won’t be capable of doing that for many years in the future, since the tasks were very routine and I thought it would be automated in the years to come.
Since I was a child, I always liked technology. I was the one who other people came to ask for a problem to solve with their computers.
So, why not try a change to a role more related to tech?
I made the decision and talked to a manager in the company to ask for an internal change. They said yes, and there were two options: Digital Transformation Consultancy, and Quality Assurance.
To be honest, I had no idea what would be my role in any of these areas, but they made the choice for me based on where they needed people at the moment.
The choice was QA. This is how I’ve started my career as a Software Tester. A little by choice and a little by luck.
- Making such change requires huge courage to overcome the fear of new beginnings in a completely different career path.
How did you get that courage ? Did you receive any advice like:
- You are not from the field why you want to change ?
- Are you sure you can adapt ?
Indeed. I was lucky that this change came when I was so young. I think this made things easier.
To be honest, I don’t remember if anyone told me that, but I was so sure that I wanted to change, that I would make my best effort to adapt and learn anything I had to learn.
Part 2: First Experience as a Tester
- Tell us more about your first challenge as a tester ? and how you felt about your career choice ?
The first month was tough. Almost everything was new.
I didn’t even know the concept of “test environment”. So, I asked something like this “..so, I can do anything with this money? This account isn’t real?”. -Yes, here you can be a millionaire if you want 😂 – they said.
I remember that they told me: This is your Test Case Matrix. You have to execute this test, take evidence and tell if it passes or fails. If it fails, you have to report it.
Many of the tests involved verification in the database. It was a Core Banking System, so we executed the transactions and then made sure that it was correctly registered on the database.
SQL was the first new thing I had to learn. I was used to working with excel, so I made parallelism within my head. Something like: “hmm, ok these are the columns and the rows, and this is like a filter”. So, fortunately, with a lot of help from my coworkers, I learnt it relatively fast.
But, at this point I wasn’t sure if Testing was the right place for me.
- What are the things you got from your previous experience as an accountant that helped you in your testing journey?
In my case, It was purely accounting matters. I focused on understanding the accounting entries and this was a lot of help in that moment where I had no Testing education.
Maybe I didn’t know how to report a good Bug Report, or testing techniques. But It was very easy for me to understand the business side and functional things like: how a loan works, interest rates, what’s an asset and a liability from the bank’s perspective, etc.
This was very helpful at the beginning.
With time I was able to combine the business knowledge with technical knowledge.
- What are the steps or skills that you think are mandatory to be a tester?
Soft skills are the most important thing in a Tester. Always. But mostly at the beginning.
I could mention a lot of other soft skills, but It can be hard to determine if we have these skills when we are starting. And most of them can be trained and If you do your best, you would naturally improve with time.
I can’t advise people to follow my steps because I just jumped into the unknown and learned only what I needed in a given moment. This is hard to do for most people If they don’t have the chance to ask for an internal change in their companies. But, If you think you have a chance, Ask for it. What’s the worst thing that can happen?
If we speak about technical knowledge:
- Understand the SDLC
- Understand your different roles options
- Learn the fundamentals of Testing (ISTQB Syllabus is a good start)
- Learn SQL
- Learn any project management tool like Jira and any Test Case Management plugin.
- Practice a lot with a personal project.
- Show what you are learning. Be active on Linkedin. In this world, if you don’t get noticed It will be very hard to find your first job.
Part 4: Conclusion
- What advice can you give for testers or non testers who want to choose which career path is the most suitable for them ?
Try! Today there are many ways to try before making a big career change.
For example, after learning the basics, you can do some freelancing on platforms like uTest. This way you can have an idea if you like it or not.
You don’t need to make a big-money investment at the beginning. For example, you can subscribe to Testing Para Todos. I share a lot of content in Spanish there that can be helpful for you If you are starting in this world. Also, there are many other YouTubers and colleagues that share excellent content on LinkedIn.
- Anything else you want to share with the testing community ?
It’s never too late or too soon to start a new career path. Also, your previous background doesn’t matter. In most cases, it will enhance your skills and if you combine it with Testing skills you have very good chances to be a great tester.
Start learning software testing today!
This is a never-ending path. You always have something new to learn. So, take it easy and enjoy the way.
Thank you so much Matías for being part of this #testerstory and for sharing your great journey besing a first time tester and how your passion is increasing day by day !
I encourage you to continue your brilliant journey, and wish you all the best in your career.
Thank you for reading this new #testerstory ! Get inspired by previous series you can find them via this link
You also ? Do you have an inspiring story being a tester and want to share it via ‘tester story’ via my blog or via Racket ?
Get in touch via twitter @emna__ayadi or linkedin Emna Ayadi we will plan for it !