A path not taught

You want to build the next million dollar app, create the next awesome website, or change the world with analytics and statistics?

How do you do this, where do you learn this, where do you start?

You start searching the internet, look at online courses, maybe even get a $9.99 Udemy course and never finish it.
You talk with some of your friends , some encourage you, and some discourage you. 

There is so much out there JavaScript, React, Angular, Python, C++, C#. Where do you begin?

You finally figure out what language you want to learn, and find a Bootcamp, and you enroll in a course that will help you on your journey.

Like many who are here, and many that I have met on my journey here, This is how my story into software testing began.

Being a mature experienced IT professional (aka: 50+ years old).
I found myself wanting more, as much as I loved helping people, interacting with my customers.
I was no longer feeling challenged in my support roles that I had held over the past 2 decades.
Then by chance I was laid off from my job that I had for over 10 years, and found myself back job searching.
Wanting to stay in my comfort zone, I was looking for help desks, operations, or Sys Admin positions.
But things had changed and they were asking for programming, scripting, and even web site development skills.
Skills that I had not acquired in my previous.

I did manage to find a job that did not require these skills, but also realized that there is no such thing as job security in today’s world, and I was also back into a position that was not challenging.

So I did a Udacity course, then continued on to a inperson Bootcamp concentrating on frontend web development.
Low and behold two years later, with only a month left of schooling COVID hit, my bootcamp did manage to figure out a way for us to graduate.
At the same time I lost yet another job, and the job that I had lined up was put on hold due to COVID,

So I am now without a job, no job experience and getting ready to turn 50.

Then I got a call from a recruiter wanting to know if I was interested in Software testing for a major retail store.
I knew nothing about software testing, neither Udacity nor the Bootcamp I went to , really discussed Software testing, let alone as a career option.

I decided to take the opportunity, I looked at it as a way to strengthen my coding skills and learn more about Web Sites and how they are constructed.
It was only a 4-6 month contract, and hopefully COVID would be over.
16 months later my contract finally ended, and I was back looking for another job.
My dilemma is do I go back to what I am comfortable with, or continue on this new path that I was on now. 

During my journey into software testing, I had the opportunity to meet many great people.
One in particular was Raj (Raj Subramanian) Subrameyer.
I met him in one of my first online testing conferences on my journey to learn how to do software testing.

In his book “SkyRocket your Career” ,  he tells you to write down what you want to do, and what you do not want to do.
So this is what I did.

What I want to do What I don’t want to
Help people
Be bored
Continue to learn
Be Siloed
Be challenged
Not be challenged
Have fun
Code ( Yes, after 2 years of school, coding was not for me)
Be part of a community

Over the past 16 months I learned that there are so many aspects of software testing.
You have manual and automation testing.
UI, backend, security, accessibility, security, database, UAT testing, and so much more.
There is always a new way or a new tool to accomplish this.

Then you add DevOps, Agile, and documentation, learning is never ending.
So I definitely would not be bored, I would be continuously learning and challenged at the same time.
By being a software tester, I am helping people have a better user experience with either the website or application.

Not only would I be exploring the product for the company that I am working for, but exploring new ways of doing things, exploring new tools and techniques.

Even with working from home due to the current situation , being Silo’d is not much of an issue, the testing community which I have become a part of is huge.

You have:

Just to name a few, then all the learners, educators, and mentors.

I could go on and on about the amazing community and people that I have met on this journey.
Because of them, not only what they taught me, but also the support and encouragement that they gave me.

I accepted a position as a Quality Assurance Engineer for a small startup company, which last week was acquired by ADP.

So if you find yourself struggling to find a new career path, or you started a coding bootcamp, and are thinking that coding/programming is not for you.
Take a look into being a software tester, there are many rewards and challenges in this evolving and expanding field of technology.  

Know Our Writer


Ramona Saintandre

Quality Assurance Engineer at Integrated Design, Inc. at ADP

IT professional with a diverse background in many facets of the IT field. Having been in many roles in the IT field including field service work operations and helpdesk support in an enterprise environment and System administration. In Dec of 2018 decided to do a career change and enrolled in a online study have been concentrating on Frontend web development then transitioned to a in person bootcamp in 2019 and graduated in 2020 at the beginning of COVID. Having a strong conviction for excellent customer service a love helping people and solving people's problems, transitioned into the world of testing was very easy. Looking forward to advocating for Quality in Software. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren fishing gardening and crocheting.

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