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February 04, 2016
What is testing, anyway?
By: Nicole Greenhalgh

In my last blog I wrote about my first couple of months at Accenture – my experience of my position here at Accenture was mainly of training and being the newbie on a project. Now, after a couple more months have passed, I can happily report that you soon settle into your new role.

I am now over two months into my current role at a global retail firm. I am part of the Testing team, which basically means that I am testing the new software that Accenture is helping to implement for the client. We think up all sorts of different ways that the client should be able to use the software in the future, try it out and record whether or not it works as it should. If it does, hoorah! If it doesn’t, we have to ask another team to try to fix it.

One of the many things that has surprised me in this role is just how long and complicated this process is. It sounds so simple on paper: test the software, does it work? Yes or no answer.

In reality, the testing phase of a project is often one of the longest, because you need to check, double check and triple check that every single eventuality has been tried and tested with this new software. Amongst the 15 or so people within this team, in the UK and India, we have to: coordinate who is doing which test, when they are doing it, document the progress and communicate all of the bugs that they find. This is just one of many of the Test Phases! We have just finished one type of testing and now we are starting to move onto another type of testing, which checks that the whole software works from beginning to end.

Testing has a reputation amongst some for being boring and I certainly did not have very high expectations going into the role. Now I can definitely say that it is far from boring for me. This role involves gaining a deep understanding of how to use a very complex software. Not only that, but how to use it in ways that most people cannot.

Sure, the documenting and admin side of the role can get a little tedious, but this is only a small part of the job. A large part of my time is spent discussing problems and situations with the rest of my team about the software and problem solving between us.

I’ve also had the opportunity to learn some SQL coding, which is essentially coding that you use to access and manipulate some database systems. The inner computer geek inside me loves this. In any case, it’s great to add some more skills and experience to your CV, especially when it comes to searching for your next role.

This sort of role involves a lot of instant communication, so the UK team is based all together in one room, around one big table. It might get a little cramped sometimes, but it’s a nice way to get closer to your team and work together.

Testing Team

So if you get the opportunity to do some testing work, now or in the future, I would highly recommend it. It is what you make it and it will give you invaluable skills for the rest of your career.

That’s it for now, we’ll see what the next couple of months hold!

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