There comes a time in life when you have to find your way, when you graduate from the university, or your secondary school, and here you are – young, ambitious and full of ideas. But where should you start?
The market seems to be full of job ads. As a less experienced professional, you are looking for some opportunities such as internships or traineeships.
So you start sending out CVs, and you are impatiently waiting for replies. I know this feeling, I was in this kind of situation too. I finally got my shot at a great career, and I would like to share my thoughts and experience with you about Netguru’s internship programme in the Quality Assurance department, which I had the pleasure to take part in.
I joined the company for the second edition of the programme. The first internship started a year before with one intern, who currently works in Netguru as a Quality Assurance Specialist. This year’s programme involved two interns, and at the time of writing this post, both interns had become Juniors and stayed in the company. One of them, of course, was me.
The recruitment process proceeded in a way similar to other positions. First, I sent my CV, and after few days, I received an email with three tasks I needed to do. To be honest, I was quite surprised that the Recruitment Team actually replied, as I did not have any experience related to IT or app testing. Previously, I worked in Quality Control, but it was based in a laboratory, and I worked with more tangible products, e.g. food. So I created a checklist, found some nonconformities according to design, wrote about some apps, and… I managed to go to a job interview. And, finally, I became a QA intern.
Month one: onboarding, first checklist, first bugs...
On the first days of my Netguru adventure, I met my mentor who guided me officially for one month, but I should say that my helpful mentor was there for me for the whole three months. I went through onboarding and got to know the basic apps used in the company. As I was a less technical person, it was a lot for me, but with the help from my mentor and other QA specialists, it went really smoothly.
As interns, we had our own Trello board, where other QA specialists could assign tasks to us. Our first missions were easy (at least when I look at them now), and they really helped us get into the Netguru processes. Transfer bugs from Bug Bash (if you do not know what it is, check this article) to Jira was my first task. With the help of the project’s QA specialist, which involved intro to Jira, how to describe tickets, and, additionally, an intro to the app, I did it. Then came my first checklist (to make, to check, to update), my first project documentation update, my first tickets to test. Two weeks later, I got involved in the project as a supporting QA specialist. This is where I learnt a lot about the communication with devs, with project managers, and, especially, with clients.
In the first month, I also got my own project – an internal app, which was the perfect place to train my QA skills at the beginning, because I didn’t need to deal with an external client. I was really excited about this and, to be honest, given my QA experience, I was doing a pretty good job.
Month two: independent work, first external project, first automation tests…
What concluded the first month, simultaneously marking the beginning of month two, was my first face-to-face meeting with the leader. I received feedback about my work from my project teammates, other QA specialists and the mentor, but, most importantly, I could also give my feedback to Netguru.
It was the time for me to reduce the need for help from other workmates, and after the first month, I really felt prepared and ready. Remember the project I wrote about a few lines earlier? The one which I got in as support? I became the main QA specialist in it. It was a really exciting feeling to be responsible for a product. The first client project showed me how important the role of a QA specialist in the project is. I also started to notice the importance of Quality Assurance, for example, when playing video games. We are the last stage of production, and our mission is to ensure that the clients and users can experience the highest quality (you can check this article for tips).
In the second month of my internship, I started to look for more challenges. It was the time to face the automation tests. Fortunately, the QA team prepared a training app that introduced young Padawans to writing feature tests. At first, I thought it was hard, but by trial and error, I managed to make it – I really enjoyed it. Along with it, I pushed myself and took part in an internal workshop on automation and page object patterns. I think it was the moment when I felt that Quality Assurance of apps is my calling. This is the place where I belong.
Month three: more projects, more responsibilities, becoming the king…
Of course, I had another face-to-face meeting. The third month was quite similar to the second one, but bigger and better. Four times bigger, I would say. I was responsible for four projects simultaneously. It was challenging test for me, but I passed the test. I could learn how to work with deadlines and how to manage my time efficiently.
You might have noticed “becoming the king” in this section’s heading. Let me explain. QA department is also divided into kingdoms, e.g. the Kingdom of iOS, the Kingdom of Android, and so on. There is also the Wiki Kingdom and the Blogpost Kingdom, which I have the pleasure to manage. I take care of our articles and the order and clarity of our encyclopedia.
My internship ended with the final face-to-face meeting. These were also my first minutes as a Junior Quality Assurance Specialist.
Internship: opportunity or threat?
I really developed during the three months of the internship. I feel that I seized my opportunity and used it to the full. In my opinion, this programme is a really good option for the not-so-experienced people with a focus on development and hard work. It is a chance to meet some amazing workmates and learn much from them. The internship has not only taught me technical skills, but, more importantly, it developed my soft skills and showed me how Netguru works. The only threat I experienced is that I would not like to go back to my “official” learnt profession. The internship allowed me to transfer my Commodity Science skills to a new workplace. My example shows that each person with different experience and from a different environment can bring new quality to the company.