Since joining the 2i team as a Graduate (1 of 2, the first batch of 2i Grads) this time last year, I have been on a continuous learning journey which, before joining, I couldn’t have begun to fathom.

Prior to the 14th of January, 2019, I had almost no concept of testing. In fact, I only became aware of the role when the opportunity for this position was presented to me in late 2018. My only experience of testing prior to that start date was running tests on crude Visual Basic applications in Computing class in high school.

I am now very aware of the risks of the developer testing their own work, as well as realising what I was running was a bare bones form of exploratory testing.

The biggest testament to the 2i Graduate & Apprenticeship Programme is that, in just three months, they managed to turn two complete newbies into ISTQB qualified testers, and always had another project or task for us to work on to help use and grow our knowledge.

The biggest learning curve, however, was the jump from the 2i office to the client site...the Government in my case. I felt on that first day something akin to how the gladiators would have felt walking into the lion’s den.

This was the big moment; where I’d find out just how well 2i had prepared me for life outside the safety of the grad office. Here, I learned a few things: 

1: Everything’s an acronym (or EAA)

Almost everything on site is abbreviated to a handy three or four letter acronym, which leads to a huge amount of confusion for the first few days. 

2. Read the room

When comparing the atmosphere, the 2i office is like the loud people at the back of the bus compared to the government’s average, thoughtful rider.

3. Nerves are to be expected

Nothing can ever fully prepare you for the terror of starting work on client site, especially something as prominent as a government office!

After a slow start as I settled in – the pieces that 2i had planted slowly began to fall into place and I quickly took to life on client site.

It has been both an excellent place to learn the bare bones of testing – test reports, writing test cases, etc – and has such provided a basis for me to take everything I learned at 2i and apply it to client work. Also, joining 2i’s continuous Learning & Development Programme in the latter quarter of 2019 has led to me taking some of those valuable new learnings and using them to introduce processes and ideas which can be of huge benefit on client site.

Overall, my first few months on client site has been a massive learning curve, and without the guidance I’ve received from both 2i staff and beyond I would have surely crashed and burned.

As several key delivery releases loom on the horizon, I am looking forward to the challenges and learning opportunities they will undoubtedly bring!