Anna Piecha, a QA Tester for Caplin, gives advice for those interested in computer science, but afraid to pursue it as a career.
How’d you get started in the tech world?
It's actually quite difficult for me to say how it began, because I’ve always had an interest in scientific subjects like physics and chemistry. However, it was my brother who inspired me to take a degree in engineering.
What particular area of engineering did you study?
I studied Automatics Control and Robotics at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. I found it really interesting being able to use theoretical mathematics in practical engineering tasks, like describing processes and applying control systems. Nonetheless, my major also included software development related modules like computer networks, databases and object-oriented programming, which led me to the current path in my career.
Tell me about your role at Caplin.
I’ve been working for Caplin Systems as a QA Tester for a year and nine months. Currently I am involved in testing a product which is a multi-asset mobile trading platform. My role is to ensure the compliance of newly developed features with the acceptance criteria in terms of both the functionality and the design of the graphical interface. At the same time, the important aspect of my job is regression testing to assure that the pre-existing features are not impacted by new changes to the code.
What does a day in your job look like?
We’re working in Agile methodology starting the day with a team stand-up call. That’s the time when each member of the team briefly summarises what they’ve been working on the previous day, whether they are blocked by any issues and what are our individual priorities for the current day. My day involves tasks such as testing new features and bug fixes, investigating and reporting back on defects, reviewing the application’s configuration, checking logs and providing feedback to the development team.
How do you find being a woman in the tech industry?
I think the challenges start early with encouraging women to study technical subjects. There’s a perception that it’s too challenging or reserved only for men, which isn’t true at all. We should encourage everyone regardless of gender or race to obtain technical knowledge and pursue this as a career.
Where would you like to see your career heading?
I’m mainly focused on manual testing right now, but I see myself heading towards doing more test automation and maybe even stepping into a junior developer path. I’m lucky to work at Caplin because there is great support from senior management. The company also provides access to an online learning platform where we can constantly learn new skills. Additionally, I have been assigned a mentor, one of my colleagues, and we regularly have sessions where I can work with their help on my own projects.
What advice would you have for a person starting their career?
My advice would be not to be scared of challenges. It’s much better to give something a try, gain experience and then evaluate. Even if it turns out to be a wrong path at that point of time, you will still learn something for life. Don’t worry about other people’s opinions – just try it and trust yourself.