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My 4-weeks Software Quality School experience


Pieter De Bie



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The selection

My story began a while ago when I decided it was time for something new and challenging. What could be better than turning your hobby into your career?

The lack of professional experience made it hard to find a suitable position and I was losing hope to ever get a job that could launch my new IT career. Going back to (evening-)school to learn new programming languages and techniques was going to be the next step.

A while ago, I was contacted by b.ignited and things changed completely! After a few in-depth conversations I was offered the opportunity to participate in the legendary Test-Class.

It had been 2 or 3 years since this 4-week training had been organised which is in fact a co-op of b.ignited and M2Q, both part of the Slingshot group and ultimately part of the bigger Cronos group.

The set-up was clear: b.ignited and M2Q, both specialised in providing testing as a service, needed competent and motivated people to strengthen the team. So they selected 8 suitable candidates to participate in, what I would like to call, a BOOTcamp. I considered myself an outsider because of the absence of experience but quickly realised I was not alone. We all had one thing in common. We were all IT-minded and super motivated to prove our worth.

And so it began..

Like all skills, you must learn to walk before you can run. So we began with the beginning: the fundamental concepts of testing which were well described in the courses of ISTQB. The first 4 days were dedicated to this theoretical approach with the purpose of getting all test-class members ISTQB-certified as soon as possible. And soon it was! In the second week we had to take the exam, which was formally organised by an external certification organisation.

Our days during BOOTcamp were far from boring. We saw different programming languages and examples of their usage, combined with a wide range of tools like Testlink, Cucumber and SoapUI.

The days were a good mixture of power point presentations and exercises which made it impossible to lose concentration.

It was obvious that the teachers (they are actually employees of b.ignited and M2Q) were chosen because of their expertise on the different subjects. They were able to give an exciting course with many examples and practical exercises. Because of the different backgrounds of the participants, the courses were given at a pace that was doable for everyone and it revealed that we all had our specific baggage of previous IT-experiences.

Next steps ?

As the weeks went by, it once again became clear to me that the magnitude of the IT world is too big to know it all. To get a taste of many different IT aspects, like we did during the test class, gives you the opportunity to think about where you want to go from here. Which path you will take is undetermined. A first step in the IT world can be to become an Automation Tester for example.

I learned new things every day and I hope I can continue to do so on the job, which I’m sure I will!