Written By Jess Feldman
Guzal was working in finance when she realized she wanted to explore other career options. Her critical thinking, problem-solving, and constant quest for quality gave her the perfect personality and skills for a career in Quality Assurance (QA) Testing. Even as a busy working mom, Guzal was able to excel at BPPE-approved Test Pro, building a solid foundation in software testing and career development. Plus, Guzal shares how everything she learned at Test Pro, which is ISTQB certified, helped her land a QA Analyst role at Meta!
How did you get started in software testing?
When I still lived in Kazakhstan, I worked in finance and during my maternity leave, I started thinking about what I wanted to do with my career next. I was complaining to a friend about a website that wasn't working, and her husband told me I'd be a good software tester. After he explained what testing was, I started looking into quality assurance (QA) as a career path. I quickly realized that I have the right personality for QA Engineering. As an online customer, I am aware of quality. I want good service, products, and shopping experiences. I’m always thinking critically and looking for ways things can be improved. This kind of feedback is good for customers and for business.
Why did you choose Test Pro to learn Manual QA?
When I moved from Kazakhstan to the US, I realized that QA was different here, so I wanted to enroll in a course to gain more experience. A friend who graduated from Test Pro raved about their positive bootcamp experience, so I decided to give it a try.
Do you have to know basic coding to apply to Test Pro?
You can be a total beginner and apply to Test Pro. Test Pro gave us a basic assessment regarding cognitive skills like problem-solving and comprehension, but nothing about coding. In general, you’re not required to know coding for manual QA. One of the advantages of this job is that it's beginner-friendly and you don't need very deep knowledge in anything technical.
What did the QA Engineer curriculum cover at Test Pro?
Test Pro covers the fundamentals of QA testing, such as:
We also learned some useful professional tools like Jira, Postam for API testing, how to work with Chrome dev tools, basics of Android Studio and Xcode.
What is the difference between manual and automation testing?
Manual QA is done manually, without coding. QA Automation requires coding knowledge, though not as deep as a developer.
What was the teaching style like at Test Pro?
One main advantage to Test Pro is their immersive experience that simulates a real-world QA job. They broke us up into teams where we'd have a team leader, daily stand-up meetings, and share tasks. I felt prepared for the real world because Test Pro provides realistic tools.
I loved the way the teachers taught us! They were so easy to communicate with, both during the lessons and off-times. And they were responsive and supportive of any questions we had.
How did you juggle this bootcamp while working a job and parenting?
As a mom with a job, I was able to complete the bootcamp because Test Pro offers a flexible schedule. The lessons were held in the evening and they were recorded, so we could re-watch them as many times as we needed to to understand the content.
What is the online community like at Test Pro? Were you able to connect with your cohort online during the bootcamp?
There is a layer of self-responsibility to learn the content on one’s own, but we had a sense of community from our teams. We had daily stand-up meetings for 15 minutes where we could discuss what we did the previous day, what we were going to do, and what barriers we encountered. Having this team offered solidarity as we went through the program. If we were struggling, we had support. If we were happy, we had people to share in that joy!
What kinds of projects did you work on at Test Pro?
We worked on real projects that were web-based applications and mobile applications. These projects became a real product available in the App Store. It was really cool to find bugs and know I worked on an actual product.
How did Test Pro help with your US-based job search?
The curriculum at Test Pro was designed to help us with resume preparation, the interview process, and the difference between full-time and contract work. This knowledge was imperative, especially for people new to the US. They provided sessions with a mentor who conducted mock interviews, reviewed our resumes, and answered any questions we had. Test Pro also now offers students an internship program that you can put on your resume.
Can you still reach out to Test Pro for career support after graduation?
Absolutely. Test Pro has built and continues to support a rich community culture that supports its students and alumni, during and after the bootcamp. Each week, alumni come to Test Pro to share their experience and process looking for work and preparing for interviews. Test Pro offers a dedicated Slack channel for students and alumni to ask questions. We're always open to sharing about our process to recent graduates who are on the job hunt. It's a cyclical, supportive network that I feel grateful to be a part of.
You’re now a QA Analyst at Meta! What was the interview process like?
The QA team at Meta basically validated my Test Pro education during the interview. They were interested in my hands-on experience, my projects, and my method for testing, which made the interview process pretty easy. Every question the interviewer asked me, I could locate an answer in my Test Pro resources because Test Pro covers everything.
Meta is such a huge company! What team are you working with?
QA at Meta is different from other companies. As an analyst, my job is to communicate between developers and our off-shore QA team, who are doing most of the testing. I work as a liaison between testers and developers, analyzing what we need to test and how we can support developers. It's a lot of coordinating!
Are you using everything you learned at Test Pro on the job?
We learned more at Test Pro than what I'm using on the job right now. Plus, Meta has their own tools for everything they do. I'm still able to use the skills I've learned at Test Pro due to the large amount of practice I had in the bootcamp.
Looking back on this experience, was enrolling at Test Pro worth it for you?
Of course! I'm so thankful for Test Pro because they gave me knowledge, support, advice, and so much more. The investment has been totally worth it — my salary since graduating from Test Pro has increased, for sure.
Completing the bootcamp made me more confident in my QA knowledge. Even before working at Meta, I got a small raise in salary. It also gave me the confidence to later go and find a new QA job at Meta.
I often recommend Test Pro to my friends. This was absolutely the right choice for me. They're always asking for feedback and looking for ways to improve. Plus, Test Pro lets alumni retake classes for free to refresh their skills!
Do you recommend this career path for other working moms who are considering getting into tech?
This job requires you to go deep, be patient, and repeat, which are the same skills you often rely on as a mom! QA is a great place to start because you don't need to know coding. You can always learn later if you want but it's not necessary. Plus, the ability to work remotely and the flexibility of QA roles opens up a lot of possibilities for working moms.
Jess Feldman is an accomplished writer and the Content Manager at Course Report, the leading platform for career changers who are exploring coding bootcamps.
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