What has been just under a year since starting with 2i feels like an age, which is good because I’m thoroughly enjoying my time here. A lot has happened on my journey and I’ve had to tackle many unique challenges. I’ve learned so many new things that I’ve barely had time to catch my breath and reflect.

Way back when I first started, I was green in the face at the thought of making my way to the far unexplored lands of Edinburgh, not knowing what to expect. Before joining 2i I was a computer science student, so I knew a bit about testing and have great sympathy for the developers whose projects I now attempt to break. However, it gave me a good starting foundation from which to begin.

Training took place over a short 3 months, which could amount to a Rocky montage. I had to quickly learn a variety of skills in the various types of testing, such as functional and performance, get to grips with agile development and understand how to consult. The first proof of my progress came when I became a certified ISTQB tester after topping the 2i leader boards on the exam. 2i gave me many opportunities to learn and explore within the testing space and plenty of support to help me along the way.

Inevitably the time came to put my skills to the test with my first client, an analytics company called Topolytics, a leader in analysing data on the world’s waste. I was nervous as it was my first time representing 2i, as well as properly using what I’d learned up until now. Topolytics is based at the CodeBase tech incubator and the building itself looked like a daunting fortress. The inside is a labyrinth in which it was easy to get lost - although it did provide a spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle which helped calm my nerves.

The opening days were tough - each one ending with more questions than before, but progress was steadily made. Days were spent having meetings and crafting our approach, and before long we had started testing. No matter how well I had prepared, there was still much learning to be done, which inspired me to keep improving. To this day I am still learning and testing myself at Topolytics and consequently finding ways to be useful.

It was here that I was able to experiment with automated testing, an interesting way to solve a problem. Our tool of choice was Cypress, which allowed me to automate navigating around the client’s platform and preform tests I’d set up. It wasn’t ever simple though, and there were many hurdles to even get it doing the simplest tasks. Then, right on cue, Topolytics would push an update and my tests would require updating.

What started as practice for my automation testing grew into something else entirely and before I knew it, I had created a sprawling project with many moving parts. I picked up many new skills along the way; having to increase my knowledge of programming in Python and JavaScript, managing a NoSQL database, and creating an entire website. My knowledge of testing in an agile framework and good development practices came in useful and helped me avoid several issues before they arose.

I’m proud to continue my learning journey alongside Topolytics as they are working to make the world a greener place.

I’m now officially a Quality Engineer and I’m sure this will bring along a whole new host of challenges to overcome, and many more hair pulling moments, but I’ve made it this far, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

Author: Liam Meagher Quality Engineer