What's your job about?
Cognizant is a consulting company and I am responsible for providing web application testing, planning, and execution.
I work with the Business Analyst and Product Owner to get clarification about what features are to be realized and the risks coming with them. I prepare the test plan, write test scenarios (both automation and manual) and then execute the tests.
What's your background?
I grew up in Shanghai, China
I finished my bachelor degree in Shanghai University and started working as an electronic engineer in a Canadian company. After two years, I found myself needing a deeper understanding of the communication industry so I came to Sydney for a Masters Degree. Later I found it’s not a big job market for Electronic Engineers in Australia. However, I still wanted to stay in technology world, so I started to look for other opportunities than hardware industry.
An agent reached me and told me about the opportunity, and I went through two rounds of interviews and started to work in Cognizant last July (2017).
It’s really a hard time to switch the focused field, I had experience but none of them can be considered by employers I was applying to.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Yes and No. It depends on how different the background is. In other words, it was hard for me to change my mind from a hardware engineer to software side, but it would be harder for someone who doesn’t have understanding of how the current technology industry operates to work as an engineer. In terms of soft skills, Team spirit, good communication skills are mostly considered. because 80% of my time was talking to different people from different teams to get resources or confirmation. Only 20% of the effort was for actual ‘testing execution’.
What's the coolest thing about your job?
I am assigned to a giant company who is the leader in the Telecommunication Industry. Working with developers in a pioneering project, I can get a feeling of ‘yeah I’m relevant in this cutting-edge technology’. The new tech you read about in the news the day before may pop up in people’s mouths the next day. We have flexible working hours but people are efficient and fast to react. Also there’s a meeting about every second Wednesday that is called ‘Drink’, which may be the best meeting I’ve ever been.
What are the limitations of your job?
There’s always responsibility, but I take it as a driving force instead of stress source. Sometimes I may work late just to get things done, even though I am not asked to. The biggest limitation in the job may be that the client company is too huge that any slight moves it makes can relate to countless aspects of its appearance, so we need levels and levels of approval before making any decision.
3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...
Keep working on your learning ability and polish your question-asking ability. Try to find some intern opportunities and learn how to communicate in business world. But the most important thing is still your own knowledge and understanding about your major (if you try to find a job with it) because after all, that is what makes you irreplaceable.