Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Third week at QA Consulting

Third week Blog:

So far at QA Consulting I have really enjoyed my time meeting people, doing work and socialising after work. I am getting slightly more used to working 9–5:30 but it’s still hard getting up. I have been assigned a c# job in Woking with 3 other people but I’m not sure if it’s a definite or not as I haven’t heard anything else about it yet.
Some guys from a different group in QA organised football for the office and we played a 5 a side tournament. There was a good turnout of around 20 people. The team I was in was decent and we won the tournament.  During the week after, some guys in my group decided we would try and make it a weekly thing. The next Tuesday we got 10 people down to the 5 a side pitch to play for an hour which was great.

During the last couple of weeks we have been working in teams of 8 on Enterprise Architecture (EA). This consisted of acting as a consultancy firm called “Rambert & Rooster”(R&R). During the first week of EA, we were located in the Lowry which is a theatre in media city. This was a nice change of scenery and the round tables really worked well for collaboration between the members of the group.
As R&R, we looked at the company “NB Gardens” business processes. NB Gardens had very poor processes all round and we had to work out a solution that would fix their problems.

      Their problems areas were:
  •             Order replenishment process
  •          Customer order management process

We had to carry out interviews with staff members from NB Gardens to practice interview techniques. This was important as if we didn’t ask the correct questions; we didn’t get the correct information we needed, so a lot of preparation was needed.
Our solution was:
·         Add more IT to all departments to get the process to be faster, more efficient and more reliable.
·         Merge the call center properly and merge COFT with them to make the process more streamlined
·         Implement a Quality department to allow the company to resolve future issues internally and carry out process improvement on a regular basis

At the end of the 2 weeks we had an exam on all the stuff we covered and a presentation to show our groups findings to the “company”, NB Gardens.
Last week I had to write a technical blog in which the topic was computer hardware. Since this was the first blog on the topic I did a general overview on things to note, which parts you need and a bit about each part. For my upcoming technical blogs I will be looking at specific parts of a computer and look into important aspects of each one in detail.

Overall I think my first month at QA Consulting has been good.  I have met a lot of really cool people and hope to meet more soon.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

First week at QA - personal Blog

During my first few days at QA Consulting I have met many people, all of whom (staff and fellow trainees) have been very friendly and cooperative. Before I moved to Manchester for this opportunity I didn't really know what to expect and this obviously caused me to feel very nervous about the whole thing. After arriving I realised that the environment of the QA offices are very relaxed but provide enough work and lectures to have a lot of get on with.

Finding accommodation in Manchester for 3 months was very difficult.
Joe (a friend I referred) and I luckily managed to get a flat share close to work, about a 10 minute walk away.

On the first day I was expecting most of the other trainees to be from a computer science related background. Only a third or so of the trainees in my class did computer science so the level of programming was back to basics, which benefited me as a recap. I tried my best to help those that hadn’t experienced programming before, which also helped to be able to explain technical concepts and examples to others better.

We started with Java tasks which included some simpler tasks to start with to get used to using loops and if statements. These tasks gradually got harder by implementing difficult math tasks and object oriented programming. I have found these tasks slightly challenging in some aspects, especially further towards the later ones and I did programming for 3 years. Even though I have found the programming tasks relatively easy going overall, I have definitely improved on my object oriented programming. Some tips such as generating getters and setters for the class are highly useful and I will be using them in the future.

We were asked to do a presentation in pairs about different design patterns. Tom and I did ours on the prototype design pattern. The experience of doing this was beneficial for confidence in public speaking as well as improving team working skills.

On Friday the company has a drinks gathering in the office for people to get to know each other better and have fun. I really enjoyed having a few drinks and meeting people and seeing what interests others in the office have. Some of the trainees, who have been at QA for around 10 weeks that will be graduating soon, gave us some general advice which was great.

During week 2, we started doing continuous integration. This topic involved setting up virtual machines, looking further into devops processes and how the lifecycle of software development has evolved to form the devops culture. The virtual boxes were set up through vagrant and oracles virtual box. The two Linux distributions we used were Ubuntu 15.10 and centOS 7.

The second part of this topic was scripting in Bash and shell alongside some terminal work to get used to performing commands and scripting in general. I found scripting a bit difficult to start with as it’s not hugely similar to the conventional languages like java in which I am used to.

Overall my first few weeks at QA have been enjoyable and have learnt an extensive amount.