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.