Georgia Drew
Apr 4, 2016
4 mins reading time

My Experience of becoming a Software Tester


Before starting Holiday Extras in 2013 as an Insurance Call Centre Agent, I had never heard of software testing before.

Starting Holiday Extras was a bit of a whirlwind, juggling between learning the phone system, getting used to the ‘HX culture’ and as for working on Apple Macs, well, it was a brand new learning curve.

“Georgia, can you go upstairs please?”

I didn’t like going upstairs. In fact, I don’t think anyone from downstairs enjoyed going upstairs. What was up there? Who was up there? Are they going to mind me going up there? For some reason a trip upstairs was like a trip to the dentist - I didn’t like doing it. Little did I know, in the next year I would be working upstairs myself.

After two years of being in the Call Centre, I needed a new challenge. It was time to move on. I already knew a couple of colleagues who had made the move upstairs to work in the Web Team and I quickly became more interested in taking the leap to join.

When the Software Tester position became available, I had mixed emotions. I wanted a challenge and I liked the sound of the role, but would I be able to do it? This question played over and over again in my head. After spending some time in the Web Team shadowing a Tester I managed to overcome my fears and send over my application.

Interviews are scary. At least for most of us. You always wonder if you have prepared enough for what you are going to be asked and how you will react. When you enter the interview room, you get a confidence that you never thought you had. Sweaty palms and being left red faced are only a fraction of symptoms you encounter during the interview and all you can keep thinking is ‘focus’. I wondered if I had done enough after the process, but I guess this is a natural feeling we all have, all I could do now was wait.

Learning the role

I got pulled into a booth by my interviewer which I guessed was to discuss the outcome of my interview, but I didn’t know for sure. After a quick discussion, I got up, said thank you in an excitable voice for the millionth time and walked back to my desk. I’d done it. My start date was confirmed. I had got the job.

My next challenge was to learn, learn and learn. By the end of my first 2 weeks my brain was frazzled. I have never absorbed so much information.

I spent two weeks shadowing other testers before being told I would be joining my own pod which was exciting but also gave me a sense of anxiousness. Everything was brand new and I had moments where I thought and asked myself, “Am I ever going to understand this?”.

I began to test independently and encountered all kinds of technical terminology and new processes. Our platforms such as Tripapp, Render and HXML were just some of these. Gas Mask was something else I had to face. I used to think Gas Mask was an item used in the war, but no, not at Holiday Extras, we use it as a ‘host file manager’. Who comes up with these names?

Present and the future

I am still learning everyday and becoming a Software Tester has been more of a challenge than I ever thought it would have been, but I love it.

The future as a Tester for me is unknown. We, as a testing team, are constantly learning new skills and improving our technical expertise. Anything can change at any time and change plays a huge part in the Web Team at Holiday Extras as we are regularly moving pods and modifying processes, so being adaptable is vital in this role.

As for the team I work with, we are a fairly young and opinionated team, however we work really well together in sharing knowledge and being the best that we can be.

I hope that my experiences may help to show that regardless of position or experience, making the move into the Web Team was a great decision and has changed my career path for the better.

Tags Experience,, tester