Track: It takes a village to raise a tester


Testing is a field that is rapidly changing, new tools, methodologies but also an expectation to have greater communication and capability in dealing with people. My talk is primarily an experience report. The major takeaways around this experience report would be around removing blocks to rapid learning, the importance of character and industry involvement in effective training.

The experience is the taking of 4 young disadvantaged guys including one autistic, training them in the principles of context driven software testing, then competing for Level 1 positions in Suncorp against University post-graduates. What’s remarkable is that the trainees out-performed the post-graduates with no more than 8 weeks test training, whereas the post-graduates had 4 years of IT academic education. Suncorp’s test leads assessed the trainees as Level 2, said they introduced fresh eyes and approaches to testing which Suncorp’s QA adopted, were productive from the first day, didn’t hinder project velocity and were able to run their own projects. Thus far two have been offered work as mature testers at Suncorp and another is in final interview with Tyro.

About Catherine Karena

Catherine Karena

Catherine is Manager of CareerVentures, a recruitment and training division of WorkVentures Limited. WorkVentures is a Registered Training Organisation and Australia’s oldest and largest social enterprise charity with the mission of providing technology training to those left on the far side of the digital divide.

She has 14 plus years in consultancy and new business development in the IT training industry; Infrastructure, software development and business skills for small to enterprise level organisations. Twenty years community work training youth and adults in social and cultural activities. Plus, 10 years software development & test recruitment in the consumer electronics, semiconductor, trading, derivatives and ‘new product focused’ research & development industries.

She is the organiser and a trainer for WorkVentures KickStart Academy Software Test programme. Her prime passion is facilitating a realignment of education to meet the local market’s needs. Providing to students a real window to the world on what they need to know, to work in the companies and professions of their choice.

She is a graduate of the Association of Software Testing’ Foundation, Bug Advocacy, Test Design and Instructor courses. Also a volunteer AST instructor and the proud holder of a Rapid Software Testing Certificate with 2 stars hand-drawn by Mr. James Bach, himself.