QA Consulting, The 4th Best Tech Company for Graduates!

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We are proud to announce that QA Consulting, part of the QA Group, have been voted the 4th best Tech Company for Graduates to Work For and in the top quartile of Top 100 Companies for Graduates to Work For in 2016/17.  This recognition is particularly important to us as the annual vote is run by TheJobCrowd and is regarded as one of the most prestigious and unique awards within the recruitment industry, as it’s based entirely on independent employee feedback.

Described as a the ‘TripAdvisor for Graduate Jobs’, TheJobCrowd hosts thousands of anonymously written reviews. Under the mantra of ‘No one knows better what a job involves then the person actually doing it’, these awards reveal the real feelings Graduates have for their employer, and QA are delighted to hear that QA Consulting rate so highly as a top Graduate employer.

With the volume of feedback relating to ‘great people and team ethos’, ‘fantastic working environment’ and ‘getting to work with cutting edge tech’, the feedback our people have given us reflects the ongoing effort and focus we at QA Consulting provide; a world-class working experience and a great platform to accelerate individuals careers.

Tony Lysak, Managing Director of QA Consulting, commented, “Hard work and fun is at the heart of QA Consulting.  Our Consultants go through an intense but rewarding 12-week training programme before hitting wider industry with their newly acquired skills.  It’s great to see all the hard work pay off and we’re delighted to receive the award and want to thank all our staff for working hard and contributing to our success.   QA Consulting have always valued our consultants and aim to provide them with the best platform to develop and further their career. We are giving young people the true progression route towards a successful career within the Software Development industry” He goes on to say, “The team in QA Consulting are ecstatic with our ranking and it’s a great testament to the quality and commitment of the QA Consulting team. The award marks a strong start to what is set to be another milestone year for The QA Academy, our consultants and our customers.”

About QA Consulting:

QA Consulting is a leading provider of Consulting Services to commercial and financial organisations and Government departments.  We operate a set of unique customer enablement programmes in which we provide industry leading capability in prominent DevOps, Big Data, Enterprise Middleware, App and Web Development, Cloud Computing, Cyber Security and Digital technologies.

We excel in recruiting, training and supplying our own specialist consultants within high demand by low supply specialist technologies. We provide our clients with the resources to help them be at the forefront of their industries.

Life on Site with Gareth Andrews

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One of the advantages of being a consultant is that the future is open to you. I am currently working towards getting a certification in Information Security Management, a certification that would better equip me to deal with the everyday risks and issues of security in a digital world.

Training and expanding on your skills is a must these days, where jobs and opportunities are difficult to come by. There are many training courses available and talks held to help you learn and understand everything from techniques to new technologies, there is not a single week where I feel like I’ve not developed in some way.

With every moment being a chance to develop, it’s hard to not see something great coming your way.

So that’s me, past, present and future. I hope that these blogs have been useful in understanding just what we do as consultants for QA Consulting, from the fast paced rush of fixing issues to the calm and collected analysis required to plan ahead for the next piece of work weeks before you even start creating the code.

QA Consulting has given me the opportunity to put my foot in the door for a very competitive market with all the support I need to work for a high end business straight out of the Academy. Going forward I hope to train and develop my skills in information security so that our clients can rest easy knowing that with my  skills and expertise I can help to protect their data.

 

Life on Site with Gareth Andrews

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So you’ve learnt about my past and my time at the academy, I think it’s now time for you to know about what I do on client site. I am currently working on a team focused towards delivering Microservices. Here’s a day in the life of me:

You start the day nice and early, checking all those work emails you receive a minute after you turn off your computer, and then you start by checking the JIRA board. Typically each day we assign ourselves a task and then get it completed by the end of the day, meaning each day we see progress both in the project and across the JIRA board.

Once you’ve started working away at your daily task you have a stand-up around half nine in the morning. In the next 15 minutes you hear from everyone in the team what they did the day before, any problems they had and what they are looking to do today, it is also the time when you learn about wide reaching factors that impact the project, such as changes to requirements or people being off on holiday for the next week. This means that once you’ve left the stand-up you are in the know of everything that should be happening that day.

So, back to the computer for an hour or so.

Seems like the team’s got a new piece of work coming up so it’s time for an impacting session. After reading through a document you’ve received a few days ago our product owner gives us a run-down for the reasons behind the new piece of work. It could be an extension of current work, or something completely different.

Everybody gets a chance to discuss their area of the project; for example what kind of code will be required, be it changing previous code or creating something entirely new. This impacting session will give the team an estimate into how much time it would take for the team to complete the project and its “impact” on the team.

12:00, time to go get some food for lunch. Remembering it’s Friday you head out the door instead of going to the canteen, laughter and chat following you as your team and friends grab a bite to eat for lunch. With full stomachs you return to work, mumbling about wanting to go back for dessert normally before returning to your task for the day.

Things don’t always go smoothly, and suddenly on your JIRA board there is an issue that’s affecting live. A bug has made it through the code!

Step one: investigate the bug. I run the code with the same data to try replicate the problem. At this point speed is of the essence, but you can’t make any mistakes either. With the problem repeated you notice that the error message is something you’ve seen before, and quickly find it in the code.

With a quick note on the JIRA issue and a phone call, you’ve already pushed the code through the continuous delivery environments, with all the automated tests running and checking that your fix won’t open up a Pandora’s Box of problems.

A few minutes later you receive a message saying that it’s been deployed to live and they are running the file again, with a smiley face and a thankful phone call confirming that the error has been fixed.

With that all done it’s time to return to your work for the day, finishing it just in time as you log your hours and move the task on the board to show everyone your progress for the day. Shutting down the machine and making sure everything is locked away, ready to repeat the process again tomorrow.

Join me next time when I will be discussing what comes next.

Life at the Academy with Gareth Andrews – The Hackathon

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The QA Academy opened us up to many opportunities and experiences, the Hackathon was by far the most memorable. Starting in the afternoon on a Friday, teams gathered and started discussing their mobile app ideas with the intention to create the apps in 24 hours.

A few minutes in and a man-sized gorilla could be found roaming around the office spying up our ideas and getting a few laughs in the process.  A few hours later and the party is joined by a gangster, princess and Mario, all in time for the pizza and snack foods that went almost as soon as they had appeared.

The hackathon ended the next day, with a countdown ticking away the seconds before people were ready to leave the office, having lost teammates to fatigue and weekend plans alike. As we left the office with sleepy smiles I still remember thinking about how much fun we had, and how we had managed to fit an entire project cycle (staffing issues and all) into 24 hours, all before I hit the pillow and lost the Saturday to sleep.

The QA Hackathon was a great experience and will definitely not be my last,  I can safely say this is the one that will stick with me for a long time.