Switching a career is easier than you think. The story of Anna Yakubova, Senior QA Manual in Innovecs
Changing career paths and leaving the comfort zone looks scary at first glance. Who will hire me from ground zero? Do I need to complete courses or have a degree? How do I enter the tech industry without experience? We asked these and other questions to Anna Yakubova, a financial sector switcher and Senior QA Manual at Innovecs.
Anya, what does a QA specialist do?
QA is responsible for product quality. Beyond testing, I find vulnerabilities, inaccuracies, inconsistencies with the requirements, and help improve the functionality and the product’s ease of use.
Can a person with a specialized education become a QA specialist?
Yes absolutely, and I am proof of that. I graduated from a university with a degree in finance. Later I went to work in a bank, and after six months I had enough. I realized that this area is not for me and began to look for new opportunities. That’s how I ended up in IT.
How did you learn a new specialty?
I learned everything myself. Because I am a switcher who came from the financial sector, I started to study web testing on my own. I started with books, articles, and videos: YouTube channels such as Hillel IT School and StartIT – training center for QA, QALight Training center, Software testing. The basic course book and W3Schools online school were extremely useful.
What do you like in your work?
I like to see the results and understand my personal contribution to them. When I don’t miss a single thing and find a bug, there’s an instant result that both you and the user see. Knowing our users is what I like the most in our project. It’s not some unidentified audience online, but real people who use our product and come back with direct feedback.
What are the advantages of working in IT over another sphere?
First, people working in IT are different: interests and views are a complete set for me. Second, you are always aware of state-of-the-art technology trends, constantly communicate with SMART people, and do not stop learning innovative solutions, either at work or in your personal life.
What qualities should a QA specialist have?
QA should have exhaustive knowledge about the project. In some cases when I’m missing information, one should be able to find answers to all questions asap. In my opinion, QA should not only have hard skills but also soft skills such as perseverance, insight, curiosity, self-organization, and courage. A person who wants to become a tester should not be afraid to learn something new, because it is the curiosity that helps to perform well and evolve as a professional.
You have been with Innovecs for more than 2 years. What do you like most?
Again, I enjoy people! I value my team and the projects, together we create a product that benefits what we are solving for. The projects we have are actually very interesting. This is another major plus here at Innovecs. Some say that QA is a routine and boring job. In my case, it is not true.
Our projects face new tasks, problems, and challenges every time. When testing our product(s), I think of new combinations for testing, constantly keep in mind many processes in parallel, which improves abstract thinking. Every time I have different tasks, I go deeper and learn new functionality, and ways of testing. This is what keeps me on my toes and does not make me bored.