From a lawyer to a tester in Yandex. The history of my internship

    Hello! My name is Kristina lapkina Kocherina, I am a tester in Yandex.Market. Six months ago, I had the status of a lawyer and a lot of legal practice, I spent evenings in jail. But at some point I decided that it was time to do what brings pleasure, not just money. And she radically changed her profession.

    Today I will tell Habr’s readers about how I became a tester, and also share some tips that will help you get an internship. And, perhaps, I’ll break the stereotype that testing is an easy way to “get into IT”.

    Thinking of changing my profession, I began to recall what I liked to do when I had not yet become a lawyer? My memories led me to school, where I exchanged sacred knowledge with my classmates on floppies and disks from the Hacker magazine. It became interesting what happened to IT over these 10 years, climbed for information on Habr, then got on DjangoGirls. So I found out about the profession of a tester. As in the legal profession, in this area you need to be able to carefully examine the problem area and look for “bugs” in it.

    I had a little knowledge. I randomly, but very eagerly searched for any information about this profession, read blogs, books, entered a testing course, where I was able to organize this knowledge. At the same time, I fit into crowdsourcing testing of one game project in order to put knowledge into practice for the first time.


    In November 2018, I came across an announcement about the recruitment of candidates for the intensive "I'm testing Yandex." To get on it, it was necessary to perform a test task - in different versions, compare the search results of Yandex and Google and fill out a questionnaire, telling about your background and interests. Those who successfully pass intensively were promised to be considered as candidates for internships. The requirements were quite simple: mindfulness and knowledge of the book “Testing Dot Com” by Roman Savin.

    Savin was read long ago, I was not deprived of attentiveness, so I sent the assignment and began to wait for the verdict. On the appointed day I did not receive a letter stating that they had taken me. Well, then, I thought. “This is Yandex, and I'm just a beginner tester with no projects behind me, I’ll try another time.” But on the eve of the most intense, they contacted me and suggested that I nevertheless come to the event. It seems that at that moment I pulled out a happy ticket.

    Before the intensive, I was added to the chat, where the participants got to know each other. The contingent, I tell you, was such that I was a little dumbfounded: ITMO students, HSE, St. Petersburg State University, programmers, admins. Among all these cool techies was me.

    The intensity itself was quite active: it was three days of lectures, interspersed with bagaton. The lectures were exciting, but at that moment I was just finishing the testing courses, so most of the topics I already knew. This helped me not only to listen and remember, but also to participate in the discussion. Perhaps because of this, already in December I was offered an interview for an internship.

    I admit, I felt a little awkward and felt some distrust from the interviewers, because we were from completely different worlds, but it seems that my burning eyes convinced them. I’ll tell you a little more about the interviews themselves below.


    Workdays began. Each trainee had his own intro-plan, the tasks in which became more complicated as one plunged into the project. I will not hide, it was difficult for me. Especially at first. Of course, I knew what Git was, how to use the console and other things, but it was pretty hard for me to understand the nuances. Sometimes I felt very stupid. My mentor helped me with this. We held regular meetings at which I could ask any question. A mentor in Yandex is not an internship manager, but a completely different role. As I found out later, mentors specifically undergo internal training in order to help interns.

    It turned out that testing is not just verifying the state of a product with what is written in the spec. It’s not about “pushing buttons and breaking everything”. Testing is about thoughtful and consistent study of a product, search for missing information, close interaction with developers.

    We were not used for “bring-bring” tasks, but were put on an equal footing with “adults”: interns tested real releases and experiments. The excuse “I'm just an intern” did not work here. Do not know something? Find a source of information and help you. For example, at the initiative of testers, an internal intensive was conducted to develop javascript and write autotests. Opportunities to learn something new were literally at arm's length. The main thing is not to be afraid to learn.

    My internship began in the project of the internal, corporate messenger Yandex. Slowly, I plunged into the project, studied the internal kitchen, got acquainted with the developers and managers. It seemed that there was still a lot of time before the end of the internship and that it would not be difficult to prove oneself in this project. But exactly one and a half months later I was transferred to a new project - to Yandex.Connect. Now I consider this decision the best for my entire internship. This mobilized me, forced me to pack up and prove myself in a short time. My new team did not have a single person from St. Petersburg, so it was more difficult (you won’t ask for advice here and now), but it taught me how to work in a distributed team. Then in the project autotesting was just beginning, so even my modest experience in testing the messenger was useful.

    During the internship, I realized that sometimes soft skills help to get out where there are not enough hard skills. Independence is important - do not expect that they will come and chew on you, come yourself, no one will refuse you. Curiosity is important - half of all knowledge is in the company's internal wiki, you can find it if you look. It is important to be able to ask questions.

    I think passing an exam for the international certificate ISTQB also helped me successfully complete the internship. No matter how controversial this system may be, exam preparation organizes knowledge.

    Job interview

    By the end of the internship, the question arose of employment. In total, prior to employment in the state, I passed 10 interviews (including those that took place before the internship), most of which were with the technical part. Tasks can be about a pencil, and more complicated, requiring a deep understanding of development technologies. Another 3 interviews were managerial - here they checked the understanding of the processes and ability to navigate in difficult situations, found out whether you are suitable for the team and whether the team is suitable for you (in my case, representatives of three different teams talked to me).

    I’ll tell you a little “secret” information about the interviews for the tester. To pass them, it is advisable to know and understand the client-server interaction, requests and response codes, the difference between them. Interviewers may ask about networks, browser differences and simple algorithms, test artifacts and the testing process, sometimes ask questions about programming languages, if you say that you know a little about that.

    Useful materials

    And one more thing. There is no such book, after reading which you will immediately be taken into testers. Read classic books on testing (some of which I cited below), but do not forget about forums and conferences, communicate with more experienced specialists. It’s also helpful to go for interviews , even if you have no plans to change jobs here and now. It is easy to see gaps in their knowledge on them and take them into account in the future. In general, look for any ways to constantly evolve.

    • "Software Testing" (Svyatoslav Kulikov)
    • The Art of Software Testing (Glenford Myers)
    • Software Testing (Sam Kaner)
    • “Testing Dot Com, or the Handbook for the Abuse of Bugs in Internet Startups” (Roman Savin)

    You may know other useful sources of knowledge for testers. Share them in the comments. Thanks!

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