“We need hungry for knowledge and accomplishments” - what is it like to be a tester at Alfa-Bank

    In anticipation of the launch of the new “ Tester ” course , we talked with its authors, specialists from Alfa Bank, about how the testing system was built in their companies and what requirements are presented to candidates, and also asked about the path to the profession and the difficulties in working with it.

    Alexander Dolinsky, head of the testing group at Alfa Bank and author of the program “Tester” in Netology :

    “In Alfa Bank, product development is conducted according to Scrum, so testing is also built on Scrum, that is, the whole team takes part in testing, but each at its own level of expertise in accordance with the testing pyramid.

    Developers write unit tests and component tests, testers write E2E tests, UI tests and integration tests. Due to this, it is possible to keep the optimal balance of time for testing. On web projects, the BDD approach is used in testing; in the mobile area, we use a certain mix of the BDD approach with our own experience. All testers are distributed among Scrum teams, so they spend 80% of their time on team tasks and 20% of their time on technical debts on a project or community tasks through which they pump their skills in automation, CI / CD processes.

    Usually we have several Scrum teams working on a single product, so each direction has a team lead, which oversees the testing process within the product for all teams, and helps to solve the technical and human difficulties that arise ”.

    Who is taken to Alfa Bank

    “Alfa-Bank has been leaders in the reliability and manufacturability of the services provided for many years - therefore, it is imperative that company employees are not indifferent to the processes, try to constantly improve them and improve themselves.

    We need hungry for knowledge and achievements.

    First of all, we look at a person, and only then at his background.
    Certainly a big plus is the availability of technical education, although in general this is not a critical requirement. Cases when people came to our team from a completely different field without experience and the necessary knowledge. They gained serious level of expertise already in the process of completing tasks.

    From soft skills, it is important for us that a person knows how to communicate and correctly express his thoughts (we work in teams), so that he is curious and knows how to ask questions and work with answers. For example, at interviews we give tasks for reasoning about testing a robot that should drive up to a client and pour coffee into a glass. There is no correct answer, but it is interesting to observe how a person tries to test this case.

    A candidate who came only for money, without thematic hobbies and interests, will definitely not be suitable for our testing department. Such a person will not want to develop within the team, but for us it is important.

    Alfa-Bank is a frequent case when a specialist comes to an initial position and after some time develops to a team lead for testing or even switches to development. There are many examples where IT guys become successful Product Owner. We are for everyone to try themselves in different directions and choose for development where they are most comfortable and where they can reach their potential. ”

    Artem Badyshev, Testing Specialist at Alfa Bank,came into the field from geological exploration, for a long time was engaged in the processing and interpretation of seismic data, but he was always interested in IT. They asked Artem about his path to testing and adaptation at Alfa Bank.

    How did I come to testing

    “I have always been interested in information technology. In my profession, I indirectly encountered the need to write any programs or scripts, but the knowledge of the university was enough for this.

    I independently studied JAVA as a base, sometimes I read articles on Habré, but did not focus on any specific direction. I found almost any of them interesting, and it was difficult to choose one thing, take the first step. What if I’m mistaken in my choice? After all, until you find yourself inside the sphere, you will not understand how it is actually arranged. In the learning process, all the materials that I found turned out to be most often superficial. And if I considered the courses, I could not believe that after them I could get a job at least half confident in my competence.

    I never thought about the profession of a tester, I did not find it impressive.
    At Alfa Bank, I was interviewed as an infrastructure manager. I had a general idea of ​​the responsibilities and requirements, so I chose this particular specialty as the entry point to IT. At the interview I was offered to try myself as a tester, describing this position as one of the best for people who want to touch IT.

    I spent some time understanding what the testers really are doing. I wondered whether I would just sit and thoughtlessly press some buttons without any development prospects.

    But in the end I decided to try. I can say that I was very wrong : there was not a day that I was bored or felt that I was in some kind of stagnation. The tasks of the sea. ”

    Difficulties in adapting to a new field

    “It doesn’t happen that you came and everything worked like clockwork. Changing the scope, you need to leave almost all the key skills that you acquired earlier, and open up to new knowledge. For the first two weeks I did not understand what was being discussed at the meetings. Everything that I did not ask right away was recorded, memorized and voiced after meetings.

    On the very first day of work, a mentor was appointed to me, who introduced me to the course of what was happening, patiently showed and told everything that I did not understand. At Alfa Bank, it’s so customary. In addition to the mentor, there is a whole team of testers, each of whom is always ready to help you. If they read this, let them know that I am very grateful to them for their responsiveness and understanding!

    I adapted quickly, but I am still studying, and I probably will never stop, like every one of the people working in testing. Still, the sphere is constantly evolving. "

    Tips for specialists who want to test

    “If you are looking for a real entry point to IT, then this is it - it certainly won’t be boring. Thoughts that “I’ll sit a bit, test, and therefore I will cut applications” disappear with time by themselves.

    If you seriously engage in automation, you will come across a stack of technologies to the fullest, then feel yourself the very cool developer.

    There is always room for creativity, and ideas are only supported by the team.

    I advise you to learn the basics of any object-oriented language and read someone else's code. I consider these skills to be the most important for a person who does not yet create himself, but wants to quickly learn, understanding the results of the work of professionals. ”  

    From the editors

    In Netology, we are launching a new course in the profession “ Tester ”, the program of which was prepared jointly with Alfa-Bank.

    For 5 months of training, we will deal with manual and automatic tests, conduct unit testing of the application, solve more than 40 problems in Java, work with Selenium Webdriver and other testing tools, and Alfa-Bank will invite the best graduates for an interview.

    Also on May 21, we invite you to the open lesson “ Tester: requirements and prospects of work in Alfa-Bank ”, which will be conducted by Alexander Dolinsky, head of the testing group at Alfa-Bank and the author of the course.

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