For the last seven months I have been working in Human Capital Management software. So, payroll, time & attendance, HR, recruitment and other related modules that work together but are sold and priced separately.
My role is QA Engineer. This is the first QA role I’ve had in a 20 year IT career. I think having bounced around in the last few years to different companies has helped me in some ways as I try to use some of the same tactics to get proficient in a new system. It seems it varies for different people based on their background and skill set how long it takes to be proficient at a new software job. For me it’s 4- 6 months before I am at a level where I feel comfortable with my proficiency.
Being in a QA role has been good. First time in 20 years in a job I’ve not coded a thing. It’s been good to look at the system from a primarily “does it work OK” point of view. It’s been a good way to learn the system as different from development, it’s more broad-based thinking and not as deep/technically. I don’t concern myself with the inner workings of the software and just focus on can the user get what they need from the software and then I move onto the next issue. We used Visual Studio Team Foundation Server to track software issues.
They have structured software releases so as a team of 3 we test the release and OK it for release to clients.
The company internal processes are I think the best I’ve seen anywhere and the tools used to work with our software are crazy good. I’m kind of amazed at some of what I’ve seen as far as tools and processes that support our software. It’s a very efficient operation. It’s a 30 person company.
It’s been good being able to stay in Calgary as my sister and her two kids are here and this job is close to my new condo in the Southwest. I am close to Glenmore Landing. Stephen Harper is my Federal MP here. It seems like an affluent jurisdiction but my particular neighborhood is not in that category. Someone was murdered across the street in the pub about 2 years ago so I would not say it’s a top class neighborhood but I love being the Southwest. For the first 7 years I lived in Calgary I was in the northwest (the city is divided and referred to but the 4 quadrants) but I’m crazy about the SW and my area.