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From Furlough to Software Testing Apprenticeship in Just a Few Months | Case Study

4 mins read time

By Crispin Read

At the end of March, over 100 talented participants graduated from our West Yorkshire Digital Skills Bootcamps, having spent 12 weeks training in areas like UX, web development, and software testing.

And we’re now thrilled to announce that the first of those grads, Ben Palmer, has already been selected for a software testing apprenticeship with Ascensor.

Ascensor is a digital marketing agency based in Leeds. They've been providing innovative web design and online advertising services for more than 10 years. Needless to say then, with such an impressive track record, Ascensor has a very successful team already in place, so we’re incredibly proud of Ben for this achievement!

We had a chat with Ben to learn more about his journey, from being put on furlough during lockdown to being chosen for an exciting software testing apprenticeship at a leading agency. Here’s what he had to say:

Have you always been interested in IT, or was this a new area of learning for you?

Ben said: “I have always been interested in IT, but it wasn’t until I was furloughed from my previous job that I started considering it as a career option.

I was working in the events sector, and all my work was put on hold due to the COVID-19 lockdowns throughout 2020 and going into 2021, so I had to find something else to do.

I quickly found, from some online research, that there was so much out there to learn in the tech sector, which really excited me!”

What made you decide to take this training course in software testing with The Coders Guild?

“I stumbled upon software testing while learning to do some basic coding, and found myself more and more interested in this vital part of software development. It was great to debunk my initial thoughts that testing was just a case of playing with a product until you break it!

Anyway, I saw a post on social media as part of a campaign shared by Leeds City Council, about these free bootcamps, so it was great timing for me to take advantage of that opportunity.”

How would you describe the experience of learning software testing with The Coders Guild?

“It has been a wonderful experience learning with The Coders Guild, with a great group of people and tutors who have been extremely supportive throughout the whole process.

The amount of content covered in just two months was amazing, and I’ve learnt so much, especially taking fundamental testing knowledge and learning to apply it.

One favourite example for me personally is the use of heuristics and mnemonics when doing exploratory testing.

Even though the course has now finished, I’m really looking forward to keeping in contact with The Coders Guild community and learning more in the future!”

Would you recommend training courses with The Coders Guild to other people in future?

“100% yes. You learn so much, not just about the course topic but also about industry-standard tools and programs, and you won’t meet a friendlier group of people!”

Could you tell us a bit about the process you went through to be selected to join Ascensor as an apprentice?

“The application process for my apprenticeship was fairly simple. I completed the application form, answering a few questions about why I was interested and any current training, so it was helpful to mention the digital skills bootcamp.

This was followed by a task to complete before being selected for an interview the next week. The task alone was great, as it gave me a practical opportunity to demonstrate the skills I’d been developing on the course.

Now I’m excited to get started and put everything I’ve learned into practice in a working environment.”

What do you hope to achieve with your software testing career in future?

“I am hoping to continue in the world of testing, and am looking forward to developing my set of testing skills.

Leading on from some of the latter sessions in the bootcamp, I’m also very excited to continue looking into automated testing, and how this may shape my career in the future.

The Coders Guild bootcamp has provided me with the starting points to learn so much, as well as the direction needed to continue with my study.”

On behalf of the whole team here at The Coders Guild, we have no doubt Ben will go from strength-to-strength in his new role. Like so many of our recent grads, his positive attitude and eagerness to learn will help him progress quickly in his new tech career.

We were also fortunate enough to catch up with Rob Dunn, Production Manager at Ascensor, who recruited Ben to join as their new apprentice.

What was it about Ben that made him stand out from the other candidates you were assessing?

Rob said: “All the candidates that The Coders Guild introduced to us were of a high quality, so I knew from the outset we’d be hiring one of them. In my experience, developers with a background in testing output a higher quality of code as they understand what their code will be assessed against.

Ben particularly stood out as his focus of study had specific examples of testing as well as development. On the assessment test he’d ranked highly and had clearly put some of the things he’d learnt on his course in place. We also had a conversation about accessibility, something I’m passionate about that often gets neglected, which made him stand out even more."

What are your expectations for Ben as a software testing apprentice?

"Following his recent training with The Coders Guild, we were really impressed with Ben's skill-set, and we're very confident he's going to make a positive impact as the latest member of the Ascensor team."

Do you have any final thoughts to share for other businesses considering apprentices right now?

"Just that we’re really pleased with our decision. The service we received through the recruitment process, the value of the candidates, and the ongoing commitment from Fiona and The Coders Guild team have all been fantastic."

If you’re a business currently looking to hire promising, expertly-trained talent like this, and want to learn more about our current apprenticeship opportunities, please click here.

If you’d like to apply for a similar digital skills training course as a learner, you can register your interest here.

Finally, you can check out Ascensor and all the great work they’re doing here!

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