Welcome to another edition of IntelePeer’s Tech Tuesday series. This week Andrea Montgomery, a Quality Assurance Engineer, walks us through her inspiring entry into the tech industry and how confidence got her to where she is today.
1. What first got you interested in working in technology?
I stumbled into the tech industry at my previous place of employment as a call center agent. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for me, so I started to look inside the company to see what other positions they had available.
I saw a position posted with an opening for Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst, and it looked remarkably interesting. I took a leap of faith and applied. I didn’t have an ounce of IT background. I only met one of the “required criteria” that they were looking for and feared computers, but the risk was worth it.
During the interview, the hiring manager tested me to see how my mind worked in a critical and logical way. I was still unclear about the role and scared, but the hiring manager saw something in me and took a chance on this little medical-loving girl.
I got the job offer and accepted. I’ve now been in IT as a QA Analyst and Engineer for three years and don’t regret it one bit. Now, I am great with manual testing and getting my hands dirty with automation.
2. What AI, automation, or machine learning capabilities are you most looking forward to?
I am working with the Leapwork tool to automate our regression test cases. Using this tool is like playing at work but getting paid for it as well. It can be frustrating at times, but it’s extremely rewarding when the test is complete and automation runs flawlessly.
3. What was the most challenging aspect of your career and how did you overcome it?
It is dependent on many factors and areas of a QA employee. In my career, we need a lot of information and if we do not have it all, we must reach out to whomever may be responsible for the requirements. We ask them the correct questions and try to understand what we should expect from the task that was assigned.
We must always think as a user and break things before someone finds a bug. Asking the right questions and critical thinking is key to overcoming the bumps in the road.
4. Any advice for women who want to break into the tech industry?
I would say that confidence is key. If you want to get into the tech world, just take a step, keep running, and learn new things. YouTube is great to see what careers are like in the tech world.
You can take many courses – even for free to start with. You can study for QA certifications to prove your competence. I can say, as a woman with multi-tasking skills, that most of us do what we can to excel in the tech world, but confidence is the key.
5. What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting in the workforce?
Do what you love and love what you do. Be confident in what you know and ask questions about what you don’t.
Bonus: What podcast are you currently listening to?
Rocket is a podcast I listen to. It is a bunch of women in the tech world that are funny and talk about a lot of common things that happen in the tech world.
iPhone or Android?
Sitting or standing desk?
Lunch inside or outside the office?
Email or IM?