Sourcery Academy for Testers: Ieva Berankienė



Meet Ieva, an alumnus of the Academy for Testers.

My work's not monotonous.

- Ieva Berankienė, Senior Test Engineer at Devbridge

Ieva Berankienė is a senior testing engineer working for the U.S. programming services company Devbridge for four years. She once considered going down the path of music. Somewhat unexpectedly, she turned to the field of IT testing and has not regretted it since. Today, Ieva has an interesting job, visits colleagues in Chicago, and travels to work with clients in Las Vegas. She constantly improves her work and shares her personal story, which has led to a turning point in her professional path.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in music technology, how did you decide to turn to IT?

While still at school, I was one way or the other connected to music. I went to music school, played the violin, and learned to play the flute a bit. Naturally, I chose to focus on Music Technology studies. While studying at university, I played in the Kaunas University of Technology ensemble called "Nemunas." However, after my studies, I put all the instruments away.

At university, I saw what the music production scene was like up close and I realized I wouldn't be there long. Perhaps almost on purpose, there were people in my circle of friends who were studying or working in IT at the time. When we met up with friends, we never stopped talking about jobs. We would talk about who was doing what and how is she or she going to do their job. I learned more and more about the IT sector.

Since I did well in science at school, I decided to try my hand at IT. Thus, after the first year of my degree course, I started to purposefully choose modules related to IT studies. I did this to accumulate the study credits required for a master's degree in Information Systems. At the end of the first year of my master's, I started looking for a job related to testing. After a short search, I got a job in a small company where I started working as a tester.

You are an alumnus of the first Sourcery Academy for Testers. Although you already attained a master's degree in IT, you decided to continue studying testing.

After working for almost one company and completing the master's degree, a colleague told me about an academy for testers that was going to start at Devbridge. Wanting to gain even more knowledge in this area, I filled out a form and applied. After several rounds of selection, I was invited to study at the first Sourcery for Testers.

Sourcery Academy was probably the stage of my professional life from which I was able to develop most as a tester and acquire the knowledge I needed to apply to real-life projects. Maybe my personal qualities—to constantly learn something, to do something—pushed me to want to continue my studies in the field of testing, to gain knowledge, and to move onward and upward. As far back as I can remember, I was always doing something to continue learning, whether as a child, at school, or after school.

Even now, although testing work seems to be the same, every project, both its tasks or responsibilities, implies something new or pushes me to find different solutions. When thinking of my interest in the Sourcery Academy, I wanted not only to test myself but also gain new knowledge and experience. Looking back at the first academy, it was different, I would say, simpler than it is now. Every year the Academy is growing and improving rapidly, changing both in terms of organization and content.

You successfully graduated from the Academy for Testers and were invited to join the Devbridge team, where you have been working for almost four years. What is the most interesting part of your daily work?

I am currently working on one interesting project, creating a personnel management system. Our client will use it for selecting new employees, as well as for a more effective review of the employee's activities, growth, improvement, and goal setting. The project employs a large international team of seven programmers and two testers, while a business analyst, project managers, and a designer are also actively involved. Like all Devbridge projects, this presents its own challenges, but it's fun to work on because the project area itself is interesting. I believe in the system we are developing, and I'm certain that it will help the client to work more efficiently and create a lot of direct benefits.

Working directly with the client facilitates contact with the team that I think is very important. We deliver our work and see how the client reacts to it. That response and evaluation show that our work is valuable and isn't some laboratory project just collecting dust on the desk. We create a product that people will use and in which they see long-term value, as they believe it will help them in their everyday work and processes. Then you see that your efforts and work are appreciated, and furthermore how everyone is happy with the process and the result.

You started working at Devbridge as a junior tester, rapidly moved up the career ladder, and are currently a senior testing engineer. Is there no shortage of challenges at work? And are you still discovering opportunities for improvement in testing?

As for testing in the project that I'm currently working on, we have both manual and automated testing work. Working according to the Agile methodology, we plan work at two-week intervals, which have their start and end. Thus, the composition of the work is different during each interval, and we also exchange responsibilities amongst ourselves.

If during one project interval one person writes automatic tests, during the next interval, another writes the tests. Of course, it depends on the project as a whole and the workload. You never know how the work will be organized for a new phase. You actually don't even fully know what the next week or even day will be like. It's interesting, and there really is no monotony. Every day brings new challenges and opportunities.

There probably has been a year when I didn't have to contribute to organizing the Sourcery Academy either. I used to mentor student groups. Now, I actively help organize the selection stage and prepare assignments. I am glad that I can also improve by helping to organize the Academy and nurturing young professionals.

What would you say to a person who might now be considering choosing the field of testing or pursuing a career in the IT sector?

The Sourcery Academy was a great step forward for me. I got the opportunity not only to study but also to join the company and apply the newly acquired knowledge to interesting projects. I think such academies are very much indispensable as they provide a great opportunity to test yourself in an interesting area, and allow you to get a closer look at the whole sector to determine whether or not it might be a nice field to work in. Because testing is an area that I think is under-taught at the high school level, the Academy is a great way to not only get to know the field but also deepen knowledge, accumulate a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge, consult with professionals in their field, all the while receiving all the help and advice you need.

About the Sourcery Academy for Testers

Sourcery for Testers is a free two-month academy held once a year during the summer. It's designed for beginners who want to develop their competencies in software testing. A group of 40 participants from Kaunas and Vilnius will participate in the course that this year will be online. During the online lectures and individual and group tasks, the Academy participants will acquire the basics of testing, learn the peculiarities of the formation of an Agile testing team and the basics of test automation, and review functional and non-functional testing. Students will work on real projects, attend lectures, and improve their current skills. They will be assisted by professionals working for the company: mentors and lecturers. Anyone wishing to try out the technologies used for testing at Devbridge and take the opportunity to consult with a group of top-level tester lecturers and mentors is invited to register by 17 May EOB.

More information about the Sourcery for Testers Academy can be found here.

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