Meet Blaise Wielk, a CodeClan graduate. Blaise studied on the 16-week Professional Software Development course and now works at FanDuel.
In this interview, Blaise shares his experience as a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer, the skills he applies to his role and his advice to fellow CodeClan graduates.
If you’re considering a career in QA or you’re curious about where a CodeClan qualification can lead you, this post is for you.
Tell us about your role – what are your responsibilities?
“My day is usually quite hectic! It involves a lot of hands-on work. I primarily support development teams with testing – identifying what to test and explaining how to test it.
“I also work closely with engineers to navigate areas of risk. We focus on identifying potential unknowns and developing strategies to define testing processes.
“Day-to-day, I work with roughly five teams on automated and manual testing. Right now, I’m working on ways to involve QA in the early stages of development. We are trying to make QA a cross-team discipline rather than a final product stage process.”
How did you get into your role? What skills and experience did you need?
“Before I studied on the CodeClan Software Development course, I worked in hospitality and retail. I have a fine arts degree and initially intended to work in the fashion industry. I consider myself a creative person – and while that’s still true, I also enjoy technical challenges.
“Since I graduated from CodeClan, I’ve worked at three companies, and my experience has been quite different in each one.
“I initially worked as a UX designer with Registers of Scotland, but I soon realised I didn’t have the right skill set or patience to excel in that role. For me, something either works or it doesn’t – I don’t enjoy grey areas. However, the experience was good, and it helped me understand my research and technical capabilities.
“I then worked with a tech company in Germany for 10 months – CodeClan’s qualifications are recognised in other countries, which makes it easier to secure international opportunities.
“After that, I wanted to return to Scotland, so I applied to FanDuel. I’m enjoying my work, and my work experience and studies have helped me to deliver in this role.”
What’s the most challenging part about your role?
“It’s the level of complexity and unknowns that I have to work with. It’s actually a part of the role that I enjoy, but it also presents a lot of uncertainty.
“It’s also easy to feel imposter syndrome – sometimes you think to yourself, “I should already know this” when encountering something new. But I’ve learned that no one knows everything about development and testing, and the most important thing is to be open to continuous learning.”
What advice would you give to others looking at starting a similar career?
“I would say in the early stages of your career, it’s best not to settle on one path. Instead, I would recommend diversifying your career and trying a few different things when you’re starting out.
“Many companies let you explore different roles and skillsets – even unofficially – so it’s worth making the most of those opportunities.
“Additionally, speak up, ask questions, give people a polite nudge from time to time to see if they have any opportunities available to you – it will all help you to grow and find your way.”
How did studying with CodeClan impact your career path?
“It definitely had a big impact on my career. The experience was a rollercoaster ride – it was an intensive course that was fast-paced, sometimes tricky, but always interesting.
“The curriculum and instructors were amazing, and the students on the course were all supportive of each other – I still have some good friends from my time on the course.
“Studying on the course was not the easy option – I had to focus completely and dedicate myself to learning. But the results in terms of career have been well worth it.”
Our 16-week Professional Software Development course is designed to help people with previous work experience transition to a new tech career.
Considering a career in tech? Explore the Professional Software Development course.