Consultant blog: “Continuous testing is a win-win for every organisation,” says Simran Samra, Sparta Global consultant at Ministry of Justice

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From my time at the Sparta Academy being exposed to so many different skills, developing an Agile mind set and having practical training, I was able to hit the ground running at The Ministry of Justice.

Simran Samra is a Spartan consultant at The Ministry of Justice in London. After years spent helping older relatives with technology questions and issues, Simran achieved a degree in ICT from Birmingham City University and has recently completed Sparta Global’s BA graduate programme. We caught up with Simran to talk about her new role at The Ministry of Justice, what she has achieved as part of its testing team and how Sparta Global’s training equipped her with the practical skills for on-site work...

Have you always been fascinated by IT and technology?

IT really hooked me during my A-levels - it was the first time I had been given the opportunity to study it as a subject. Being one of the younger people in my family, my parents were always coming to me and asking for help to fix their computers or find things online and I liked having all the answers. I have always enjoyed learning new skills and being able to teach these to other people is a big bonus. This is why I chose to go on to study ICT at Birmingham City University and then joined the Birmingham Sparta Academy.

Tell us a little bit more about your time at the Sparta Academy…

I joined the Sparta Academy only two months after university. I came across Sparta Global online, decided to apply and eight weeks later I was on the course.

Coming straight from university, I quickly settled back into learning and felt very comfortable. While the course is quite intense – taking place over a number of weeks - it has so many benefits. The training itself is very focussed and the course groups are nice and small. There is always opportunity for extra help and the trainers are brilliant, offering weekly one-to-one meetings. These meetings helped me to work on myself as well as the course’s skills. 

What is your role at The Ministry of Justice?

I graduated in August 2017 and have been with The Ministry of Justice since October. I am working as a manual testing consultant, primarily helping to improve the functionality of the department’s website.

Testing the website is a big project for The Ministry of Justice because they want the site to consistently deliver for page visitors. By continuously testing the site’s accessibility - looking at all functions - I am making sure the applications work in every eventuality and for every user type. I am also testing the website for usability amongst disabled audiences.  For example, if a visitor is visually impaired, I need to test how easy the site will be to navigate. As a source of government information, it is crucial that nobody is excluded.

Continuous testing is a win-win for organisations - an error-free website will benefit them and their customers.

How has your training at the Sparta Academy influenced your work at The Ministry of Justice?

In addition to learning practical business and testing skills, I also learned a lot about Agile. The Ministry of Justice already champions a lot of Agile processes and it is so easy to see how much it helps within an IT team. If I find a bug and need to get it fixed, I can approach the developers right away and they can fix it far quicker than if it is logged in an online system.  

Being exposed to different skills at the Sparta Academy and being encouraged to develop an Agile mind set, has allowed me to hit the ground running at The Ministry of Justice. Six months in and I am already mentoring a new person joining the testing team, teaching them about the different processes we use and the department’s agile culture.

A lot of people struggle to understand the amount of work that goes into building a functional website, but I am really enjoying being busy, continually learning and growing my testing expertise.