Coming out of University as a new graduate can be a daunting experience. Deciding which career path to take is one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make, particularly when you are unsure whether anything that you have learnt throughout your time at university can be applied to your career.

Sogeti offers a graduate opportunity which focuses more on the ability of the individual rather than their background. On my intake there were graduates from an IT background, such as myself (my degree is in Information Systems with Business Management), but also individuals that had no previous IT exposure or experience, and had completed degrees in non-technical subjects such as Psychology or Drama.

The Training:

The training Sogeti offered us in our first few weeks not only gave us a fantastic initial insight into testing and the theory behind it, but also allowed us to develop our interpersonal skills, such as communication and time management. This was fundamental for our imminent work on client sites.

Our first two weeks were spent in the Training room with a highly experienced trainer. From day one we were given new skills to add to our CV – starting with studying for our industry-recognised ISEB/ISTQB Foundation Certificates in Software Testing, and then working in groups on a number of Practical Test Analysis activities.

Alongside their testing and non-testing services, Sogeti also offer a wide range of training courses to suit any skill level. Employees are encouraged to take these courses to enhance their CV and proficiencies in all areas of testing and quality assurance. As part of our graduate training alone we all achieved certifications in TMap (Sogeti’s Test Management methodology), HP Quality Centre and Practical Test Analysis, on top of the ISEB/ISTQB Foundation I mentioned.

Following the completion of our initial training, we all spent two weeks on client sites, which gave us first-hand experience of how projects are run, what to expect when starting on a project and a flavour of general team dynamics.

My time was spent at a well-known UK Telecommunications company, working as part of the core Sogeti team there. I experienced the team taking on small chunks of work and saw them working through a few different projects for short time periods. During my time on client site I was mainly responsible for looking at documentation around the projects, and also had some good exposure to the testing tools being used.

After our time away, all of the graduates returned to the Sogeti head office in London for our final two weeks of training. Besides continuing with more test analysis activities, we were also all asked to make two presentations – one on our experiences on client site, and another on a random topic of our choice. The latter was designed to see how well we could hold the attention of the group and keep them interested in the topic. With previous experience in the security industry and a keen interest in self-defence, my presentation centred on a combination of the two, where I shared my experiences and offered advice on different self-defence techniques.

I felt our training set us up very well for moving away from head office onto client projects – not only technically, but also in our softer interpersonal skills.

Moving on to projects:

Below is a snapshot of some of the project experience I have gained over my first 12 months at Sogeti. As you will see, my experience has been extremely varied, and overall I have really enjoyed the work that I have done so far:

Project 1

This project was mostly focused on an upgrade of ERP from Oracle 11.5.9 to 11.5.10, but also included testing of a business specific functionality, SCM-HUB. SCM-HUB is an online portal designed to store and retrieve data that is useful to the business e.g. stock levels and quota allocated.

Team Dynamics:
My experience on this project was mostly pleasant, and the team was extremely helpful when I first started, helping me to settle and get a grasp of what needed to be done. The management were always there to help and assist with queries, as were other members of the team, which is reassuring for a novice on any project.

The few obstacles that I did experience on this project were all external. As time progressed, it emerged that hurdles arose because of disagreements within the team. Third parties occasionally disagreed on project aims and processes, and the development team would sometimes dispute defects; passing them back to the testing team with comments such as “No Fix Necessary.”

Another key issue we experienced was with the availability of third party systems, which affected when testing could be conducted. During the UAT phase, colleagues realised that there was not enough time allocated for testing.

These kinds of external obstacles can be expected on any project, due to the variety of people involved, all with different opinions. Experiencing them on my first project was useful as it gave me insight into how they can be resolved.

Management proposed a few solutions to these obstacles, one of which was longer working hours and weekend working. When this was put in place, the extra work was greatly appreciated by the business team and did aid in us reaching our goals.

Project 2:

More recently I was assigned a project for a large railway operator, and I am mostly focussed on testing their website and the organisation’s booking process. So far I am enjoying the work here, too, and look forward to the future projects I work on during my time with Sogeti.

For any new graduates searching for their first job, and in fact anyone looking for a testing role, I would really recommend joining Sogeti.

Unlike some of my friends in other organisations, I was given comprehensive training and provided with a clear idea of what to expect on projects. Sogeti also have a number of renowned clients across a wide range of industries, which helps to keep work varied, and also means Sogeti consultants are skilled in a number of areas.

To search Sogeti’s current vacancies, please click here.

Ashir Iqbal AUTHOR:
Ashir joined Sogeti through our graduate intake in 2012. He has since completed a number of certifications and has worked on two of our highest profile accounts.

Posted in: Human Resources, Oracle, Software testing, Sogeti graduate recruitment, Working in software testing      
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