Meet our Magenta squad: Aaron De Coster, Test Consultant
February 27, 2023
You don’t necessarily need to have prior experience in IT to begin a career as a Test Consultant. You can also learn on the job, and Aaron is the perfect example of that! After his studies in Communications Management, he started working in the IT sector, and he hasn’t regretted that for a second.
Curious about his story? Then be sure to read on!
Hi Aaron. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. From communications to IT, that sounds exciting. Tell us all about that! 😊
With great pleasure! After studying Communications Management, which I still have fond memories of, I started working for a market research firm. That’s when I realized that my career aspirations lay elsewhere. The field of IT sparked my interest, leading me to start working at the Technical Helpdesk of a telecom operator. Although I enjoyed the work itself, I missed the interaction with other colleagues. It was a very large company, with little room for personal contacts. As a result, after a year, I started exploring other options.
And that’s how you ended up at Itineris.
That’s right. I came across the Test Consultant vacancy through an IT recruitment agency. What stood out to me, was the comprehensive onboarding program that Itineris offered, including training to become a Test Consultant. Additionally, the prospect of becoming a permanent employee after a year of working with the company was very appealing to me, so I decided to go for it.
Were there any other factors that made you take the leap?
Yes, even though Itineris is no longer a small company with more than 450 employees, the work environment remains cozy and familiar. I also liked the job content: ensuring that our UMAX software solutions are delivered with high quality and meet the needs and expectations of our customers. That’s something I wanted to sink my teeth into!
Can you tell us a little more about what exactly you do at Itineris?
Of course! I work on the QVCS team.
QVCS stands for Quality validation and certification services. We provide advice and best practices for automated and manual testing and participate in Microsoft’s release validation and curation programs. I help monitor the automation side and give advice related to launching new service packs and platform updates. And I must say, I like that a lot. I have a varied job allowing me to experience different aspects of the software, which captivates and challenges me.
What does your day typically look like?
Within our team, I mainly work for Itineris’ North American customers. We oversee about 2,400 automated tests that evaluate different areas of the software, such as the process of creating invoices or adding addresses. These tests run overnight and the first thing I do in the morning is checking the results to ensure that everything is functioning as it should. Sometimes issues may arise when new functionality was added, for example. Our tests enable us to take swift action if needed.
My afternoon schedule varies from day to day: for example, certain bugs may arise for which we do not have tests yet. In such cases, I create the necessary tests and pass them along to my team to implement. When a new service pack or platform update is released, my full attention is focused on assessing its quality.
Do you work closely with other colleagues?
Yes, teamwork is really important here. We are with 3 colleagues in the QVCS team, and we also work closely with the R&D, Release & Deploy and Microsoft Platform support teams. I find it a very enriching experience to work with different teams.
Great to hear that! Were you well supported during your first months here?
Yes, absolutely! When I started, my Manager Eva scheduled a meeting every 2 weeks to find out how I was doing, and if I had any questions or concerns. All my other colleagues were also very approachable. The standard is high at Itineris, but I don’t mind that as long as I get clear direction and expectations, and that is certainly the case here. The company has a strong culture of giving and receiving feedback, which is great.
Speaking of culture. How do you experience the overall atmosphere at Itineris?
During the day, it can be quite hectic and busy. But during the lunch breaks and after hours, a lot of activities are organized to unwind. For example, in September there was a color obstacle run for all Itineris employees, which was also an ideal way for me to get to know everyone. Also within our team we have gone bowling before, we joined an Escape Room activity, … I really like that.
Is there a particular event that has especially stuck with you so far?
What I particularly appreciated was the opportunity to test new features on a customer project after only a few months with the company. This demonstrated the level of trust that the company places in its employees, which gave me a lot of pleasure.
Very happy to hear that! To conclude, do you have any particular tips for school leavers, who are looking for their first job?
My advice would be: don’t be afraid to jump. Look at me: I have a communications background and ended up in IT. If something seems interesting to you, don’t hesitate to apply. If in the end it turns out you’re not happy, you can always go in a different direction. Don’t let a degree stop you from doing something else. If you can show that you have a certain level of business understanding and you have the right attitude, many companies will be happy to welcome you.
Thank you so much for the conversation Aaron!
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