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Anna, She Codes

Getting started in a career in tech can be daunting! We recently sat down with Anna McBrier, a Test Analyst at Cash Converters to hear her experiences getting into tech, and her advice for those who are new to the industry.

So, Anna – How did you get started in the tech industry?

“I initially graduated with a degree in Computer Science in 2002 but did not start my tech career until I came to Australia. My husband who works as a Business Analyst influenced me to get into IT. Having prior experience in Quality Control gained from working as a Typesetter/Proof Reader, I decided to pursue a career in Software testing. I became an ISTQB certified tester (foundation level) and my first tech job was working as a software tester in a Telecommunication Bill Consolidation company.”

Have there been barriers or challenges for you? If so, what were they?

“I initially found it difficult to break into the tech industry as a software tester. Certification alone is not enough to get you into the industry. I found persistence beat resistance and after continually applying for jobs over a period of six months, I finally managed to land a position.”

Tell us about the role you do now – what does a day in the life look like?

“I’m a Test Analyst at Cash Converters. A typical day for me would be to attend daily stand ups with the team to report on progress and blockers. Write test plans and test cases. Execute tests, document results then discuss the results with the team. Have a quick break by walking to the kitchen area to prepare tea and enjoy it looking out to King’s Park and Swan River. Prepare and present UAT to stakeholders. Smoke testing in the Staging environment. Happy days!”

What do you like about the tech sector?

“It is very challenging but at the same time very rewarding. It is very inspiring to work with creative people and become part of the team that solves complex problems. At times there is a feeling of being overwhelmed with multiple issues but I have learned to tackle one issue at a time and it has become much simpler. I am very fortunate to work with supportive colleagues at Cashies. We all work on different systems which comes with different moving parts, and it is never boring. I may work on a ticket for the personal finance system today and work on the auto finance system tomorrow. In Cashies, it is all about teamwork and getting things done.”

Do you have a particular career highlight?

“I worked on a redraw feature on our new product, LOC where we wanted a user-friendly way of accessing the feature. The testing of the feature involved the end-to-end flow and verification that the functionality was correct and easy to use. I researched the functionality and business requirements. From this, I created a comprehensive test plan which uncovered a number of bugs. Together with the development team, we provided solutions to the issues. After final testing and UAT, the business was happy with the end result and the feature was successfully implemented to production.”

Thanks for sharing so much with us today Anna! To finish up – what is your advice for women new to the tech industry?

“The best piece of advice I can give is not to give up. It seems difficult to get in but once you are there, you end up with a career that is really rewarding. If you think you have no experience, you are wrong. Everyday you use software so you probably have more technical experience than you think.”

Those are some super inspiring words from Anna, a sentiment we echo!

Cash Converters have been partnering with She Codes Australia for 3 Plus programs now – we love to have them onboard, sharing stories of women in their organisation, and building up a future talent pipeline. If you’re looking to increase the technical talent in Australia, just like Cash Converters, download our partnership package here, and explore our available options.

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