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AJ WIlson

Quality Assurance Engineer - Software Tester, ASOS 

 

And - trained midwife

Remind yourself that any career choice is not forever - fail fast - you have the power to change and grow when you want to.

What do you do?

We are encouraged to own the testing for the platform. One day it can be working on a Fashion Discovery voting mechanism for up and coming talent, the next it would be a new content API or a front end game for students.  QAs are also a champion of quality, we help drive the software testing culture in the teams, getting everyone to think of the customer focus. 

Why did you choose this field?

"All skills can be transferred in some way."

Cheesy line alert but it kind of chose me. Many of the key steps in my career have involved doing things that terrified me.  I got into tech when I worked in customer service, then because I was fed up of the bad customer experience and being fobbed off by the support team, I started investigating for myself why things were going wrong with a technical service.  It all started there.

 

I actually trained to be a Midwife so understanding the social aspect of experience, along with the psychology has really helped me over the years. Especially with the patience part.  Just proves that all skills can be transferred in some way.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

"I was the only woman in that section in the UK."

When I got to work at Nintendo testing the Wii Fit and new Mario Kart.  I applied on the off chance just to see how far I would get. Best thing I ever did as it cemented my lust for investigating and exploratory testing.

Why do you love working in STEM?

"I take pride in the fact I am self-taught."

You’ll never find a queue for the ladies' at a tech conference.  But seriously I love being an example of someone who did a 180 on their career from medical to technical.  I look forward to being there to support other people following their awesome new software testing career path.

Best advice for the next generation

Remind yourself that all barriers can be overcome, ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.  Then remind yourself that any career choice is not forever – fail fast - you have the power to change and grow when you want to.

Real life hero 

Elsie Inglis was a pioneering doctor and suffragist, who started her training at the Edinburgh School of Medicine.  When war broke out in 1914, Elsie offered to set up a woman-run hospital unit, but was turned away by the military. She was far too much of a badass to let that stop her, so she fundraised instead, and eventually ended up running 14 hospital units across Europe and led two units in the Balkans before her death in 1917.  In short, if you want to be a hero don’t let stuffy, moustache-twiddling military leaders prevent you from saving or changing lives.