Elina Klusa trained with Women4IT’s Latvian partner LIKTA, graduating from the Software Tester course. In conversation with LIKTA, Elina discusses the value of quality training and the opportunities to be gained by boosting your knowledge and skills.
Women4IT: Why did you decide to start the Women4IT course?
Elina Klusa: At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic I lost my job in advertising. When I started to look for a new job, I was open to looking at other positions in different sectors. I accidentally saw information on social networks about Women4IT training and thought that this opportunity perfectly fit my goals – to get to know other professions unrelated my previous experience. As I had a lot of free time and the training was free of charge, I immediately decided to apply. There was nothing to lose.
W4IT: How was your experience with the course?
EK: Very positive. I managed to do the first part of the training face-to-face and that was a very positive aspect. Our trainer Ieva Sica was very knowledgeable, and as she is an active practitioner in the industry, everything she taught us is currently used in companies and valued in the job market. Ieva openly shared her experience and provided valuable stories about different companies and career possibilities within them. I really enyojed that training sessions consisted of different practical tasks so it was never boring – tasks were creative and differed with every lesson.
Also, purely on the social side, it very nice to learn, talk and exchange ideas with Ieva. We were provided with an opportunity to join a group both in Whatsapp and Instagram, so that contact with classmates would not be lost. It is definitely a positive element that at the time when the training started to take place remotely, the teacher was well prepared and thought about different tools and ways to ensure interactivity with each other.
W4IT: What have you learnt during the course?
EK: I learnt the basics of information systems testing: what it is in general, how it manifests itself (in companies), what the testing possibilities are, different testing types, how different approaches can be used in testing processes, and how to understand where to start. We also learned what tools we can use and which are currently the most actively used by companies. Also, we learnt the basics of testing through many practical tasks; we tested and created websites, analysed and detected errors, and described them, amongst other activities.
W4IT: What has the course given you?
EK: The training course provided an opportunity to understand, free of charge, what lies behind testing information systems and to gain background insight from a person who works in the industry now and has for a long time (and I could not gain such experience by studying independently). I also had the opportunity to understand whether the chosen topic relates in real practice.
After the training, there was an opportunity to apply for internships, which was a good chance to try a job in a real company and see if this is what you would like to do in the future. I completed an internship at the company “TestDevLab”, but the projects I was working on were very specific and I realised that it was not quite for me. The company were very understanding and respected my decision, so I immediately recommended that they contact other trainees from my Women4IT course, for some of whom the role would definitely be right, and they found a suitable match.
In summary, if you are interested in retraining, this is a great way to understand the basics of another industry for free, even to just understand whether in practice this is what you would like to do in the future.
W4IT: How have you grown professionally?
EK: As I mentioned before, I started a paid internship in a wonderful company, but understood that it was not for me. Currently, I have a new job connected to the ICT industry with Baltijas Datoru Akadēmija, where I work as a Development Team Leader (not connected with IS testing). I am very grateful and if I had not attended the course, I do not think I would be in this new job right now.
W4IT: How have you grown personally?
EK: Information systems testing as a topic is still of interest; it was very exciting to get to know everything behind it, as I am very interested in researching and analysing people’s behaviour and habits, offering them appropriate solutions. In general, I can say that the course deepened my natural interest in understanding people on a personal level; it allowed us to believe that if you want to try another direction in life, you can do it safely and calmly, and if it turns out that it is not what you imagined – that is also okay (because until you try, you will never know).
W4IT: Would you recommend the course to a friend? Why?
EK: If there was interest, then definitely, because I believe that the courses were very high quality with super fresh, modern information and practical work.
W4IT: Anything else you would like to share with us?
EK: I would like to encourage future participants to apply – just come and try to put your dream into practice and see if it is what you would like to do. You will not lose anything. Don’t be afraid if you have no prior knowledge – that is what the majority of are like in the beginning.