Here is our first interview with a Certified Tester. Today, we are discussing with Philip Ekow Rockson. If you would like to share your story as an interview, drop me a note, and we can chat about specifics.
This interview took place in November 2020.
My questions are in bold italics, and his responses follow.
Could you please introduce yourself?
I am Philip Ekow Rockson. Most people refer to me as Rockson, which is my last name. I was born and live in Accra, Ghana.
Philip, What do you do for a living?
Currently, I work as a quality assurance analyst for a bank that operates primarily in Africa. Specifically, I do end-to-end testing, a bit of functional testing for mobile, web applications, and more.
Interesting. So, why did you take the ISTQB Foundation Level training?
Coming from a non-traditional computer science background, I did agricultural engineering under my undergrad program and then transitioned to IT. So it was first an exciting transition for me. But once I started, I knew I needed to get certification in IT. And working as a tester, the foundation training and certification was crucial for me. That was the prime reason I did the training and sit for the certificate.
The other reason was that in the future, I might want to move to other countries and regions to perform testing or work as a QA professional, so getting the ISTQB certification is a big deal for me.
So why did you choose Qola for the training?
My decision on Qola started actually in 2019. I had the plan to pursue the foundation training in 2019, so I started with some research. I got to pick about four training providers. Most of them were just putting the training cost and when I can have it with them and blabla. But with Qola, I’ve got to know who would be the trainer, and I had to do some research on him. I saw many exciting things, including more than fifteen years of experience in multiple companies, working in test management. It made me understand that, above all, the practical experience is what I was going to live there. So It was not just going to be a lecture. That was one of the reasons why I choose Qola. The other point was also the cost. It was very cheap compare to the others.
Initially, we planned for in-person training. Qola was already organized and equipped for live online training. So when we got to 2020 with the lockdowns and restrictions, it was not an issue, we quickly moved to the online training, and we had that successfully. So those were the reasons why I choose Qola.
Oh, nice words for me, thanks! So what could you say about your training experience with Qola?
I went through some other online training. But what made Qola unique was, from the very beginning, the trainer introduced some new tools, which supported the training direction and was fun! It was amusing for us! It was excellent to use those tools to answer questions in realtime and get responses, explanations. So using those tools was fun and the other thing was that at the end of every training session, at the end of the day, there was a learning assessment which everyone had to take. We could not run away from it. Right after that evaluation, the trainer gave us feedback. You knew where you were following short and where to put some effort in and learn more.
Last point: the trainer was always collecting our feedback during the sessions. Right after each training session, we did an assessment; we gave our feedback, really what we’ve done, what we would like to do differently, and openly. It wasn’t like a lecture where the trainer just dumped the information and leaves. We could have challenged some of his questions, asked why he chose specific answers. We had opportunities to discuss everything with him. We reflected on his experiences and had interactions. It was quite a practical session; it was not like a lecture.
Now that you have your foundation level certification, what are the next steps for you, Philip?
There are three parts to the ISTQB Certification scheme (Foundation, Advanced and Expert levels). I have chosen Agile as my next step. So the next training I am planning to take is the Agile Tester, still part of the foundation level. Once I complete that, I am planning to move to automation testing. So I will then take a few courses in test automation.