Vinay Kumar Dabbiru’s resume reads like the ideal job prospect for a tech company: It’s full of details about languages, platforms, databases, testing and certifications – oh, yes, and that little tidbit about his master’s degree in information technology.
Yet despite Dabbiru’s obvious tech knowledge and qualifications, he found his job search going nowhere. This despite the nation’s acute shortage of tech workers such that 500,000-plus IT jobs go unfilled daily.
“Because of my student visa status, I was getting rejected before I even got a chance to interview,” he said. “I was waking up to new rejection emails every day.”
That changed after Dabbiru graduated from IT-Ready QA in Edina, MN, in June 2018.
“IT-Ready gave me an edge because I interviewed first and dealt with my visa status later,” he said.
IT-Ready QA — a free program offered to qualified students by Creating IT Futures —teaches the skills someone needs to work as a software quality assurance (QA) analyst and software tester.
Offered in an instructor-led classroom environment over the course of eight weeks, IT-Ready QA students learn best practices for breaking software and squashing bugs. They also learn how to test and support software throughout its life cycle, principles of test design, risk management, agile development, and mobile software testing. Creating IT Futures is the workforce charity founded by CompTIA.
Students who successfully complete IT-Ready QA obtain three certifications that prove their working knowledge of software testing: Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL), Certified Tester Foundation Level Agile Tester (CTFL-AT), and Certified Mobile Tester.
Just as importantly, students also practice softer professional skills — such as workplace etiquette, communication and problem solving — that hasten their ability to “hit the ground running” for a new employer.
Connecting with IT-Ready QA
As he prepared to graduate with a master’s degree in information technology — specializing in software development — from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2018, Dabbiru found his job prospects bleak.
“I had no work experience in the United States,” he said. “But prior to starting the graduate program at MNSU, I worked for three years as an Oracle database administrator in India.”
“I remember reading the description of the program a zillion times, even after applying to the program,” he said. “I never thought a program like this could exist.”
Despite years of information technology education here and in India — and years of tech work experience in India — Dabbiru said IT-Ready QA taught him skills he didn’t know.
“I had never learned QA in-depth during my entire education process,” he said. “Even in my master’s program, I just had one course related to QA. This program gave me in-depth knowledge of the entire functionalities and on various platforms.”
And the soft professional skills training proved invaluable, he said.
“That was a big plus for me; it helped me in developing my personality, as well as in resume building and interviews,” he said. “IT-Ready taught me discipline, better understanding of the work culture, timelines and how to improve my communication skills. I’ve got more opportunities than ever with IT-Ready on my resume.”
Looking ahead to a career in QA
After successfully completing IT-Ready QA, Dabbiru secured a position as QA intern at HealthPartners in Minneapolis, where converting manual testing to automation is one of his key responsibilities. He said he loves his work.
“QA is challenging and refreshingly new every time,” he said. “I get to test different things daily in my job. It is not a job that requires only one or two technologies; it needs a bit of everything. My friends tell me that I am good at finding faults. So, maybe, I was built for QA.”
As Dabbiru aspires to eventually advance to a position of senior or principal QA manager for a company, he is confident that he will experience many opportunities for professional growth.
“And IT-Ready would be the stepping stone to my success,” he said.
If you think you’re ready for a career as a software tester, applications for the next IT-Ready QA class in the Twin Cities are open until May 10.