With a brief background in Communications and years of experience in Special Education, Nicole has made an interesting shift into the world of tech. With her natural curiosity and her knack for problem solving, Nicole is ready to explore the endless possibilities of software development and testing. Here’s more about Nicole:
Tell me a little about the professional background.
Nicole: I studied Communications as an undergraduate at Temple University in Philadelphia. I later worked in Marketing and Public Relations for a very short time. I also wrote for magazines and other publications, but then transitioned into teaching. I actually completed my Master’s in Special Education several years ago and have been teaching for over 11 years now. I’m a high school Special Education Teacher who has spent six years in the classroom providing instruction. For the last five years, I’ve been working on the clinical side, managing evaluations, and determining student eligibility for services.
Why do you want to transition into tech? Why are you considering this new path?
Nicole: As a Special Education Teacher, my main job is to make the curriculum accessible to students who have learning disabilities. One of the things that we allowed – or we used a lot – was technology, so I use technology every day. I enjoy social media networks – YouTube and, you know, the everyday favorites – but as a teacher, I also started using educational technology tools in the classroom and for my students. I was introduced to this other side of tech through teaching, and I became very interested in tech and started having the desire to build my own website and explore different areas.
I enrolled in a coding boot camp in October which I’ll be completing in February; as a complement to that, I applied to Quality Camp. They both complement each other because I now have a programming background, but with the testing background, it gives me a good understanding of web development and the entire process.
What inspired you to join the Bootcamp? What made you decide to explore it?
Nicole: I have made it a priority of mine to connect with people in the tech community and follow a lot of the tech professionals I respect and admire. One of those professionals actually shared your testing Bootcamp in a Slack channel that I’m a part of, and shared how great an opportunity it was. After researching the program and discovering what you were able to do internationally and in Jamaica, along with the progress that the company has made, it seemed like a very interesting opportunity.
Knowing I’m in my coding Bootcamp and we don’t really do testing at all, I understood there was an entire aspect to tech I was not aware of and wanted to learn. So after seeing that shared by someone I respected, and knowing that testing is something that I’ve been looking into and wanting to learn about, it just seemed like a great opportunity that showed up at a great time.
After completing the Coding Bootcamp and the Software Testing Bootcamp, where do you hope it will all take you?
Nicole: I’m hoping it makes me a well-rounded developer and tester so that I’m able to use all my skills in any job I do. Testing is very similar to my current role as a Clinical Special Education teacher because a lot of our work involves analyzing data to identify students’ difficulties and then coming up with solutions for those data. It’s somewhat equivalent to the whole process of searching for bugs or other issues and trying to analyze them and come up with the best solutions. So, naturally, I’m very inquisitive. I’m now hoping that the skills I’ve been gaining here will help me secure a position where I can continue to grow and continue to learn, whether that be in testing or development.
What would a dream role look like for you?
Nicole: For me, a dream role doesn’t necessarily align with a particular industry, but more with a company’s culture. I’m very driven, naturally curious, and eager to learn. Therefore, I would be happiest working with a company that has established a culture of mentorship, continued learning, and ways to support their employees and their continuing education, as well as providing them with hands-on opportunities to ship codes of product and develop test plans. For me, that would be the most important – company culture, as well as growth within the company.
Do you have any role models or inspirations?
Nicole: I really admire Angie Jones. I’ve been following her for over a year now. I’ve attended a couple of her talks on automated testing and visual testing with Applitools. She does a great job explaining information well. You can tell she has a passion for testing. She’s one of my favorites regarding the testing space.
What are you passionate about?
Nicole: I’m very passionate about entrepreneurship, not necessarily in terms of having your own business, but companies that encourage an employee’s voice and employee leadership. I am very outspoken, I have been since I was young, so I like to be provided with the opportunity to give insight and know that it is heard, incorporated, and respected where possible.
About the #HireDiverseTesters Program
The #hirediversetesters program was created by QualityWorks to address the tech “pipeline problem” – the belief that there aren’t enough qualified BIPOC professionals to occupy roles in tech, specifically in testing. We’ve found the diverse talent and now we’re looking for companies who are committed to increasing diversity on their tech teams to join us.