Inside Spenda’s Test Engineer Grad Program

Jarrad Lawford
4 September - 5 min read

While she intended on galavanting around the world as a travel bug throughout this year, our new Graduate Test Engineer, Hannah Van Schayk, was forced to abandon her booked holiday plans due to COVID-19 and focus her attention on software bugs instead.

Hannah has since joined our Test Engineer Grad Program which involves a 12-24 month learning experience primarily focused on all aspects of producing quality assurance within the Software Development Team. This covers manual testing, end-to-end data integration workflows, automated regression testing of workflows/APIs and much more to help deliver the best quality digital tools, usability and functionality for our customers. 

Since commencing the program in May, Hannah has jumped straight into the deep end for software testing and development with our experienced team and has excelled as one of our most talented and hardworking colleagues. She’s detailed her experience so far with Spenda and what her future holds in both career aspirations and foreign explorations.

You recently started a test engineer grad program with us, what has this experience been like?

“I had been working at Spenda for a little under a year and feel comfortable with my role working alongside our Software Test Lead, Angela Carne in testing and UI/UX design. However, I had concrete travel plans that were meant to commence in April where I was set to jet off to Europe and spend the remainder of the year galavanting. Unfortunately due to the global pandemic, my great escape was made null and I was left licking my wounds and readjusting to the idea of spending time I had assumed to be elsewhere now at home. Thankfully I had a blank slate to operate within at Spenda.

This job was the steady hand that allowed me to continue on and find new ways to scratch that itch, which included jumping straight into the test engineer grad program and even rescuing an abandoned pup. With the transition into the grad program, I now feel elated to be furthering my career, as well as being able to save some pennies for when I will be able to frolic away to Europe.”

What has the support been like from the Spenda team during your time here?

“Straight from the get-go, it’s been an amazing place to work. It’s so rare to be in a workplace where you genuinely like everyone and feel reassured that everyone has your best interest at heart. One thing that I found really set the tone for my career with Spenda was a book to read called “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” that I was given when I started by our Chief Technology Officer, Olly Speed. The book discusses the basics of teamwork, potential trouble spots and methods to overcome them. To me, this showed they really prioritised a healthy workplace culture, along with biweekly group gym classes, a strong appreciation for bringing in cakes during birthdays and regular company celebrations. You will be hearing no complaints from me!”

 
Our React Web Dev, Dominika and Graduate Test Engineer, Hannah

Where are you hoping your career will take you?

“I’m still hoping for my grand adventure. Although some of my circumstances in regards to travelling around the world have changed, my ambition and itch haven’t when it comes to expanding my skill set within Spenda and learning as much as possible from the experienced team of software developers and experts. Once I’ve soaked up as much knowledge as possible I hope to complete the grad program with flying colours and be able to take my job abroad. Given the team at Spenda have been all working remotely since COVID-19, there are no physical limitations to the workplace.”

What have been your biggest personal and team accomplishments since starting the test engineer grad program?

“We’ve certainly belted out multiple accomplishments since I started, but I would say that the switch from doing design work where I have the experience, to diving headfirst into software testing was extremely daunting as it was a completely new discipline, but one that I’m really enjoying and feel I thrive at. The team have given me tremendous support when it comes to diving straight into the best practical experience and it’s laying the foundations for my future career.”

Is there anything your team is working on that you’re excited about?

“Personally, I love the design aspect behind software as that’s what makes it pop and become incredibly unique, so I think the new interface designs that Dave Wood our Chief Product Officer has been creating for both SpendaPOS and SpendaWeb are fantastic. The product development team simplify very complex processes and he has such a unique way of thinking and ensures it’s an efficient creation process for us and also enables our customers to be more satisfied using our products.”

You were supposed to go on some pretty epic travels before COVID-19 hit, what were your initial plans and where have you travelled to previously?

“A big trip to Europe was booked and paid for, starting in Amsterdam and travelling east to Israel, and then perhaps over to South America. I have travelled a lot over the past eight years starting when I just turned 18 and went backpacking across Europe for four months, meeting the most amazing people and eating the even more amazing pizza. Safe to say I rolled my way home. I’m incredibly excited to visit Greece and Turkey again and basically chase my own whim around the world. Half the fun of travelling is planning the journey so I’m very eager to get back to making plans, there are so many places to be and delicious food to eat.”

What are your favourite hobbies outside of work?

“I love my rescue dog Marley, who takes up a surprisingly large portion of my time. I thoroughly enjoy exploring my own back yard here in Western Australia, so loads of camping and hiking trips down south to beautiful winery areas such as Margaret River. I enjoy a good book, the beach when the sun is shining and of course a good workout alongside the rest of the Spenda team. I’m also very passionate about what’s happening within the local music scene, I’m very stereotypical of a Fremantle girl!”

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