Wednesday, 28 September 2016

QA Consulting - Personal Blog #2

So I’m currently finishing my fourth week on the job at QA and have covered quite a lot of content, got settled and completed a relatively large group project.

So at the last personal update I had finished my first week completing my Java training, since then I’ve completed a week of DevOps, which is a collaboration and communication of software developers and IT professionals, while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes [Loukides, Mike (2012-06-07). "What is DevOps?"]. In this we covered usage of Ubuntu and MintOS as standard operating systems for businesses and tools. We then learnt basic bash scripting and use of Vagrant and VirtualBox to create virtual environments containing instances of these operating systems.

We then used bash scripting to install a variety of different tools and software for integration as a continuous integration pipeline. The source code is managed by git, which is then connected to Jenkins to act as the CI server, which uses Maven to build successive iterations of the software. Jira is used for software and bug tracking, while finally using puppet for configuration management and deployment. Overall I managed to create a full interlinking system that could work in a small business to create and manage its software development.

The following two weeks comprised of studying enterprise architecture. This is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a holistic approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy. Enterprise architecture applies architecture principles and practices to guide organizations through the business, information, process, and technology changes necessary to execute their strategies. These practices utilize the various aspects of an enterprise to identify, motivate, and achieve these changes [Federation of EA Professional Organizations, Common Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture, Architecture and Governance Magazine, Issue 9-4, November 2013 (2013).].

We split into groups of eight and began work for a fake client NBGardens, the client is a garden gnome (a very profitable business apparently) and accessory reseller. We as a consultancy firm have been hired to analyse the business and should propose our own solution to improve it.

Throughout the week we’ve practiced SCRUM methodologies as our formatting for carrying out the multiple tasks set, we also covered v-model and waterfall, although I have experience with all three previously so it was mostly recap. We also covered BPMN, UML and Data Modelling techniques and software, we used these to create a variety of reports either for a current ‘as-is’ state of the business and a ‘to-be’ diagrams of the system we proposed.

What was particularly useful about the two weeks was the focus on client relations. I had good opportunity to practice public speaking and speaking to clients. This was generally for requirements capture as we spoke to a couple of the ‘employees’ (actually just trainers badly acting), but the experience was useful nevertheless.

Finally I may have been selected for my first actual consulting job which is using C#, one of my most comfortable languages, for Woking County Council, I hear they would like a new unified tax system however the details I have so far are very limited.

Overall my first month in QA is going well and hopefully it’s just the beginning.

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