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Career Story: Data Testing Coordinator

Data Testing Coordinator

Job Title: Testing Coordinator

Education: BA in Consumer and Family Studies, Western Kentucky University

Previous Experience: I started as a Data Analyst immediately after college as an Army contractor, traveling to multiple military sites over 2 years. I was then accepted a job as a Databases Sustainment Specialist at an Air Force base. After 6 months I was promoted and accepted a job as a Help Desk Specialist / Project Assistant working as an Air Force contractor. I answered help desk calls doing troubleshooting and testing software.

Job Tasks: I work for a company that offers insurance in a range of products and services, to include health insurance and dental coverage. We provide service to the military, individuals, seniors, groups and many others.

My typical tasks include testing data and validating the data is the same on all systems. I receive an email that has a filename of testcases that have been updated by the developers. I then find that filename from System A and print off the data. I then use the data to access the same information in System B and check to ensure the details match. If they are the same and I find no discrepancies, I pass the testcase and that job is copmlete. If I find a discrepancy or the data between the two systems reflect differently, I notify the testing team and we work to resolve the issue. I keep an open Excel document to note any discrepancies so I have the information readily available and can refer to as needed. Once the problem is resolved I can delete it from the spreadsheet until eventually it is blank and we know all problems have been addressed.

Every week we have a conference call to ensure everyone is "on the same page" and we are showing progress in testing. If we are falling behind schedule we will discuss in depth how we can resolve the problem.

I do not travel with my job. I perform little administrative work which includes filing, answering the phone, and attending conference calls and meetings.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that it is relatively easy and stress-free. Having the technical background that I have helps me to understand it even more, but overall it is not a hard job and I can go home without stressing over it. The worst part of the job is that it gets boring doing the same thing repeatedly. The task is the exact same every time, just with different testcase numbers, and that routine gets tiresome.

Job Tips:
1. Take a course in SQL (Structured Query Language) as it will help to understand WHAT you are validating and testing.

2. Try to understand the details of testing (specifically WHAT you are testing and WHY you are testing it) as this knowledge will help you understand the job and make it easier.

3. Take lots of notes! This position thrives off of repetition and it would behoove you to take step by step detailed notes as you perform your duties.

Additional Thoughts: My technical background has been a huge benefit to me. It is possible to start this career with little to no data testing background but it would be difficult.

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