How I became a Software Developer Engineer in Test | Dunelm

May 05, 2023
hackajob Staff

We've all had that moment where we daydream about taking a leap and transforming our careers. What if we told you that success story could be you?

Meet Clare Coates, a full-time mum of two who took on the coding world and became an STED in just 18 months at the UK's top Homewares retailer, Dunelm. Dive into her journey, from her humble beginnings to her epic breakthroughs and everything in between below.

A Personal Journey into Coding: Becoming an SDET at 47

Clare Coates, Software Developer Engineer in Test at Dunelm

For anyone who doesn't know my story, I'm a 47-year-old mother of two who has spent the past 18 months on a personal journey into coding with the goal of becoming an SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test).

Back in November, I received the news that my promotion had been approved and as of January 1st, 2023, I would be an SDET. As you can imagine, the celebrations were wild; I had one glass of fizz and then fell asleep next to my youngest while putting her to bed at 7 pm!

Just as we were celebrating my news in my team, I received the news that my fellow SDET and mentor on the team had also gained a promotion to Principal QE. While this was fantastic news, it threw my head into sheer chaos. Not only was I stepping into the new role in the new year, but I would also be the sole SDET until a replacement could be found.

Well, January arrived, and at the same time, I commenced a new online course studying Node.js with Express, MongoDB, and Mongoose. As we are mainly a backend team, I thought it was high time I started studying backend development to assist me in my new role.

As I worked my way through the lectures, the missing pieces of knowledge started to fit into the jigsaw in my mind, and I began to understand a lot more. My confidence in the team grew massively, and the learning curve, now no longer feels as steep. I found my voice in refinements, and I'm comfortable pair programming with the developers. I'm writing my own integration tests, and I'm no longer anxious about being the sole SDET. In fact, this has done me a world of good because my crutch has gone. I've had to step up, and thank goodness I haven't sunk to the bottom of the pool YET!

I still have more personal development to go, I'm nowhere near finished with my journey yet. By day, I'm hoping to get stuck into learning how to implement an Automation Framework from scratch into our repos, and by night, I'm hoping that by the end of this year, I can build a project of my own that incorporates both front-end and back-end development.

Goodbye internal saboteur, it's time for us to part our ways! Hello future as a successful SDET.

And that's it!

This post was originally posted on LinkedIn and has been republished courtesy of Clare Coates and Dunelm.  

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