Senior System Tester

Student Loans Company
From £33,230 to £37,366 per annum
13 Nov 2017
16 Nov 2017
Contract Type
Full Time
Student Loans Company is a non-profit making Government-owned organisation set up in 1989 to provide loans and grants to students in universities and colleges in the UK. We are responsible for student support delivery in the UK.

Company Mission

We enable our customers to invest in their futures by delivering secure, accurate and efficient assessment, payment and repayment services.

Company Vision

Our vision is to be valued as a digital, customer-focused, centre of excellence.

Job Details

Overview of department:

The Core Systems department is responsible for the development and maintenance of a number of IT products and services that supports SLC's business.

We are in the process of reforming our team; this marks the beginning of our journey towards achieving SLC’s Vision - to be valued as a digital, customer-focused, centre of excellence. In order to achieve our vision we require a dedicated team of staff.

Job Purpose:

  • To drive and implement a comprehensive test strategy using appropriate testing tools and techniques.
  • To introduce new practices and techniques to SLC whilst conforming to agreed standards.
  • To facilitate knowledge transfers to other testers within the department.
Key responsibilities:

  • To work closely with BSAs and developers to understand and define the system requirements/acceptance criteria of user stories and upcoming features. To understand the impact of said software on other areas of the system. To identify gaps in the requirements.
  • To identify the scope of testing including systems integration and regression testing. To apply test techniques to ensure coverage.
  • To work with development to ensure a comprehensive and robust suite of automated tests from unit and integration tests to user journey tests.
  • To identify data requirements to satisfy test cases and create and maintain test data.
  • To ensure continuous exploratory/manual testing of each functional area/user story against different layers of the system such as the web service layer, user interface layer.
  • To check outputs including screen, file and database updates to ensure system effectiveness.
  • To ensure comprehensive test strategies are in place for non-functional areas such as performance and load.
  • To ensure processes used within the team meet quality standards and champion the use of new practices where appropriate.
  • To prepare documents for internal and external use to agreed standards.
  • To discuss and review outputs produced by team members and ensure standards across the team are maintained.
  • To demonstrate working functionality/user stories to the product owner and/or during team showcases.
  • To provide input into user story points/estimates.
  • To raise and escalate issues.
  • To participate in team meetings including planning meetings, daily stand-ups and retrospectives.
  • To keep up-to-date with emerging technologies.
  • To work with minimal supervision.
  • To provide leadership, motivate, mentor and train other staff.
  • Knowledge, Skills and Experience:
  • A further education qualification in a computer related discipline or demonstrable relevant practical experience.
  • Proven track record of testing software developments in a structured environment.
  • Ability to question team members and SMEs to discover details of proposed functionality, rather than gather all information from formal documentation. To then fully understand the scope of testing, including which business processes and system functions need to be included.
  • Ability to test partially-completed functionality, understand what a defect is and what has not been implemented yet, and provide constructive feedback to developers.
  • Experience of defect lifecycle and ability to advise on tests to put in place after fixes are made.
  • Ability to work in a continually changing environment, adapting to changing requirements and priorities at short notice.
  • Excellent understanding of test levels (from unit tests to UAT) and ability to advise the team on what to test (and what not to test) as part of a cohesive testing strategy.
  • Ability to propose improvements on project practices and processes to improve effectiveness of the team and delivery of the software.
  • Sound technical skills; understanding of high-level system architecture components such as application servers, databases and web services. Understanding of basic programming constructs.
  • Experience in one or more test frameworks and scripting automated functional tests.
  • Experience of working from the command-line.
  • Good team player with excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to interact and collaborate with people from development, business analysis, project management and SME disciplines.
  • Experience working in an agile environment; iterations less than 4 weeks, design to delivery.
  • Experience working on user stories and defining clear acceptance criteria.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and manage own time and workload.
  • Practical experience of successfully mentoring and coaching others.
Desirable Skills / Experience:

  • Working knowledge (or good understanding) of IDEs, code repositories and commit process (trunk concept) version control.
  • Working knowledge (or good understanding) of continuous integration practices, performance test approaches and tools.
  • Understanding of object oriented programming i.e. what a class is and the relation it has with a method. Ability to read code at a high level to understand intent.
  • Good knowledge and experience of the financial sector.
  • Experience of testing back-end or batch system processes/applications.
  • Working knowledge (or good understanding) of Oracle PL/SQL.

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