Saturday, March 19, 2011

Do not use the long way

I am from Ukraine. In 1983 I graduated from Railway Transport Institute with a degree in Applied Math. I used to work in the mechanical Institute of National Academy of Science. We were researching how to improve the construction of the train carts by comparing the experimental data (accelerations and forces at specific points) with data from our math model implemented in FORTRAN. I mostly did my coding in FORTRAN.

I came in San Jose in August 2001 after my husband got an H1B visa and my daughter and I got an H4 visa.

I got my green card after living here for 5 years. During the time that I was on the H4 visa I studied English, Accounting, C/C++/C#/Java, SQL and more. The more classes I took, the more confused I would get. I felt that no matter how much I learned I still lacked knowledge and experience to become a developer. A part of me wanted to program, another just wanted get a job as a QA engineer.

In August of 2005 I got a work authorization and then started applying for the developer(C#.NET) position around December.

A friend invited me to attend 2 free lessons about job search that were happening at the Portnov Computer School. After attending those lessons, I talked with Mikhail Portnov and he explained to me how difficult it would be for me to find a position as a developer and compete with resent graduates, who will be twice as young compared to me... Portnov explained that I had much better chances of finding a job if I prepared myself for the tester position and then I could be the best QA engineer in a team. He promised me that I'll get a job and we chose which classes I should take.

This step has changed my life. I learned how to believe in myself. This school's philosophy is to prepare you for a job and to help you find it.

I spent 3 months taking classes in Portnov's school. Afterwards, I spent about 2 months looking for a job. When I was confused with the job search, I would call Mikhail and he would help me analyze my mistakes and explain the best way to answer the interview questions. He encouraged and supported me.

Just when I was getting really frustrated with the interviewing process and wanted to give up, I got a 1-year contract with Google. I started there as a black box tester and later wrote test automation framework for toolbar using Eggplant. It took 1 month long until I got another offer for a contract with a startup initiated by Amazon.

In his school, Mikhail teaches how to test, get a job, keep the job. Most importantly, his school teaches you how to succeed. By taking the classes, most people are able to get to the career where they can get appreciated and paid for what they do.

I would have never been able to have a new carrier without Mikhail and Sofia help.

My family, my friends and I are very proud of me.

Thank you!!!

Just an update.

A month after my second contract (Amazon) I got an offer from a company which interviewed me last summer before I got first job offer from Google. I told a QA Director there that it is a fate, my life path have to go through his company, my skills set makes me the best match for an open position, I AM the best for the position and will bring to the company so much quality…
During both interview rounds I was very exited and my energy and enthusiasm made me the one who got the OFFER.

Thanks to Mikhail's videos. I watch them before each face to face interview and every time I was able to find something new and useful. These videos gave me the energy and helped me believe in myself.

About the position: fulltime; black box; automation with Selenium, have to start from scratch; white box C# and Nunit (finally I got a chance to use C#)

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