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Sam Ryan - Apprenticeship Case Study

An introduction to our Software Tester Apprentice, Sam Ryan.

When did you join Invotra?


I joined in February 2020 as a Level 4 Software Tester. 


What level is your apprenticeship? What subject?


Level 4 Software Tester. 


What previous qualifications did you have? 


My previous qualifications include GCSEs and BTECs in Forensic science and ICT.


What previous experience did you have?


All my experience previously was academic. ICT and computing were always one of my favourite subjects in school as well as science. When I reached college I knew I wanted something in either of those fields. I had worked part time at Sainsbury’s during college and after. 


What led you to an apprenticeship?


I knew early on that university wouldn’t be for me, I had the mindset of starting my career early and getting myself out there. The idea of working and gaining experience, while earning a salary seemed like a no brainer for me. This also benefits me personally, as my style of learning is very hands on. Sitting in a classroom taking notes does not engage me much, and this heavily influenced my career path.


What led you to Invotra and Klarity?


While looking for a career I had no defined idea in my head what I wanted specifically. I just knew I wanted something in the computing / tech field or science based. So when I came across the job spec for Software Tester it ticked all the boxes for me, a way to get my foot in the door and learn. 


What happened when you joined Invotra?


Upon joining Invotra I was immediately introduced into the friendly and hardworking culture. I was working at the office in Woking just a month before the pandemic so luckily I was able to experience office life then, and I am again now.


I was originally placed in the QA team as a Junior QA Engineer. In this position I would work through tasks assigned to me on Jira. I would test on multiple different environments and interact with Invotra’s customers, on live releases.

I was then chosen to be part of building the Klarity Works product. Where I was placed under a new team with Jake Galvin as my manager. Being the only member of the QA team in Klarity Works was a huge step forward in my apprenticeship. This gave me control and input on how my area should be run, and gave me the opportunity to step up and use what I learned previously at Invotra to create a new approach to quality management. 


What responsibilities do you have?

My responsibilities at Klarity Works include the following: 

  • Manage daily live releases to our live environment 
  • Ensure quality is maintained within the product, make sure no regressions are released to live
  • Maintain a suite of automated Rainforest tests 
  • Maintain and manage test users and data on our staging environment 
  • Merge Pull requests and test Github issues
  • Raise and prioritise bugs 
  • Update and write the QA documentation 
  • Take charge of the QA strategy


How have your colleagues and the organisation helped you?


I had a lot of help from everyone at Klarity Works, not just from my area. I was taught that it’s okay to ask questions as that’s how you grow. I was encouraged a lot to step up and take on new responsibilities.

The biggest change since I started is my role. I have way more responsibilities than I ever expected. Because of this my aims and goals are being set so much higher than what I thought was possible to begin with. 

What more do you have to do to complete your course?


I still have to complete a synoptic project and my end point assessment.


What would you like to learn more about or gain more experience of?


I would love to embrace the more technical side of my role. Really get into the nitty gritty of our systems. This could be learning a new skill or introducing a new tool into my workflow. 


What will you do when you finish your apprenticeship? 


Well first on the list would be celebrate! But on the practical side of things, I’d like to branch out in my role more and start thinking about how it will grow in the future.


I’d also like to communicate with others in similar roles, to build up professional connections and get my name out there. But overall, just continue to improve and push myself. While I’m very proud of what I’ve done, I’m still only at the beginner with plenty more to achieve and do

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