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How an Art teacher from San Jose started to make a good living as a software tester after finishing school

Success Story
Jan 08, 2020

Stef, an Art teacher from San Jose wanted to get a stable job, so she took up a course to become a tester. Here is her first person narrative about the lessons, internship, job search and her current salary. 

I moved from Russia 6,5 years ago. There I graduated from the university, my major was graph design, but I’m not a web-designer, more like polygraphic one. I was taught to draw book illustrations. 

When my husband and I moved to Silicon Valley, I worked as an art teacher some time, but I got little money. But there is more work in the technological sector in the Bay Area and I had plenty of QA engineers in my environment. I thought, “What am I losing? Why not simply try?”.

I took up a course in testing at Careerist school three months ago. These were online-seminars, 2-2,5 hours long, every day, except Friday and Saturday.

The teachers were from different spheres, so they gave different knowledge. We also had a mass students chat, a kind of “collective intelligence”.

I had an opportunity to practice on real projects. One of those was Lingocart (a language learning method). There were cards with words, riddles. I practiced testing and web and mobile application. There were a lot of bugs, so finally I could put my knowledge into practice. It is always interesting to find drawbacks, this kind of feeling: ‘yeah, I’ve found where you are wrong’.

The teachers helped me and other students to make up a resume, prepared for the interview. I had a list of questions and answers, that was not something that was necessary to memorize, we just practiced it.

From the first week, my resume on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Ziprecruiter had got a lot of feedbacks. On average, I got a call from a recruiter once a day. I had about two speakings a week directly with the companies. A month after finishing school I already had a job offer. It happened very fast.

Once I got a call from a recruiter who offered me to apply for a position. We made a technical appointment immediately. I was worrying of course. But everything went well. I was invited to an hour-long speaking with the QA team. About a week later they called me back and offered a job. I agreed. By the way, I had one more offer at that time but for less money.

So, now I’m working for one of the biggest and most famous CRM companies. As I live in San Jose and the office is in San Francisco, I get to work by shuttle, stay there with the laptop, work, and it is counted as working time. I can work from home once a week.

In my unit there are 4 people in the American office and the same number in India. My salary is below the average (though more than $30/h), but it’s enough to rent a flat with one bedroom in our district, for example.

I like that in 8 hours I can just turn off the computer and let myself not think about anything. It’s a pleasant job, I enjoy it. Communication is important for me. I have a nice boss, my colleagues try to help me, nobody rolls their eyes when I want to ask some question.

QA is not a very hard job to master and it has good outputs, including satisfaction with what you do.


At Careerist, we tried to create a dream school that we ourselves once wanted to get into, but could not find such important and necessary knowledge. Based on our mistakes, we created a solution that will help to avoid wasting time and focus on what is really needed: going through an interview, getting a job and the work itself.

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