The Remote Internship

27 October 2020

So how has the world of work changed here within QA at ClearPeople since the lockdown in March because of COVID19, and we all had to work remotely?

In early March we were all in the office, well not quite daily at ClearPeople as we had already adopted remote working for part of a working week. But for us all to become "remote workers", it has certainly presented challenges! I just wanted to pick up on one of these challenges to demonstrate how the world of work has changed here in QA and to demonstrate how you can make it successful.

In early March we had an intern start with us, he was in the office (briefly!) before his internship came to an early end (his university suspended all internships because of the COVID situation).

However, I was pleased to learn later that his University had allowed him to re-start again in April (albeit remotely!). Now, just how was I going to manage that? A "remote internship", well I certainly never had to provide training to an intern remotely before. Training tends to be hands-on, office based "desktop training", and learning with different members of the team also based in the office.

I'd already put in place an extensive QA related Intern Induction/Training Pack, this incorporated simple items such as "passwords", but also more complex items such as an Introduction to DevOps, Testing, Test Case Creation, Regression & Automation (what it is and why we do it etc.), but then we were also presented initially with a challenge of providing a company laptop as well ( no point having passwords or an Induction Pack, if you can't use the password to login to anything)!

Anyway, company laptop delivered (after a period of remote desktopping), so what did this now mean for the induction plan? Well for one, it meant a lot more preparation in advance, for example where previously it was hands on office based "desktop" related training, I now had to prepare more by way of demonstrations of e.g. Azure DevOps, Test Plans and Test Cases, or provide a lot more knowledge transfer via "self-training" documentation, and a lot more scheduling. E.g. simple things such as booking time in Outlook with other members of the team. I also made sure that we were setting goals against the plan, having regular checkpoints throughout the induction and that the plan was on track.

Of course this was all being done remotely, but we at ClearPeople, were already accustomed to remote working, and were already using a great range of tools such as Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Office 365 & SharePoint, all of which allowed me to communicate regular with our "remote intern" and to easily share knowledge and be available for questions without the need to be physically in the office together to do so.

There are some great products (such as ClearPeople’s very own digital workspace "Atlas") that facilitate knowledge sharing and I have to say all of these allowed the induction and ongoing training to be a success and for the internship to be completed fully remotely, with no loss of collaboration or productivity within the team! So that's it, just my small insight into the world of work has changed for us in QA!

Author bio

Iain Stuart

Iain Stuart

Part of my job in the QA team is to discover bugs, but the role is much more than this, it’s adding value and quality throughout the delivery process. Finding bugs is just the tip of the iceberg. In my free time, I play golf, in a way this is like being in QA, always trying to improve the quality of my game!

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