Alumni Stories - David Clarke

Name: David Clarke
Degree: MSc Computer Science
Graduated: 2003

What does your current job involve?

I test financial systems using an automated test framework.

Which skills learnt at university benefit you particularly in your job?

Part of my job involves writing new automated tests, which verify outstanding or new functionality within the financial system. These new tests are written using a Java like programming language. The Java Programming Course gave me the core skills I required to create such automated tests.

How did you progress from university into your current job?

I was offered the Job at a testing consultancy company called Cresta Group Limited. Initially I had to endure 3 weeks worth of training; in these 3 weeks I was taught (along with 7 other graduates) the ISEB foundation course material and Mercury testing suites. After the 3 weeks of intensive training had passed Cresta took us to our first client,, an internet banking organisation that are owned by Prudential bank. At I became an expert in automated testing using the Mercury testing tool WinRunner. For the last 2 years I have worked at the same client, in the same team, testing new releases in a test environment before giving them the green light to go live.

What are your career plans for the future?

I enjoy testing; Cresta has been a great company to work for. They have many clients in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and even New Zealand. My future is with Cresta Group Limited. I hope they can improve my current software skills set, which should give me more opportunities in future testing endeavors.

What are the best things about studying Computer Science at Birmingham?

The facilities at Birmingham University are first rate! The computer science department had great numbers of the latest PC hardware and software that were situated in a convenient, secure area.

The quality of staff was second to none.

I particularly enjoyed the Java exercises. They were taught in a well structured manner and the support offered from the post graduate staff really benefited my understanding of computer programming.

What are the best things about your current job?

I work with a great team. They are very competent at the jobs they do, plus they are very sociable. It's not all work and no play. Socialising with the team outside work really does enhance the relationship with the team inside work.

It's satisfying as a tester to find defects i.e. knowing you have done your job to stop a defective piece of functionality from going into the live website.

Working isn't just about completing work to specified deadlines. I work as a member of a team; I rely on the team to help complete a task. I have a good relationship with members of the team, this really does help