Jonathan Burton

Jonathan Burton

QA Tester turned Consultant

Can you tell me a little about your background and how you came to join Pythagoras?

I sort of “fell” into the career path of retail having left school after my GCSE’s. After 25 years of working in the retail industry, there had been a lot of changes that meant I was no longer enjoying my career, factors such as, the rapid growth of online shopping and the increasing demand for part-time employment, encouraged me to begin to look elsewhere. I was very keen for a change in career and willing to try anything. A friend suggested that I would be suitable for a role Pythagoras had available as a QA consultant, which I then applied for.

What aspects of QA Consultancy attracted you to the role? And tell us a little bit about the role of a QA Consultant.

What really drew me towards the role was Pythagoras’s approach to its values of ‘People, Passion and Technology,’ and what I’ve learnt over the past three years here is that they really do play a part in our culture. I felt that I could already encompass the ‘People and Passion’ aspect and looked forward to Pythagoras helping me develop the ‘Technology’ skills.

The role of a QA Consultant enables Pythagoras to mitigate any bugs before it ‘goes live’ with a client, decrease the long-term cost for a company and ultimately deliver a quality product to our clients. They work closely alongside Functional Consultants who build a product the way they think it best fits the client and then the QA Consultant reviews the product with an idea of how the end user will use it.

What training did you receive when joining the company and how has that continued throughout your time here?

I received mentoring and training from the very beginning of my Pythagoras career, especially from our Lead QA Consultant. As well as mentoring I tried to absorb as much knowledge and expertise as I could through colleagues and the study material from Microsoft Learn. Shortly after joining I became qualified in three areas of Dynamics 365 – Sales, Marketing, Configuration and Customisation and became a Certified Tester at Foundation Level as recognised by the BCS.

What interested you in the internal role change to Functional Consultant?

During my time as a QA Consultant I had regular reviews with my managers, in which I was able to voice my opinions. Whilst I was very happy in my position, I wanted to explore further options in order to challenge myself and develop my skills; the idea of the internal role change was equally balanced between myself and my manager. My progression was regularly monitored and supported, but I am happy to have passed my probation period and look forward to my future as a Functional Consultant.

How did you find the transition from a QA Consultant to a Functional Consultant?

The easiest way for me to describe the transition would be to say, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. There were obvious technical aspects that I wasn’t as familiar with, such as Power Automate and Power Apps, however I had an idea of how things should work due to my time in QA. Moreover, aspects such as our pipeline process with managers and the concept of testing in the consultancy role stayed the same.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about their future career path, based on your experience?

My main piece of advice for anyone thinking about beginning their career or starting a new one would be, don’t be afraid of what you don’t know. Having left school at 16 and getting ‘stuck’ in the retail industry, it ended up really holding me back. If I could go back in time, I would advise my younger self to focus on what I could do instead of what I couldn’t. Even though I began my career at Pythagoras on the back foot, I truly believe that if you’re willing to learn and have a genuine passion for what you do, you can progress in any career journey.

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