Natasha Jones: A Journey to a Fulfilling Career in Software Testing

Natasha Jones is a Testing and Release Lead at Innovate Healthcare Services. She found a career path that is both fascinating and rewarding. As a leader in the testing industry with years of experience, she has gained valuable insights into the industry and knows what it takes to succeed in this field.

Despite initially entering the field by chance, Natasha has become a seasoned professional through her rigorous training from the ground up. She left her teaching career to become a trainee in testing, and she hasn’t looked back since.

The Importance of Testing
Testing exists in various industries, including healthcare, banking, and retail. Natasha emphasises the importance of testing before delivering software to end-users, as it ensures that the software works correctly. She explains that suppliers may test the software on top-spec machines, but testers like her test it on budget machines that end-users would typically use.


“A lot of the time we feel a bit like Sherlock Holmes… Trying to get to the nitty gritty of a problem. If I found an issue, why is this an issue? Is it because of me? Is it because of the software? Is the test wrong? Is the software wrong?”


Natasha also highlights the importance of working with other teams to ensure that tests accurately reflect real-life usage. Testing involves a natural curiosity to understand the system and anticipate potential issues. As a test lead, strong coordination skills and effective communication with various stakeholders are crucial.

Automation Tools Can’t Do it All
While manual testing is the main type of testing in healthcare settings due to the clinical nature of the tests, automation testing is more code-driven. Different testing tools can be used to assist automation testing. Natasha explains that testing tools are essential in helping test analysts to work more efficiently, but they should never replace the human element of testing.

Natasha describes her job as chaotic but fascinating. She enjoys going back through documentation and piecing together information, even if it hasn’t been updated in years. Her team is cerebral and enjoys the peaceful days when they can run their tests uninterrupted. Working for the NHS adds value to the work done, as the tests contribute to patient safety and care. Natasha is proud of the work that her team does and the contribution they make to the healthcare industry.

The Secret to a Successful Testing Career
According to Natasha, trainee initiatives at the NHS trust she works for focus on core values, knowledge, and learning about the software systems used in the department, such as Lorenzo and EMIS. After nine months to a year, trainees will move to junior test analysts and begin to learn more clinical aspects of testing.


“To be a successful test analyst, you need a drive to find out more, a natural curiosity, and an understanding of how computers work.”


Natasha believes that drive is a key quality for anyone aspiring to enter the testing field. She values candidates with passion and motivation over those with just the right skillset. Natasha believes in empowering new hires just as she was empowered during her early days at NHS. As testing has proven to be a rewarding career path for her, Natasha is eager to find someone who can also benefit from it.


“I want to be able to empower somebody in the same way that I was empowered, because I feel like I was lost and directionless when I came to the NHS, and I think I’ve really found myself working here. Testing has been a real eye opener for me.”


We hope that Natasha’s insights into the world of software testing will help anyone looking to start a career in this field. With her emphasis on soft skills, a strong understanding of computer systems, and a natural curiosity, anyone can build a successful career in testing.

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