Independent software testing firm Edge Testing Solutions, part of Eurofins Digital Testing, has seen the 100th graduate successfully pass through its software testing education programme, Edge Academy.

The academy, established in 2013, combines hands-on experience with classroom-based training at Edge Testing’s three offices in Belshill, Birmingham and London.

Three times a year, candidates go through a selection process and, once accepted into the academy, are paired with experienced mentors to work on live client projects. The academy attracts anyone interested in testing as a career, including school leavers with a passion for IT, graduates, graduate level apprentices and older career changers.

Former police officer, James McLean, completed his Edge Academy training 13 months ago. He is now a Test Lead and commented: “Edge Academy offers a shorter course with better quality training, which is hands on, working alongside experienced professionals.

‘Thanks to Edge Academy, I have been given the skills to transform my 25 years in law enforcement and finding criminals into hunting down and fixing bugs and glitches in IT systems, programmes and apps.”

Nadia McKay, testing services director at Edge Testing and is in charge of recruitment, said: “Through our academy, we are building a pool of testers familiar with the latest tools and frameworks to ensure that our clients’ products and services are released without any glitches. We are championing software testing as a dynamic career choice for trainees from various levels of experience and background, especially as we embrace new technologies.”

Edge Academy is proving popular because each graduate is paid throughout the training and has a job at the end of the two years. While the majority of candidates join via Edge Testing’s training relationships with Scottish and Midlands universities, the first London based candidate was taken on earlier this year.

Nadia said: “As demand for our software testing services increases, Edge Academy graduates help ensure that we continue to be responsive to client needs with expert testers that can quickly be on client site.”

Edge Testing, which has been awarded the highest level Gold status ‘Investors in Young People’ accreditation, already has strong relations with Scottish universities and encourages testing as an exciting, flexible and demanding career path. Now with the Digital Test Hub in Birmingham, the company has nine new trainee test analysts from Midlands universities coming through the Edge Academy programme.

Now in its 11th year of trading, Edge Testing has experienced year-on-year growth and employs 250 people.