“No one has all the answers, but using our collective intelligence to solve problems and make better decisions is at the core of agile.”

Early in my career as a software tester, I felt like a duck out of water working within the confines of bureaucracy. Then came agile. It did away with the rigid processes, systems, and silos to improve team collaboration.

I first saw agile in action when I worked for OP Stockbroking as a Test Manager and Business Analyst. We didn’t call it agile back then – the organisation just worked in an agile way, with speedy turnarounds and constant communication from top to bottom.

Working as a testing trainer and consultant for Telstra, NAB, DST International, and Sensis laid the foundation for creating my own testing and training company, Disqover. In less than ten years, our customer base grew to 2000 clients worldwide. Agile was key to our success and helped us leverage lean practices to streamline processes and delight our customers.

Then, when I wanted to take my business to the next level, Disqover joined forces with SoftEd in 2014, and I became part of their dynamic team as a trainer, coach, and consultant.

I’m a people person, so connecting with others in the classroom is where I thrive. I estimate I have taught over 3000 students, but I enjoy learning as much as teaching. My innate curiosity is why I decided to build on my software testing expertise through the ever-changing landscape of lean, agile, and design thinking. Part of my role is also developing course material that leverages my real-world experience.

I’m originally from England but now live in Melbourne, Australia, with my sports-mad family. We play a bit of everything, including basketball, soccer, futsal, AFL, and golf. I love to coach and play myself, but the highlight of my week is cheering my two kids on from the side lines.

 

My certifications:

  • ICAgile Authorised Instructor
  • ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP)
  • ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Testing (ICP-TST)
  • ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Test Automation (ICP-ATA)
  • ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Team Facilitation (ICP-ATF)
  • ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC)
  • ISTQB® Accredited Trainer
  • ISTQB® Certified Tester Foundation Level (CTFL)
  • ISTQB® Foundation Level Agile Tester (CTFL-AT)
  • ISTQB® Advanced Level Test Analyst (CTAL-TA)
  • ISTQB® Advanced Level Technical Test Analyst (CTAL-TTA)
  • ISTQB® Advanced Level Test Manager (CTAL-TM)

My education:

  • Master of Science in Information Systems, University of Brighton
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Politics and International Relations, University of Kent
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Nicola Stephens

Knowledge Engineer