Below is a Q&A we had with David Singleton from Edge Testing.
Tell us about your Midlands base
We are one of the UK’s fastest growing and largest independent software testing companies. We set up our Birmingham base in 2013, and significantly expanded by launching our Digital Test Hub in 2017. We chose this city as it has one of the strongest talent pools in the country, with 20 leading universities within a one-hour drive. We appointed 10 new recruits just last year for our Digital Test Hub from local universities including Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and BCU.
In 2018, we increased our presence in England by 50 per cent and added 15 new clients to our portfolio – all of which were added to our roster in the Midlands and are served by Edge Testing’s Digital Test Hub at Quayside Wharf in Birmingham.
We’ve also recently taken on a new, larger office in Birmingham to service our expanding client base with new employees.
How difficult is it to find the right kind of people with the right kind of skills?
We’re not always expecting people to have the right skills. With our training programs, it’s more about the candidates’ capability and aptitude. We work hard to forge links with educational establishments and use different channels to ensure that our recruitment pipeline is strong.
You have your own training academy – tell us about that
Edge Testing has been running a training programme – Edge Academy – for five years now. The Academy is a two-year learning program that combines hands-on experience with classroom-based software testing training. Candidates go through a rigorous selection process and, once accepted, are paired with experienced mentors to work on live client projects, either on client site or at one of our Digital Test Hubs, in Scotland, Manchester and Birmingham. Those who excel early on are placed on the fast track one-year course
The Academy attracts anyone interested in testing as a career, including school leavers with a passion for IT, graduates, graduate-level apprentices and career changers.
You recently launched Academy as a Service – what is that?
For clients wanting to build their own in-house testing teams at low risk and cost, through our Academy as a Service offer we recruit and train on their behalf. It’s an alternative to contract recruitment and the process is simple – a client decides on the number of testers required and they are trained at the Edge Academy.
Individuals remain Edge Testing employees for a year, but after one year they can transfer over to the client’s team, if the client still has the budget and requirement and they’re happy to transfer. We’ve already attracted several clients for this service, so we know the demand is out there.
What does the future hold for Edge Testing?
We’re hoping for continued organic growth and, short to medium term, this will be throughout the UK. Once we gain more market share, we will eventually branch into different geographies, but we have no plans to acquire other service providers to expand our offering for now. We will continue to evolve and develop different service lines and are on track for more than 40 per cent revenue growth in England.