“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
Lyndon B. Johnson
At 21 years of age, Storm Brown is one of the youngest Test Leads at Inspired Testing. He lives and works by the principle that you are what you make of yourself: “Never let your past circumstances define you – where you are from, how you grew up or what you have gone through – do not let that constrain you.”
This is his message to young people striving to enter the workplace. Storm’s philosophy strongly resonates with Dynamic Technology’s core values of inclusivity and diversity. He believes that if you want to be part of a bigger and better picture – then set your sights and keep focussed – never let anything in life hold you back. And this is exactly what he did; and the key to how and why he has achieved so rapidly.
From Grade 10 Storm was enrolled by his father – a man of similar principle – into the Cape Academy for Maths, Science and Technology. Fortunately his father realised that Storm’s preference for video games over school homework was not an indication of apathy, but rather of an un-nurtured aptitude. Storm transformed at the academy and, in Grade 11, he was selected as one of the top 10 students from his school to participate in the Oracle programme – an internationally recognised certification in IT.
Opportunity favoured Storm, but hard work and dedication carried him through to complete the certification. The Oracle course ran concurrently with his Grade 11 and 12 programme, and required him to sacrifice free time for weekend lessons. As part of the Oracle programme, graduates entered a placement agency where their soft skills were honed for the workplace. Recruiters from various big companies would interview candidates at the agency and, after six months, Storm was recruited by Inspired Testing (then DVT) as a basic Quality Assessment Tester.
And so began his journey at Inspired Testing: “The journey has been up and down. Starting as an average tester, I learnt everything that I could because I had lots of good role models and mentors. They gave me the passion and drive to achieve what they had done – they sparked something in me.”
In October 2019, Storm was promoted to a Team Lead position. His team is responsible for conducting exploratory testing, locating bugs and assisting clients with critical deadlines. Currently the team comprises eight testers, but this number is variable depending on market needs. The testers are responsible for seeing the project through, while Storm coordinates, manages and quality assures.
“It is a bit weird being one of the youngest on the floor with older people under me,” says Storm, “but my position is due to lots of hard work, being fortunate enough to have the right mentors who saw my potential, and being presented with opportunities that allowed me to make the most of my abilities.”
His efforts, perseverance and potential were recognised by his manager Tiaan Knoetzen: “I took it upon myself to prove that I could be in this position. Tiaan saw the work I had done and the amount of growth, and that I could be given the trust of this position.”
“Not everyone is a people manager,” Storm notes, “They can be technically gifted, but not be a people’s person.” He says he has been in a situation where his efforts were not recognised and it made him despondent. He says this has inspired him to always look for the potential in others. “We have a slogan at Inspired Testing: ‘It takes a village to raise a tester’. We are all dependent on one another, and we always strive for constructive team work. And constructive team work is only possible in an environment that is friendly and open. We talk to each other constantly and without fear – it is a haven away from home.”