Stories from a neurodiverse work environment: “with an open mind, you can get a lot out of employees.”

Specialisterren has existed since 2008, and in the past year we have grown rapidly. We now employ 75 people at Specialisterren, 60 of whom have a form of autism. Because everyone has their own story and we like to inspire others with our experiences, a number of employees share their stories in the series: ‘Stories from a neurodiverse work environment’.

From customer to colleague

This time the story of Agile test analyst Mandy. From her collaboration with NLvoorelkaar, where she was Product Owner at the time, Mandy was already familiar with Specialisterren. Mandy herself has a son with a form of autism. Specialisterren’s mission and approach therefore appealed to her.

Getting a lot out of employees by keeping an open mind

Much to our delight, she ended up working at Specialisterren via a detour. Mandy says: “When I was still on the customer side, I noticed that Specialisterren really looks at what their employees can and need, and what kind of project suits them best. With this open mind you can get a lot out of the employee. I liked this so much that I eventually wanted to work at Specialisterren.”

Creating overview in a dynamic environment

As an Agile test analyst, Mandy leads a test team at Specialisterren. This test team provides permanent testing capacity in the client’s development team. Because Specialisterren’s test team adapts to the needs of the client’s development team, it regularly happens that there is little overview and a lot of dynamics. As a test analyst, Mandy provides an overview. She organizes and divides the work and ensures the necessary distinction between main and side issues. This ensures that the other testers know what needs to be done. This allows them to focus on what needs to be done, which ensures that they can do their work well. 

Self-confidence through clarity

Mandy gets a lot of satisfaction from her work at Specialisterren: “Because this job is very substantive, I see the results of my work immediately. I also like the fact that by doing my job well I can help others. When I can create clarity and overview, I see stress subsiding among my colleagues. It is nice to see how then there is room for growth in independence and self-confidence.” 

The qualities of a test analyst

When asked what makes a test analyst a good test analyst, Mandy says, “For this job, you have to be inquisitive and want to know the ins and outs of what is going on. You also must not shy away from communicating with a customer and sometimes be able to be creative in how you retrieve the right information from a customer. Finally, keeping an overview and being able to estimate work is very important to be a good test analyst.” 

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