Veterans4Quality™ Starts Fifth Semester of Quality Assurance Training Program

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Filling a need for both software quality assurance professionals and helping returning veterans transition into civilian careers, Bridge360 has begun its fifth session of the Veterans4Quality™ training program. Military veterans are taught software testing skills in both classroom instruction and paid internships.

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I have a strong desire to support this community by training those willing to put in the hard work to become skilled QA testers and build their careers in this engineering profession.

The software quality training program geared specifically for U.S. veterans, Veterans4Quality™, launched its fifth course with fall classes starting September 8th. In just one year, the program has provided instruction to 62 veterans; most of whom have already been placed into full-time jobs within the industry.

The 13 veterans enrolled in the program for this fall will raise the total number of veterans trained to 75. These students will undergo 15 weeks of class instruction on software quality, overlapped with 90 days of hands-on, on-the-job training at strategically arranged internships hosted by many Austin-area technology companies.

The Veterans4Quality program, now held at National American University in north Austin, offers a software quality assurance curriculum specially designed by Bridge360 — an Austin-based company that specializes in software development, design, testing and support. Thanks in part to partnerships and sponsorships from other companies in the technology community, the program is free to military veterans now seeking to transition into civilian careers in the technology sector.

Veterans4Quality was launched in 2014 to bridge the gap between supply and demand for Quality Assurance (QA) talent at Bridge360. Colleges and universities currently do not offer degrees in software quality assurance, says Bridge360 CEO, Brenda Hall. So, it made sense for Bridge360 to use its expertise in developing the program.

“I was looking for a new way to attract talent to our company when I had the idea to train returning Veterans,” said Hall. “My dad was a WWII Veteran, so I have a strong desire to support this community by training those willing to put in the hard work to become skilled QA testers and build their careers in this engineering profession.”

Since the program’s inception last fall, Bridge360 has issued 62 Software Quality Assurance Certificates to Veterans who have completed the program. Of those, more than 90 percent have landed full-time jobs within the industry. Mickey Walker, a certificate holder from Veterans4Quality’s inaugural class credits the program for giving him a chance to find a civilian career after his 16 years of service with the United States Army.

“Veterans4Quality helped me turn my work in the military into work in Austin,” said Walker. “Bridge360 made it possible for me to take what I learned in the military and bridge the skills gap to enter a new career path in technology. I was surprised by how easy it was to take what I was doing while deployed and put it to work at home.”

Instruction for the Veterans4Quality classes is provided on a volunteer basis by Bridge360 team members and other software maintenance engineers in the software quality assurance space. The on-the-job training internships are offered by local partnering companies that recognize the value of the program. Companies that have already agreed to host internships for this fall include: Whole Foods, Alcatel, Alchemy, Dell, NewComLink, Pace Americas, HomeAway, Somnio, Personify, Everi, and the FAA. The final phase of the program includes an opportunity to connect with companies looking to add QA talent to their teams, test their interviewing skills, and show off their new resumes.

About Bridge360
Bridge360 is on a mission to bring quality back to software, implementing quality solutions for clients throughout the development lifecycle, and establishing a Quality Center of Excellence across the entire organization. While this includes program management, architecture, design and development, testing and support, and maintenance, becoming a Quality Center of Excellence (QCoE) means having more than an IT-only focus. A QCoE means IT has a ‘business focus’ that thinks strategically to achieve goals and meet, or exceed, the expectations of the end user. Bridge360 specializes in solving complex problems at every phase of a project, removes roadblocks that inhibit software and applications from performing at their highest level, and localizes it for readiness in any market.

The Bridge360 customer base includes world technology companies, leading system integrators, federal and state government agencies, and small-to-enterprise businesses across the globe that embrace the return on investment that quality brings to their business. Bridge360’s clients span industries from legal to healthcare, automotive to energy, and high tech to high fashion; all counting upon Bridge360 to clear a path for their success.

Bridge360 was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Recent acclaims for the company have included 2013 and 2014 listing on Inc. 5000, and Austin Business Journal Top Women-Owned Businesses. Bridge360 was recognized in 2013 as a Software 500 and Austin Business Journal Fast 50 company, and was also the 2013 recipient of the International Service Award presented by GlobalAustin and the Austin Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, Bridge360 launched the Veterans4Quality program — a fast-track career-training program in software quality assurance provided for free to returning veterans.

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