Author Archives: Fab T

The Impact of High Interest Rates on Software Testing Jobs

In today’s economic landscape, high interest rates have significantly impacted various industries, including software testing. Notably, job listings for Test Analysts on popular job boards have decreased by nearly 40%. This decline signals challenges, but also opportunities for those willing to adapt.

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Business Operations

Businesses are grappling with increased borrowing costs and extended project timelines due to rising interest rates. These factors can disrupt cash flow and strain project budgets, necessitating strategic planning and efficient management to overcome these hurdles.

The Legacy of Zero Interest Rates

The past decade of near-zero interest rates facilitated significant technological advancements, such as the smartphone and cloud revolutions. These developments created more efficient start-up ecosystems and cost-effective distribution channels, reshaping business operations and market expectations.

Current Job Market Realities

Today’s job market is more competitive than it has been in a decade, with fewer openings and more qualified candidates. While this is advantageous for employers, job seekers must adapt their strategies to succeed in this challenging environment.

The Role of Software Quality Assurance

Software Quality Assurance (SQA) ensures that software products meet the required standards and specifications. It encompasses the entire software development lifecycle, from requirement definition through to testing and maintenance. In an environment where fewer jobs are available, understanding the intricacies of SQA can set candidates apart. Proficiency in different testing methodologies, such as unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing, is crucial.

Automation Testing: A Key Skill

Automation testing, a subset of SQA, uses specialized tools to execute tests automatically, reducing the need for manual intervention. This method enhances efficiency and accuracy, making it a highly sought-after skill in the industry. Learning tools like Selenium, QTP, and LoadRunner can provide a competitive edge. As businesses strive for cost-effective solutions, professionals with automation testing skills are in high demand.

Evolving Compensation and Negotiation Strategies

Compensation trends are shifting, often stagnating or declining. Understanding the current market’s complexity is crucial for effective negotiation. While negotiating remains important, doing so tactfully is essential in today’s landscape.

Career Growth and Promotion Slowdowns

Promotions and career advancements are likely to slow across the software testing industry as companies adjust to a slower growth trajectory. Professionals should focus on enhancing their skills and securing their career paths amidst these changes.

The Importance of Upskilling

Despite current challenges, there’s a silver lining as interest rates begin to stabilize or fall in regions like the UK. This stabilization could revive projects previously put on hold, leading to new opportunities. Preparing now by upskilling is crucial to capitalizing on these future prospects. For those in software testing, gaining certifications in SQA and automation testing, and staying abreast of the latest tools and practices, can be particularly beneficial.

Preparing for Future Opportunities

As the job market shows signs of recovery, now is the time for professionals to invest in their skillsets. Waiting for the job market to fully rebound could mean missing out on valuable opportunities. Proactive career development is key to staying competitive.

In conclusion, while high interest rates have created challenges for the software testing industry, they also offer opportunities for those who are prepared to adapt. By understanding the market’s evolving dynamics and continuously improving their skills, professionals can position themselves for success in an ever-changing landscape. Embracing the latest trends in software quality assurance and automation testing will be pivotal in navigating and thriving in the future job market.

CeMAP Trainer Required

Futuretrend is one of UK’s leading Mortgage/Financial Advisor Training Centre’s and was established in December 2000 and have been running Financial Training courses since September 2006. We have helped thousands of students pass their exams quickly and confidently. 

We are a Recognised CeMAP Training provider by The London Institute of Banking & Finance.
visit our website at www.cemap123.co.uk

CeMAP Tutors

We are currently expanding our pool of associated tutors and looking for energetic and passionate CeMAP Qualified specialists with at least 3 years’ experience working as a mortgage or protection advisor to teach CeMAP in Live Virtual Classrooms.

With your unique knowledge, energy and passion, you’ll help shape the minds of the future mortgage advisers seeking to gain their CeMAP qualification.

This role is about providing high level, informative learning experience to budding mortgage advisors to LIBF CeMAP Standards and beyond, keeping quality training at the heart of what you do.

What We Look For In a Tutor

  • You have excellent communication skills and a friendly, approachable personality and ability to motivate and inspire learners.
  • You can show subject-matter expertise in the Mortgage Industry giving real life examples and explanations alongside the syllabus topic content.
  • You have the ability to adapt and change lessons based on Learner requirements and understanding, making sure all learners leave the course with required knowledge to pass their exams.
  • You can create and use of visual aids, examples, demonstrations and engaging lesson plans to help support the teaching and learning.

This post is for approximately 10 days per month working Monday to Friday 9:30am- 4.30pm over a two-week period on a freelance basis.

If this sounds of interest and you can fit our requirements around your current work commitments, please get in touch with your CV or give us a call on 020 8443 2888.

A Guide to Buy-to-Let Mortgages (Important CeMAP Topic!)

Investing in real estate has long been an avenue for wealth accumulation, and one of the prominent ways to enter this market is through buy-to-let properties. These properties, purchased with the intention of generating rental income, are underpinned by buy-to-let mortgages – the financial bedrock of property investment. In this quick guide, we delve into the intricate tapestry of buy-to-let mortgages, exploring their nuances, regulatory implications, financial considerations, and more.
Please read through y and you can test your knowledge at the end.

Understanding Buy-to-Let Mortgages

At its core, a buy-to-let mortgage is designed to empower individuals to purchase properties with the intention of renting them out, rather than occupying them as their primary residence. These mortgages differ from traditional residential mortgages due to their distinct financial dynamics that cater to the unique aspects of property investment. The majority of buy-to-let mortgages are not subjected to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and fall outside the purview of the Mortgage Conduct of Business (MCOB) rules. However, there are certain exceptions, particularly when a mortgage aligns with the criteria of a regulated consumer buy-to-let (CBTL) mortgage—a novel category of buy-to-let mortgage.

Unpacking Consumer Buy-to-Let and Business Buy-to-Let

Within the landscape of buy-to-let mortgages, two primary classifications emerge: consumer buy-to-let (CBTL) and business (professional) buy-to-let. The former is tailored for individuals who find themselves in the landlord role due to personal circumstances. This includes scenarios like inheriting property or necessitating sudden relocations(also known as accidental landlords). CBTL mortgages fall under FCA regulation, necessitating mortgage brokers and lenders to acquire FCA authorization. The application process parallels that of residential mortgages.

Conversely, business buy-to-let mortgages remain unshackled from FCA oversight. They are designed for properties intended solely for rental income within the scope of a business endeavor. Lenders often mandate that borrowers maintain a primary residence or have ownership of other properties. Minimum income thresholds and age restrictions are commonplace, safeguarding borrowers’ financial stability as they venture into property investment.

The Significance of Yield Calculation and Viability Assessment

Central to the buy-to-let investment landscape is the calculation of potential returns. At the forefront stands the concept of rental yield—an essential metric gauging the annual rental income as a percentage of the property’s value. However, the net yield takes a more nuanced approach, considering operational costs to present a more accurate picture of the investment’s potential. Armed with the calculations of gross and net yields, investors can meticulously weigh the attractiveness of a property compared to alternative investment opportunities.

Maintenance costs, property management fees, and potential mortgage payments must all be factored into yield calculations. It is imperative to acknowledge that mortgage payments wield considerable influence over net income and the overall return on investment. Additionally, anticipation of capital appreciation over time elevates the investment’s allure, particularly in regions poised for growth.

Navigating Regulatory Waters and Evaluating Affordability

Regulatory vigilance is a cornerstone of the buy-to-let mortgage landscape. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) stands as the sentinel over buy-to-let mortgages that elude the FCA’s consumer buy-to-let regime. The PRA’s mandate encompasses establishing minimum standards to ensure the sustainability and affordability of non-regulated buy-to-let lending.

Under the PRA’s purview, lenders are tasked with evaluating the affordability of buy-to-let mortgage contracts. Criteria span a range of factors, including the interest coverage ratio, income affordability, and interest rate affordability stress tests. This comprehensive approach ensures borrowers are well-equipped to handle mortgage payments while securing a balance between rental income and mortgage costs.

Stamp Duty Land Tax and Additional Considerations

In the realm of property investment, fiscal considerations are paramount. Notably, the purchase of buy-to-let properties and second homes often attracts a 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge. This surcharge is in addition to the standard SDLT rate and serves as a deterrent against property speculation, championing the cause of primary home ownership.

The Total Return Equation

Calculating the total return on a rental property serves as a beacon illuminating investment performance. This calculation is an amalgamation of net income, mortgage costs, and prospective capital growth—a comprehensive evaluation of an investment’s potential. Notably, mortgage payments wield significant influence over net income, thereby impacting the total return. Additionally, the prospect of property value appreciation, coupled with rental income, can propel the total return, especially in property hotspots.

Empowering Informed Decision-Making

Embarking on a journey into the realm of buy-to-let property investment necessitates an informed approach. Prospective landlords must navigate regulatory frameworks, meticulously assess affordability, and conduct thorough return calculations. Whether embarking as a consumer driven by personal circumstances or as a business professional with a strategic vision, individuals are well-advised to undertake comprehensive research prior to embarking on their property investment odyssey.

In Summary

In summation, buy-to-let mortgages epitomize the entry point to the dynamic world of property investment, offering individuals the prospect of generating rental income and capitalizing on property appreciation. Navigating the regulatory landscape, assessing affordability, and projecting potential returns equip aspiring investors with the tools to navigate the intricate terrain of buy-to-let investments. Armed with prudent research and a deep comprehension of the buy-to-let mortgage landscape, individuals can unveil the full potential of property investment as an invaluable addition to their financial portfolio. Our CeMAP courses include training material that breaks all this down in our UK financial Regulations and Mortgages Made easy books.

In the meantime you can test your knowledge with the following multiple-choice questions based on Buy to Let.

**Question 1:**
What differentiates a regulated consumer buy-to-let (CBTL) mortgage from a business buy-to-let mortgage?

A) The interest rate offered by lenders.

B) The borrower’s credit score.

C) The borrower’s primary residence ownership.

D) The mortgage term length.

Correct Answer: C
The borrower’s primary residence ownership.**

**Explanation:**
CBTL mortgages are intended for individuals with personal circumstances, often requiring the borrower to own a primary residence. Business buy-to-let mortgages, however, do not require the borrower to own a primary residence.

**Question 2:**
Why is the calculation of net yield considered a more comprehensive metric than gross yield for evaluating property investment?

A) Net yield accounts for potential capital appreciation.

B) Gross yield considers property maintenance costs.

C) Net yield reflects potential mortgage payments.

D) Gross yield calculates the rental income only.

Correct Answer: C
Net yield reflects potential mortgage payments.**

**Explanation:**
Net yield includes operational costs, such as maintenance and mortgage payments, which provides a more accurate assessment of the property’s profitability compared to gross yield.

Question 3:
Under what circumstances would a consumer buy-to-let (CBTL) mortgage NOT be applicable?

A) When an individual inherits a property and rents it out.

B) When an individual purchases a property primarily for rental income.

C) When an individual quickly purchases a property due to job relocation.

D) When an individual owns multiple properties as part of a business.

Correct Answer: D
When an individual owns multiple properties as part of a business.**

**Explanation:**  
Individuals who own multiple properties as part of a business venture would typically not be considered CBTL borrowers even if they acquire another property under certain circumstances.

Question 4:
What is the primary goal of calculating the total return on a rental property?

A) To determine the potential rental income over time.

B) To project the property’s future market value.

C) To assess the property’s capital appreciation potential.

D) To evaluate the overall investment performance.

Correct Answer: D
To evaluate the overall investment performance.**

**Explanation:**
Calculating the total return involves assessing net income, mortgage costs, and potential capital growth to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the investment’s performance.

Question 5:
How does the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) contribute to the regulation of buy-to-let mortgages?

A) It oversees business buy-to-let mortgages only.

B) It determines the interest rates for buy-to-let mortgages.

C) It defines the criteria for consumer buy-to-let (CBTL) mortgages.

D) It sets minimum standards for the sustainability and affordability of non-regulated buy-to-let lending.

Correct Answer: D
It sets minimum standards for the sustainability and affordability of non-regulated buy-to-let lending.**

**Explanation:**
The PRA’s oversight extends to non-regulated buy-to-let lending, ensuring sustainability and affordability through minimum standards.

In addition to helpful CeMAP articles/Q&A like the above when you register on our training course you are provided with a complete pack of official LIBF question for CeMAP 1, 2& 3.

Inspiring Success Stories: Real Students Share Their Journey to Becoming CeMAP Qualified

Embarking on a career as a mortgage advisor can be an exciting and rewarding journey. To shed light on the real experiences of students pursuing the CeMAP qualification, we are thrilled to share inspiring success stories from our students. In their own words, they recount their challenges, triumphs, and valuable insights gained throughout their CeMAP journey.

Richard Acheampong: Turning Passion into a Rewarding Career

Richard Acheampong’s story is a testament to the transformative power of passion and perseverance. With a strong desire to make a positive impact in people’s lives, Richard embarked on the journey to become a qualified mortgage advisor by pursuing the CeMAP qualification. He recognized that in order to provide expert advice and guidance to individuals seeking homeownership, he needed comprehensive training and industry knowledge. Richard enrolled in our CeMAP training program, where he gained the necessary skills and deepened his understanding of the mortgage industry. Through rigorous studying and hands-on practice, Richard not only passed the CeMAP exams but also developed a strong foundation for his career. Today, Richard is empowering individuals by helping them navigate the complex mortgage landscape and achieve their dreams of homeownership. His story showcases the importance of dedication, continuous learning, and the ability to adapt to an ever-evolving market.

Sarah Metcalfe’s Journey: From Aspiration to Achievement

Sarah Metcalfe’s determination to excel in the mortgage industry led her to pursue the CeMAP qualification. She had a clear vision of helping individuals find the right mortgage solutions and make informed financial decisions. However, Sarah recognized that in order to achieve her aspirations, she needed a solid educational foundation. Sarah joined our CeMAP training program, where she received expert guidance and comprehensive training on mortgage regulations, financial products, and client communication. With diligent studying and the support of our experienced instructors, Sarah successfully passed the CeMAP exams and gained the confidence to embark on her career as a mortgage advisor. Today, she assists clients in realizing their homeownership dreams, offering personalized advice and guiding them through the mortgage process. Sarah’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of determination and the rewards that await those who pursue their dreams.

Matt Purdue: Embracing Opportunities and Overcoming Obstacle

Matt Purdue’s story is clear proof of how to embrace perseverance and seize opportunities. Facing career transitions and personal challenges, Matt found himself seeking a new path that would align with his passion for helping others. Inspired by the potential of the mortgage industry, Matt decided to pursue the CeMAP qualification. He recognized that acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills would open doors to a fulfilling career. Matt enrolled in our CeMAP training program, where he received comprehensive education on mortgage regulations, financial markets, and client interactions. With unwavering determination, Matt overcame obstacles and successfully passed the CeMAP exams. Today, he thrives as a mortgage advisor, utilizing his expertise to guide clients through the complex mortgage landscape and secure their dream homes. Matt’s story serves as an inspiration to those facing challenges and showcases the opportunities that await when one takes the leap to become a CeMAP qualified professional.

Ashley Laidlaw: Empowering Others Through Mortgage Advice

Ashley Laidlaw’s journey showcases the transformative impact of the CeMAP qualification. Driven by a desire to empower individuals and help them achieve their homeownership dreams, Ashley recognized the pivotal role of a mortgage advisor. To acquire the necessary knowledge and expertise, she enrolled in our CeMAP training program. Through comprehensive coursework and practical exercises, Ashley developed a deep understanding of mortgage products, financial regulations, and client needs. Armed with this knowledge, Ashley emerged as a qualified mortgage advisor, ready to guide clients through the mortgage process and provide tailored solutions to their unique circumstances. Today, she plays a crucial role in making homeownership a reality for individuals and families, and her passion for making a positive difference continues to drive her success.

These incredible stories from real students who successfully completed the CeMAP qualification demonstrate the transformative power of dedicated training and personal determination. Each individual’s journey highlights the importance of comprehensive knowledge, unwavering commitment, and expert guidance in becoming a qualified mortgage advisor. If you are considering a career in the mortgage industry, these stories serve as a testament to the opportunities and rewards that await you on your CeMAP journey.

At Futuretrend / cemap123.co.uk we are committed to providing exceptional training and support to aspiring mortgage advisors. Get started on your own success story by enrolling in our CeMAP training program and join the ranks of these inspiring individuals who have turned their dreams into reality.

Breaking Barriers: How Anil’s Instructor-Led Training Empowers Non-Programmers to Master Selenium Automation Testing

If you’re looking to learn Selenium, but you’re coming from a non-technical background, it can be a daunting task. However, with the right resources and approach, it’s definitely achievable. As such you should strongly consider the 6 week Software Testing Essentials course offered by careertesters.com and ran by Anil; our software testing guru

The Software Testing Essentials course is designed to teach students the fundamentals of Selenium in a practical and interactive way. The course has been created by experienced instructors who have years of experience in software testing and test automation. The lead trainer for the Software Testing Essentials course is Anil, who has over 10 years of experience as a Senior Test Automation Engineer. Anil has used his skills to develop, build, and maintain Test Automation Frameworks for major multinational companies in different domains across Banking, Retail, Supply Chain, and Education.

With Anil’s vast experience and knowledge of the industry, you can be assured that the Software Testing Essentials course will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to become proficient in Selenium. The course covers all the essential topics that you need to know to become proficient in Selenium, including Selenium WebDriver, TestNG, Maven, and Jenkins. The course also covers advanced topics such as Page Object Model (POM) and Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD). In today’s rapidly evolving tech industry, automation testing has emerged as a crucial skill set for software testers. However, many aspiring automation testers may feel hesitant or held back by their lack of Java programming skills. Anil provides a guided path to learning Selenium and empowering individuals to become successful automation testers.

Here is how Anil provides Futuretrend students with training that helps bridge the gap for those without Java programming skills and set them on the path to automation testing success:

1. Structured Learning Path:

A structured learning path that caters to individuals with varying levels of experience. Even if you’re starting from scratch without Java programming skills, the course is designed to guide you through the learning process step-by-step. Comprehensive materials, hands-on exercises, and practical examples will build your skills from the ground up.

2. Java Essentials:

While Java programming may seem intimidating at first, Anil’s training addresses this concern by providing a solid foundation in Java essentials. We understand that not everyone comes from a programming background and break down complex concepts into digestible modules. Through interactive sessions, you’ll learn the basics of Java programming required for Selenium automation testing, ensuring you can write effective automation scripts.

3. Practical Examples and Real-World Projects:

One of the significant advantages of our instructor-led training is the emphasis on practical application. Anil frequently utilizes real-world examples and projects to demonstrate how Selenium and automation testing are applied in the industry. By working on hands-on exercises and projects, you gain valuable experience in implementing automation strategies, handling web elements, and designing robust test scripts….even if you never learned any sort of code or programmed before!

4. Guidance and Support:

Our Software Testing Essentials training provides a supportive learning environment where trainers and mentors are available to answer questions, provide guidance, and address any challenges you may encounter. They understand the specific hurdles faced by individuals without Java programming skills and can offer tailored assistance to help you grasp the concepts and build your confidence. This personalized attention ensures you receive the necessary support throughout your learning journey.

5. Collaboration and Peer Learning:

We include interactive elements such as group discussions, code reviews, and collaborative exercises. These opportunities for collaboration and peer learning allow you to benefit from the experiences and perspectives of fellow learners. By engaging with others in the training program, you can exchange ideas, discuss best practices, and expand your understanding of automation testing.

6. Ongoing Feedback and Assessment:

Continuous feedback and assessment to track your progress and identify areas for improvement. Trainers review your assignments, code, and projects, providing valuable insights to enhance your skills. This feedback loop ensures that you are continually growing and refining your automation testing abilities.

7. Confidence Building:

Learning a new skill can be daunting, especially if you lack experience in programming. Instructor-led software testing training helps build your confidence by gradually introducing concepts and providing ample opportunities to practice. Through the guidance of experienced trainers, you’ll gain confidence in your ability to write automation scripts, execute tests, and tackle complex testing scenarios.

Here are some testimonials from students who have taken the Software Testing Essentials course:

“I was a complete beginner when it came to Selenium, but Futuretrends course provided me with all the knowledge and skills I needed to get started. The hands-on approach really helped me to understand the concepts and apply them in real-world scenarios.” – Ade  O.

“This is one of the best courses I have taken in my career. Anil is knowledgeable and supportive, and the course curriculum is comprehensive. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn Selenium.” – Sudha K.

“The course has exceeded my expectations. I learned more than I thought I would, and the course structure made it easy to follow along. The live projects were especially helpful in giving me hands-on experience with Selenium.” – Sarah M.

One of the best things about the Software Testing Essentials course is that it offers flexible learning options. In case a student misses any session or doesn’t get it first time then they can watch recorded sessions at their convenience. The course also includes a virtual learning zone and sample code that students can access anytime.

On the virtual learning zone Students can ask questions and get feedback on their assignments or code snippets from instructors and other students. The course also includes a dedicated discussion forum where students can interact with each other.

Another great thing about the Software Testing Essentials course is that it is affordable compared to other Selenium courses available in the market. The course fee is reasonable, and there are no hidden charges. Students can also pay in 3 instalments if they want to pay by PayPal. Details here subscribing to the careertesters.com newsletter.

Overall, the Software Testing Essentials course is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to learn Selenium quickly and effectively. The course curriculum is comprehensive, and the learning options are flexible. The supportive community of learners and instructors makes the learning experience enjoyable and engaging. And, the affordable pricing makes the course accessible to everyone.

So, if you’re looking to learn Selenium and you’re coming from a non-technical background, the Software Testing Essentials course offered by careertesters.com is definitely worth considering. With this course, you can get started with Selenium quickly and confidently, and take your software testing skills to the next level with the guidance of an experienced industry leader like Anil.

Advancing Your Career as a Mortgage Advisor: The Power of CeMAP Qualification Amid Rising Interest Rates

Introduction:

In these challenging times of rising interest rates, the mortgage industry demands expertise and resilience from professionals. As a mortgage advisor, equipping yourself with the CeMAP qualification can prove to be a game-changer for your career. In this blog, we will explore how obtaining the CeMAP qualification can empower you to navigate the complexities of rising interest rates and excel in your role as a mortgage advisor.

1. Comprehensive Knowledge and Understanding:

Obtaining the CeMAP qualification provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the mortgage market, regulations, and lending practices. This knowledge equips you to navigate the intricacies of rising interest rates and effectively advise clients on the best mortgage options available. With a solid foundation in mortgage-related subjects, you become a trusted expert in the field and gain a competitive advantage over non-qualified advisors.

2. Building Trust and Credibility:

In uncertain times, clients seek guidance from knowledgeable professionals they can trust. By obtaining the CeMAP qualification, you demonstrate your commitment to excellence and your dedication to staying updated with industry standards. Clients will have confidence in your abilities, knowing that you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to guide them through the challenges of rising interest rates. This helps you build strong relationships and establishes you as a credible advisor in their eyes.

3. Ability to Adapt and Provide Tailored Solutions:

As interest rates rise, mortgage products and borrower preferences evolve. With a CeMAP qualification, you are equipped to adapt to these changes swiftly. You understand the impact of rising interest rates on different mortgage types and can provide tailored solutions to clients. Whether it’s helping clients refinance their existing mortgages or guiding them towards fixed-rate products to mitigate future interest rate increases, your expertise becomes invaluable during these difficult times.

4. Expanding Your Professional Network:

Acquiring the CeMAP qualification opens doors to networking opportunities within the mortgage industry. Engage with other CeMAP qualified professionals, industry associations, and forums where you can exchange knowledge, stay updated on market trends, and collaborate on best practices. Building a strong professional network enhances your visibility, creates referral opportunities, and keeps you at the forefront of industry developments.

5. Advancement Opportunities and Career Growth:

With the CeMAP qualification under your belt, you position yourself for career advancement in the mortgage advisory field. Lenders, financial institutions, and brokerage firms recognize the value of CeMAP qualified advisors, and many prefer to hire professionals with this qualification. The advanced knowledge and expertise gained through Futuretrend’s CeMAP course can lead to higher job prospects, increased earning potential, and the potential to take on leadership roles within the industry.

6. Continuous Professional Development:

Obtaining the CeMAP qualification is not just a one-time achievement but a stepping stone in your journey of professional growth. It demonstrates your commitment to ongoing education and continuous professional development. Stay updated with industry changes, regulatory updates, and market trends even after acquiring the qualification. Pursue additional certifications Such as CeRER and attend relevant workshops or seminars to further enhance your expertise and stay ahead of the curve. A commitment to lifelong learning will set you apart from the competition.

Conclusion:

In a challenging market with rising interest rates, the CeMAP qualification stands as a beacon of professional excellence for mortgage advisors. The knowledge, credibility, and adaptability gained through this qualification empower you to thrive in difficult times and provide exceptional service to your clients. By investing in your professional growth and acquiring the CeMAP qualification, you position yourself as a sought-after mortgage advisor, capable of navigating the complexities of rising interest rates and guiding clients towards optimal mortgage solutions.

A Winning Combination: Mastering Manual Testing and Test Automation for a Successful Career as a Software Test Analyst

Introduction:

In today’s competitive job market, aspiring software test analysts need to equip themselves with a diverse skill set that includes both manual testing and test automation. The ability to seamlessly transition between these two realms not only enhances your marketability but also opens doors to a wider range of opportunities. In this blog, we will explore the importance of mastering both manual testing and test automation, along with essential tools such as Selenium, Cucumber, Jenkins, GitHub, Jira, and API testing. By acquiring the right software testing skills, you can boost your CV and position yourself at the top of the candidate pile and securing a rewarding career as a software test analyst.

1. The Power of Manual Testing:

Manual testing forms the foundation of software testing and is essential for understanding the intricacies of the testing process. Mastering manual testing allows you to gain valuable insights into the software and its functionalities. It enables you to design effective test cases, execute them meticulously, and identify defects through hands-on exploration. Manual testing helps you develop a deep understanding of the software’s behaviour and user experience, allowing you to provide meaningful feedback and contribute to the overall improvement of the product. Essential knowledge areas here include:

•     Analysing various forms of requirement documents

•    Producing Test Plans.

•    Identifying Test Data required.

•    Determining Test Environment.

•    Understanding the context of the test effort.

2. Embracing Test Automation with Selenium:

Software Testing

Test automation has become an integral part of the software testing landscape, and proficiency with automation tools is highly valued in the industry. Selenium, a widely-used open-source automation framework, empowers testers to automate web service testing. Learning Selenium enables you to write efficient and reliable test scripts, execute test cases across different browsers and platforms, and identify defects quickly. By incorporating Selenium into your skill set, you showcase your ability to expedite testing processes and ensure robust software quality.

Essential knowledge areas here include:

  • Learning how to set up WebDriver, launch browsers, navigate web pages, locate and interact with elements
  • Effectively locating elements on a web page is crucial in test automation
  • Handling Alerts, Frames, and Windows
  • Page Object Model (POM) and the Page Factory pattern
  • Using reporting libraries and frameworks compatible with Selenium, such as TestNG, JUnit

3. Leveraging Agile Tools for Collaboration:

In today’s Agile-driven environment, collaboration and efficient project management are key. Familiarity with tools such as Cucumber, Jenkins, GitHub, and Jira can significantly enhance your employability as a software test analyst. Cucumber facilitates behaviour-driven development (BDD) by providing a common language for communication between stakeholders. Jenkins enables continuous integration and automation of test execution. GitHub offers version control for collaborative development, while Jira helps manage Agile projects effectively. Proficiency in these tools demonstrates your adaptability to Agile methodologies and enhances your ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams.

4. Emphasizing API Testing:

API Testing

API (Application Programming Interface) testing plays a crucial role in validating the integration and communication between software components. Understanding API testing and becoming familiar with tools like Postman and SOAPUI expands your testing capabilities beyond the user interface. Proficiency in API testing allows you to validate data transfers, test API endpoints, and verify proper functioning of backend systems. This skill set positions you as a well-rounded software test analyst capable of handling diverse testing scenarios.

5. Giving Your CV the Competitive Edge:

CV with a competitive edge

By acquiring a combination of manual testing, test automation, Agile tools, and API testing skills, you provide your CV with the competitive edge it needs to stand out. Employers value candidates who possess a holistic understanding of the testing process, as well as the ability to adapt to evolving industry trends. Highlighting your proficiency in these areas demonstrates your versatility, adaptability, and commitment to professional growth. Showcase your hands-on experience, certifications, and successful project outcomes to give potential employers confidence in your abilities as a software test analyst.

Conclusion:

To secure a software test analyst job and position yourself at the top of the candidate pile, it’s essential to master both manual testing and test automation. Additionally, gaining proficiency in tools like Selenium, Cucumber, Jenkins, GitHub, Jira, and API testing adds significant value to your skill set. By learning the right combination of manual and automated testing techniques, along with familiarity with Agile tools,

10 reasons to become a CeMAP qualified mortgage advisor in 2022

CeMAP qualified mortgage advisors get paid to write
1.Mortgages
2.Life insurance
3.Critical illness cover
4.income protection
5. ASU (accident, sickness and unemployment) protection
6. Buildings Insurance
7. Contents Insurance
8. Wills
9. Bridging loans
10. Re-mortgaging
That’s 10 business opportunities with almost every client
All you have to do is talk about each product in a knowledgeable and enthusiastic manner that delivers excellent service to customers and fantastic remuneration follows.
Now all you have to do to get started is head over to cemap123.co.uk to find out more

New Software Testing and Business Analyst Training with Work Experience and Mentoring Programme launched

Are you an aspiring Business Analyst or Software Tester? Have you been looking around for a course that will not only teach you the basics but give you the practical project level knowledge? Fantastic. you are in the right place and we can help you towards landing that dream job.

Business Analysis and Quality Assurance online work experience and mentoring

The truth is that the more live project experience you have then the better prepared you will be when it comes to facing tough questions at your Business Analyst or Software Test Analyst interview.
Especially if they are scenario-based and set up to see what approach you will take and whether your current skillset will add value.
Furthermore, after successfully bagging the job the next problem is knowing exactly what to do for each task you are saddled with. This is very important if you want to keep the job after spending so much time in preparation for it.

On top of the 2 weekend training we have now launched a 4 week work experience and mentoring project to give you that valuable experience you need.

Why is this aimed at Business Analysts and Software Testers?

We strongly believe in the “Three Amigos” concept. This involves a business analyst, a software tester and a developer all coming together and reviewing anything that has been created for the project. As a group they ask any questions and define a clear view of what is being developed.

This type of group is best formed at the very beginning of the development process. They will oversee and have input from the initial planning stages all the way through to release. They are usually the group that does demo acceptance or actively organizes and directs the workflow. The main focus is for the team to show that they understand what they need to do. And they do this through questions, discussions of concrete examples, and proposed solutions. All this helps to mitigate issues later on in the development cycle

When working in this fashion there is huge scope for team members to develop  a wide range of skills (including Agile, User stories, Project backlog, backlog grooming, Test Plan, Test cases, Test reports, Defect management, Change management, etc)

To participate in our live projects aspiring Business Analysts need to be able to:

  • Create a Requirements Catalogue using MS Excel
    Cleanse data, create reports/data visualisation using MS Excel
  • Write User Stories with acceptance criteria
  • Understand the different Ceremonies involved in Scrum (Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, Sprint Retrospective)
  • Write User Stories with acceptance criteria for an agile project
  • Understand how to use JIRA to document requirements and assist Product Owner with Backlog grooming.
  • Understand  how to use Confluence to annotate your tasks and communicate with team
  • Create Swim Lanes & Pool Diagrams using MS Visio or any other diagramming software
  • Create Flow Charts using MS Visio or any other diagramming software
  • Create As is & To be Gap Analysis using MS Visio or any other diagramming software
  • Create Wireframes using MS Visio or any other diagramming software

To participate in our live projects aspiring Software Test Analysts need to be able to:

  • Analyse requirements documentation
  • Analyse and comprehend User Stories
  • Understand acceptance criteria
  • Verify test data and environments for use during testing.
  • Create test plans
  • Create test scenarios
  • Create test steps using MS Excel
  • Create test scripts using MS Excel
  • Perform Front-end and back-end testing of website applications
  • File bug tickets based on the outcome of QA test cycles in JIRA
  • Be able to communicate with team via Confluence
  • Create comprehensive QA reports

The main business analysis essentials training and software testing essentials training program is quite wide and generic. It touches almost every area that a Business Analyst or Software Tester should be familiar with (and could be involved with from project to project).  The live Project focuses on delivering a solution for a particular  problem and as such it is narrower in scope of the BA and QA techniques used.
That being said we still give refreshers in all of the above “essentials” on the mentoring program but it is ideal if the students really understand fully the how to, why, where and when to use certain techniques.

The project
The next project on the cards for our Business Analyst’s and Software Testers will involve enhancements to an existing web portal. The project will be run in an agile mode and will be lead by a team of experienced Senior Business Analysts and Test Managers.
As you know for software products already developed, there is still a need to maintain and update it to fulfil the changing needs and demands of the users. As such good quality long-term support that can allow the effective implementation of any changes is required. The Project team will be expected to map as-is, to-be, analyse current requirements/change requests, hold story-sizing meetings, propose enhancements for client to review, create to-be flow charts , interpret, manage and test change requests accordingly.

June -September 2021 Software Testing work experience group
October – December 2021 Business Analysis work experience WhatsApp group

We are now inviting aspiring Business Analysts and Software Testers to join the project and get a feel for working on a  live application with various modules being built.

We are now taking registrations from aspiring Business Analysts and Software Test Analysts for the next programme.


This is set to commence from April 2022.
If you want to be part of this exciting team please sign up on our dedicated IT professional training website: careertesters.com before January March 19th 2022.

Remember, there is no need to visit our training centre to participate as everything is done online via Zoom, Google Meet, email and WhatsApp groups. As long as you have access to the internet, time available in the evenings to attend meetings then you will be just fine.

For more details of what our work experience and mentoring program involves please visit  our dedicated web page for this here:
http://www.careertesters.com/work-experience-mentoring.html

if you don’t have the required knowledge as detailed above and want to train as a business analyst see details of our standard business analysis training here.
if you don’t have the required knowledge and want to train as a software test analyst see details of our standard software testing training here.

Call us on 0208 443 2888 if you want to have a 1-2-1 conversation about any of this before joining.

By now you probably realise CeMAP is a tough qualification and the syllabus covers such a wide range of financial industry topics. The official manual for CeMAP 1 alone is over 600 pages! So this can be a lonely path to take if you haven’t got direct support from an experienced CeMAP tutor or the invaluable benefit of being part of a peer group studying together, giving each other encouragement and identifying knowledge gaps.
If you have decided to go down our suggested CeMAP home study path then hopefully this short guide might help you with an approach to getting it done successfully

CeMAP 1: UK Financial Regulation

Step 1: Unit 1 Study

Read Unit 1 of the UK Financial Regulation Made Easy revision book provided in your pack.

(Topics 1 to 16, pages 7 to 108)

– Course Slides and Audio files to support this unit can be found on Futuretrend’s CeMAP  VLE Futuretrend Virtual Learning Environment

Step 2: Unit 1-  Test Yourself

Attempt Unit 1 questions in the UK Financial Regulation Mock Paper A. (50 Questions)

– Answers are found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE;  You can decide if you want to attempt 25 questions or 50 questions depending on how much time you have.

Step 3: Recap

Based on your mock test results, do a recap of any areas that you may have struggled with, questions you got wrong or concepts that you didn’t understand or never came across during your studies (whether you chose the right answer or not!)


 Also remember, you can do this as many times as you like. Questions and answers are randomised. You also have access for a whole year.

Step 6: Recap

Step 4: Unit 2 Study

Read Unit 2 of the UK Financial Regulation Made Easy revision book provided in your pack.

(Topics 17 to 25, pages 109 to 171)

– Course Slides and Audio files to support this unit can be found on the VLE

Step 5: Unit 2 Test Yourself

Attempt Unit 2 questions in the UK Financial Regulation Mock Paper A. (50 Questions)

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Based on your mock test results, do a recap of any areas that you may have struggled with,  questions you got wrong or concepts that you didn’t understand or never came across during your studies (whether you chose the right answer or not!)

Step 7: Mock Test

Attempt the Full UK Financial Regulation Mock Paper B – 2 hour Time Limit.

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE. Try and sit for the full exam of 100 questions at this time. This will give you a feel for how the real CeMAP exam will be.
You are more than likely to finish this before the 2-hour time limit but remember this is just a mock test. You are in the comfort of your own home /office/environment. You have nothing to lose.

Step 8: Recap

Based on your mock test results, do a  recap of any areas that you may have struggled with,  questions you got wrong or concepts that you didn’t understand or never came across during your studies (whether you chose the right answer or not!)

Step 9: Mock Test

Attempt the Full UK Financial Regulation Mock Paper C – 2-hour Time Limit.

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Step 10: Take your exams

How will you know your ready to take your CeMAP 1 Exam?
Be sure that you are scoring minimum of 80% consistently in the mock question papers.
The LIBF have a database of thousands of questions and they add/ amend these every year according to syllabus changes; so these are just sample questions and unlikely to appear word for word  as such in the real exam

Step 5: Mock Test

If you are getting a good score as above with your mock tests (paper-based or online) and feel comfortable with your studies then it’s time to take the final step and sit your official exam with the LiBF (London Institute for Banking & Finance.).  Give them a call to book  on 01227 818609. You will be provided an option of test centres near you or you could also sit the exam online (proctored).

CeMAP 2: Mortgages

Step 1: Unit 3 Study

Read Unit 3 of the Mortgages Made Easy revision book provided in your pack.

(Topics 1 to 8, pages 7 to 61)

– Course Slides and Audio files to support this unit can be found on the VLE

Step 2: Unit 3 Test Yourself

Attempt Unit 3 questions in the Mortgages Mock Paper A. (25 Questions)

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Step 3: Recap

Based on your mock test results, do a recap of any areas that you may have struggled with,  questions you got wrong or concepts that you didn’t understand or never came across during your studies (whether you chose the right answer or not!)

Step 4: Repeat

Repeat steps 1 to 3 for the remaining units

Unit 4 (Topics 9 to 15, pages 62 to 100)

Unit 5 (Topics 16 to 22, pages 101 to 137)

Unit 6 (Topics 23 to 26, pages 138 to 156)

Attempt the Full Mortgages Mock Paper B – 2 hour Time Limit.

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Step 6: Recap

Based on your mock test results, do a recap of any areas that you may have struggled with,  questions you got wrong or concepts that you didn’t understand or never came across during your studies (whether you chose the right answer or not!)

Step 7: Mock Test

Attempt the Full Mortgages Mock Paper C – 2-hour Time Limit.

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Step 8: Take your exams

How will you know your ready to take your CeMAP 2 Exam?
Be sure that you are scoring minimum of 80% consistently in the 4 different units of the mock question papers.
The LIBF have a database of thousands of questions and they add/ amend these every year according to syllabus changes; so these are just sample questions and unlikely to appear word for word  as such in the real exam

If you are getting a good score in all units as prescribed above (paper-based or online) and feel comfortable with your studies then it’s time to take the final step and sit your official exam with the LiBF (London Institute for Banking & Finance.).  Give them a call to book on 01227 818609. You will be provided an option of test centres near you or you could also sit the exam online (proctored).

CeMAP 3: Assessment of Mortgage Advice

CeMAP 3 has no new study material; the whole aim of the paper is to test what you’ve learnt from CeMAP 2 and how to apply it to a set scenario (of course you will also need background knowledge of CeMAP 1).  So  CeMAP 3 comprises of 6 case studies for you to read and then attempt 10 multiple choice questions on each

Step 1: Mock Test

Attempt the Full Assessment of Mortgage Advice Mock Paper A –2 hour Time Limit.

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Step 2: Recap

Based on your mock test results, recap on any areas that your may have struggled with or areas you got wrong

Step 3: Mock Test

Attempt the Full Assessment of Mortgage Advice Mock Paper B –2 hour Time Limit.

– Answers found at back of mock papers with justifications

– Digital online version with auto marking available on the VLE

Step 4: Take your exams
Same process as above

10 Things you might want to consider whilst attempting the mock cemap papers

1. If you are unable to make a choice and need to spend more time on a question, flag the question and move on to the next.

2. Revise your calculations before taking the paper. There will be Percentage advances, higher lending fees, stamp duty calculations etc.

3.For CeMAP 3: Read the question thoroughly to decide whose shoes you should put yourself in. Sometimes it may be those of a mortgage broker and at other times those of a lender. Try to imagine you are them before answering the question.

4. As you read the case studies if they involve clients try to imagine they are sitting right in front of you. Read the case study with this image in your head. Jot down keywords from the case study.

5. mortgage of conduct business rules are a whole lot! Seems impossible to commit all of them to memory. The news is… You don’t have to. Try mind-mapping the mortgage of conduct business rules to bring it to life and make it easier to study.

6. In the standard multi-choice exam like the CeMAP 1 and 2 test it’s advised to leave out questions you are not sure of and go back to them. Don’t worry, you will have enough time.

7. For CeMAP 3: as questions relate to the specific case study which you have to absorb first. By all means leave out the ones you don’t know initially, but do come back to them before moving on to  the next case study.

8. Remember the standard multiple choice exam strategy: Read the question twice without glancing at the answer. Cover the answers with your hands or a piece of paper if you have to.

9. Use the process of elimination with CeMAP for every question. It’s the best technique and can invariably lead you to an answer you weren’t even considering.

10. Keep yourself active during the test. This helps concentration. Take a blank piece of paper for each question and make notes.


So now you have all the tips and techniques to do CeMAP Home study on your own. If you are motivated to do this then please head over to our dedicated CeMAP home study website to book. CeMAP Home Study with Futuretrend (cemap123.co.uk) If you are already booked and studying… here’s wishing you all the best of  luck with your CeMAP Exams.