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Step IT Up Program SDET Graduation

Posted January 10, 2022 in Press Releases

Written by Jason Kelley, Xpanxion/UST Technical Writer

Step IT Up – Late December 2021, 12 students of the Xpanxion/UST Step IT Up program graduated the course as Software development engineers in test (SDET). The course took place over 22 weeks of online training, led by instructor Gwen Iarussi. Congratulations to the graduating class of military veterans 

  • Ariel Taylor
  • Bryan Sanchez
  • Donald Olson
  • Damian Gibbons
  • Jon Carpenter
  • Juan Orozco
  • Maricruz Lukachinsky
  • Marissa Dunn
  • Peter Kestler
  • Rawlings Ozeh
  • Ritabella Adebambo
  • Sarah Tabor

This course worked in partnership with the Department of Defense program, SkillBridge, which matches civilian training and opportunities to the job training and work experience of military members at the end of their military duty. Technology is one of the fastest growing areas in the American economy, yet the IT talent shortage in America is more prominent now than ever. Businesses are struggling to find new or replacement resources fast enough to keep up with the demands. The Xpanxion/UST Step IT Up program fills the talent gap by training people with the drive to be successful, without necessarily having an existing IT background.

This particular course was focused on the skills needed to be a successful Software engineer in test, which include software development, testing disciplines, and professionalism in the field of IT. An SDET is an IT professional that helps create test automation to help with testing strategy. They increase testing efficiency and can work equally and effectively in both development and testing roles.

Graduate Ariel Taylor reflects, “The end of the course is now here, and I am so grateful for the entire process. I have learned quite a lot about quality assurance, manual and automation testing and the importance and value of being an SDET. I feel like this course has absolutely prepared me for the next steps in my career, and from here, I cannot wait to see what is behind the next door. I will forever be thankful and grateful for the opportunity that SIUX has afforded me, and it is something that I will carry with me from here on out.”

After the training and work experience of the Step IT up course, the graduates were all offered positions as professional SDET engineers with Xpanxion/UST. Through this combined initiative with the DOD, Step IT up was able to train a new class of military veterans as software engineers to industry standards in far less time than it would take to achieve a full traditional degree, while also providing valuable on the job experience.

            “…I look back at the training I have received and really bask in this fantastic opportunity that I wish I had known about as soon as I found an interest in information tech. In the technology field you need to find experience to have a decent job, experience is hard to get when it is little entry ways to find an opportunity to learn, that is why the SIUA program is such an awesome program… You get training and get placed in a job upon finishing the course. We bypassed the waiting around to earn experience and get thrown in and earn it right away. That is almost unheard of,” said graduate Damian Gibbons.

In addition to SDET training, the Step IT Up program has taught various IT disciplines such as, Java, .NET, mainframe, Python developer, RPA Blue Prism & Pega, business analyst, Scrum master, data analyst, network administrator, project manager, cybersecurity analyst, and quality assurance testing.

Step IT Up will continue to offer courses in the future for people who are interested in a career in the field of IT, so keep an eye out if you’re interested in better career in a field that needs your help, no experience necessary.


About Xpanxion/UST - Solving business problems with technology. We are software product engineering experts with over 20+ years of experience delivering the technologies, software architectures, processes and people critical to delivering success. As a trusted partner, we focus on business solutions and alliances that provide end-to-end value to solving our customer’s problems. We focus on providing best-in-class solutions by developing custom solutions with modern technologies or by delivering industry recognized off the shelf solutions.

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Media Contact: kchristianson@Xpanxion/

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