Have been working with Rational Test Studio for quite some time now. During this course of time I have experienced my expertise with Rational Robot and its testing capabilities.
Graduated with Masters in Computer Science by working full time and studying full time. I love coding, internet and associated change in these technologies. So I am looking to reach for new grounds.
I know there are guru’s out there which can help me with some piece of advice.
Currently I am in a twisted decision mode. Should I pursue Microsoft’s .net (MCAD /MCSE) and reach for new grounds or look for outside resource with Rational. I tried looking for few companies with Rational Robot but did not find any great response.
I like challenges and that’s what they are lacking here.
Can someone please share your thoughts, suggestions or comments?
Re: Career Change
I started with an MSCE and move into Performance Testing using Rational and loved it. The MCSE (ammong other things) gave me a TON of background I needed to really "get" performance testing.
Based on that, I have two thoughts for you.
1) While I don't think MCSE type certs qualify you to be a network admin like they claim, I do think they have value.
2) I'd think about what you want to do first and what skills go with it second. Even though I did the opposite, I just got lucky.
Re: Career Change
Personally, MSCE nor CNE (Yeah, it was hot a decade ago) never did a thing for me. I'm always wondering if I'd rather put certification in the resume or not and depending on the comany I'm interving, I'll put it in.
Personally, certifications never meant much for me as QA in the commercial software industry in the states. (Different for other industries like medical) I've never been asked anything that I learned in the certification class, except an IT guy on a side conversation asked about the 7 layers of OSI, and I remembed parts of it from advanced network class from CNE. Nor was I ever told "Sorry, buddy. No MCSE, No job.". Then again, I'm a hard core geek and I compile kernels for fun.
C# may be helpful for small section of industry, but as the lead QA in a network security company working on web service security software that is actually sold to large customers, I can tell you that writing functional test harness in c# is really bad. The only reason why people write tool in C#, is so they can write a browser based app that they can use to send documents. This doesn't naturally lead to automation as it won't scale well, so I use straight Java or Perl to generate SOAP, or read a file and do straight http protocol hits instead. My project is 100% automated. When defects come in, we reproduce it by using a tool, write test case, then we add it to our regression suite to make sure it never happens again where as I see that larger firm's QA go through these by hand using a c# browser app, (I don't know how they parse through all those header field and cookie fields manually!) taking days to run tests which I run through in 10 minutes. (Including compile, test, and generate report.)
I'm assuming that you won't be planning to do unit testing like I do at the API layer. Besides, even though web service is deemed as 'hot', it's still slugish. If you are learning a tool for these, it seems that larger shops are testing mainly with load tools. Though at the development level, people are manually testing it using various programming languages including c#, and java. You wouldn't believe how many times customers have come up with problems, only to be on their side, and their QA has no clue how the entire thing is put together. So far, I haven't met a QA who tested web service directly. They are only testing the GUI interface in the front end. Again, I don't think learning C# would be helpful there.
If you are applying as an automation specialist, I think you may want to consider putting your resouce and focusing on diversity of automation products and how to integrate with build system, and come up with good reports instead. Not many people know how to really do this. I think that would look more impressive and will be applicable to more jobs. Tools which would be helpful to this wold be ANT with Java, or Perl.
Re: Career Change
Just to clarify, I agree with you about the MCSE cert itself. I just happened to learn a lot in the process of earning the cert (it was part of my Master's Program, and it was more than a few years ago now)