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How many years did it take you to become a Senior QA Analyst?
How many years did it take you to become a Senior QA Analyst?
Let me know if you work in a medium sized or large company.
I currently work in a medium sized software company with 200-300 employees. The QA department consists of 5 employees. Because our department is small and it is impossible for all of us to become a senior. How many years is reasonable to become a senior? Just wondering.
It varies organization to organization, on an average if you have 4-6 years experience they can consider you to senior level that too based on the domain, technical expertise.
As venu.adhi.. said that 4-6 years. Some exception cases, 2-3 years are enough for reaching Senior level. Considering your skill and expertise on domain.
To me it seems like mash of two sets of words
"Senior" and "QA analyst"
It would be similar to
"Senior" and "breakfast Eater"
Both parties have an imaginative idea of what the terms mean.
You can say what you want and they can think what they want.
Last edited by bklabel1; 11-27-2014 at 10:37 AM.
Why is it not possible for your entire team to become senior test analysts? Is it because there is a limited number of positions labelling you as senior (whether you are or not)? Or is it that your definition of senior is limited?
Senior, to me, is not a function purely of time, but of your actions. Do you have expert knowledge in your domain, your processes, and in testing? Do you share that knowledge with others freely? Do others come to you for advice, and do you spend time with them to assist them? How do you react to difficult situations? Have you built relationships with members of other teams?
It's not common for everyone in QA to have a senior job title. It's very rare and won't happen in my department. I currently work in a bizarre work environment where we don't share knowledge and we are on our own most of the time.
I suspect my manager is trying to groom someone else to be the next senior. He act as an intermediary between customer support and QA/Dev. So, everybody goes to him for assistance (I admit he is more outgoing). But, he lack troubleshooting skills and isn't thorough when it comes to testing.
My manager also challenges me with complex tasks (high risk components of the application) and I can complete it without any help. Managers wait for a few months to settle in and nobody complain so this tells me that I'm good. The only thing I admit is that I don't socialize a lot.
I'm not the kind of person who relies on networks or kissing people's toe for a promotion. Does this mean I can't be a senior in the future?
Besides looking at years.. You might want to also look at scope of responsibilities.
Are you taking on any responsibilities that are considered lead responsibilities that is expected of a typical Sr. QA?
* Besides being responsible for 1 product, are you responsible for a division or a suite of products?
* Are you supervising or managing a team? Do you have 2 or more people under your supervision you're accountable for?
* Are you responsible for putting together the vision and direction of the test strategy?
* Are you responsible and accountable for the high level test plans?
* Are you ultimately responsible for the quality of what gets released? (take part of triage meetings, inform stake holders of the current risks and issues, and help stake holders prioritize quality vs release timing?)
If you answer Yes to 3 or more of these questions. You might consider asking for that promotion.
If you're doing a lot of responsibilities of a lead, then you have a good chance of grabbing a senior position at a different company.
I guess I don't quality as a senior (based on your questions).
I've been working in the industry for 8-9 years now.
It took me 3 years to reach the point of a Test Lead, a further 2-3 years to reach the point of Test Manager.
Initially started in a 300-400 company, have now worked as a Test Manager at IBM and other large organizations etc. Remember, the bigger your companies size (and their particular brand), the more experience / expertise is expected due to the size of Project or Programme you'll be working on. Just because you're a Test Lead at a Small / Medium sized business doesn't necessarily mean you'd be able to keep that level of seniority if you moved to a larger organization.
For me the qualities I want to see in a Test Analyst in order to see them move into a Senior or Lead role;
- Calm and collected in difficult situations
- Understands risk and how to impact assess a change and construct the appropriate amount of testing required.
- Instead of raising issues, they raise also suggest solutions.
- Good communication skills, ability to mentor and lead others
- Willing to adapt and put the effort in when required
- Actively tries to contribute new ideas, especially around Test Plans or Test Strategy
- Passionate about testing, takes an interest in their own personal development and stretch beyond what they are just required to know
How do you demonstrate that in a small team? You've got to put yourself into positions where you can.. In a stand up? Throw out some suggestions with some conviction. Don't worry about being wrong, it's the mistakes that help us learn and become better at what we do. When i was a Test Lead i used to have several quite heated debates with other Test Managers questioning their approach, some really didn't like it but most did because in reality it's silly to think they know best all the time.
Another point is decide where you want to go in testing. If i was a test analyst today, i'd be looking at automation or performance as a learning area. The requirement for testers to become more technical in nature is growing. If you want to become a Test Manager as quickly as possible, start trying to differentiate yourself as a leader within your team. Understand Project Management, PRINCE2 etc.
Last edited by AndrewD; 12-02-2014 at 07:14 AM.
As many have already stated, the concept of a "Senior" of any position is based more on the skills and responsibilities of the position and not the years of experience. My company also differentiates between test analysts and test engineers. Test analysts are typically manual testers while the test engineers are primarily working on test automation type tasks. A senior level test analyst who transferred into a test engineer position would not move into a senior test engineer position just because they have XX years of experience. Their new title would be based on their skills and responsibilities. If you are in a medium or large company in the U.S. I would expect that your HR department has documented the requirements for the different steps in the various job families within the company.
Do or do not... there is no try. -Yoda