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Thread: Career Changer

  1. #1
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    Career Changer

    Hi,

    I plan to make a career change into IT field. My techie friends have been telling me that I should consider starting as a tester. I know the fundenmental of Java and some related Web Development langugages ( HTML, Javascript, JSP, ASP ).

    Here are the questions:

    1. If I really want to work as a tester. What is the first step that I should start with?

    2. I think about taking some course in QA. Since there are so much to learn, what should I look into?Are there anything more popular than others? How's the market for Win Runner, SQA and Silk?

    3. How do I prepare myself to get my first job in QA?

    Thanks for your response. I truly appreciate your kind help.

    PoPo

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    Re: Career Changer

    We've hired a few junior level testers at my company, myself included, a few years ago. Here in the San Fransisco area there's plenty of testing and programming classes. Depending where you live, there may or may not be resources like that available. They definitely help get you started, especially with larger companies. Honestly, I tend to look at attitude and aptitude more than small differences in experience/education. Will this person work hard and get along with other members of the team? Do they have the mindset to really hunt for problems and constantly improve their methods? Do they have the capacity to do advanced automated testing/tool building?

    Programming experience helps because it means you understand the software model and can intelligently look for bugs. I would suggest putting together some sort of clean example of your work. It's easy to say you know HTML or Java, but actually seeing a completed project (even a small one) makes a big difference. Most of the people who come in for interviews list a bunch of languages on their resume but when you start quizzing them, you find they only have a very basic understanding of them.

    As for automated testing, good automated testers are in high demand. People who have taken a seminar or have played around with record/playback in WinRunner are a dime a dozen. I'm more interested in people who are genuinely interested in putting together serious test tools than people interested in learning just enough to put it on their resume. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but we're trying to fill a position and nearly every resume has "WinRunner" or "Silk" written on it. Few of those people REALLY know how to use them.

    I think to really do well in this field you have to WANT to find bugs. You need to enjoy finding some hidden nuance that nobody else thought of. If you don't have that mindset, it may not be the best way to get into the software field. You may be better off going over towards the operations or programming ends. If you do have the mindset, it can become a career.

    Good luck!

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    Re: Career Changer

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BrianF:
    Most of the people who come in for interviews list a bunch of languages on their resume but when you start quizzing them, you find they only have a very basic understanding of them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    But without a bunch of languages in your resume nobody invites you for interview

    Look at job search sites, when they write which skills they need it looks like they looking for senior software developer.

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    Re: Career Changer



    Okay here is my opinion,

    On the note made above by Brian. If you do make something for them to view such as a website. Please make sure that you test it thoroughly!! That is I guess one of my petpeeves. Example: You have made a website and listed it on the resume, yet you never tested it. Makes me think you are not serious enough about a career in testing.

    Kimberly

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    Re: Career Changer

    Thank you you all for the response.

    I am in NY Metro Area and there are some training centers offering courses in QA.

    Some told me that working as an entry-level tester, you really don't need any technical background nor experience, it's your personality that really counts. You got to be someone that is organized, cooperative, detail-oriented and easy-going.

    Is this true? If so, how come I still found that most of the QA jobs posted on the site requires at least 2-3 years of experience. Is it easy for a career changer that has no real work experience other than some academic
    project-type of training to get a job in QA after they get out of school?

    Thanks again for the opinions.
    PoPo

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    Re: Career Changer

    cyl213,

    if you can prove that 'personality' can find defects effectively, then maybe you'll be able to land an entry-level job in the QA area immediately. Otherwise, you may have to start from any position in the computer field (data entry, computer operator, etc.) then from within the same company/organization, work your way up!
    Ask yourself whether: a) you are good in breaking things (finding bugs/defects) or b)you are better in making things work (fixing bugs)? If your answer is b), then you should consider going towards Development/Programming (they make more $ in general). If everytime you look at an application screen and see Big Smiles on your face saying "WHAT IFs .... I do this and that, will this thing still work?", you are on your way to becoming a good QA person.
    I think almost everyone in QA starts with Manual testing and as they get better and better and develop some programming skills, many goes into Automated testing (in addition to Manual testing) because it make sense to save time and money in the long run.

  7. #7
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    Re: Career Changer

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>quote:
    Originally posted by BrianF:
    Most of the people who come in for interviews list a bunch of languages on their resume but when you start quizzing them, you find they only have a very basic understanding of them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>
    VM's response:
    But without a bunch of languages in your resume nobody invites you for interview

    Look at job search sites, when they write which skills they need it looks like they looking for senior software developer
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If I am familiar with a language, but not an expert, I note it on my resume: Knowledge of Java, C++ - etc. This way, the interviewer knows that I am not proficient in these languages, but I am slightly knowledgable about them and further trainable in those areas.

    Good luck in your endeavors!



    [This message has been edited by JRica (edited 03-09-2001).]
    JRicardo
    Senior SQA Analyst

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    Re: Career Changer

    Here's my two cents for this topic. I recently made my "break" into the IT field where I'm in a training program to become a developer. I was placed in our Enterprise Automated Test Tools area where I work with WinRunner. Others in my program were placed wherever entry level people were needed. I feel I got a break since QC is a great place to learn about the systems life cycle.

    In addition, working with an automated test tool has been extremely helpful for boning up on developer skills.

    My "tech" background? Almost nil. Last time I wrote a program was for classwork in college (Freshman year long ago!). It was attitude, aptitude, and interest that got me in. It definately helped that I had professional experience, even though it was an unrelated field, but the program I'm accepts college grads fresh from school.

    What worked for me in my job search? I researched the company and attended an open house. The benefit is immense, since they've expended significant resources specifically to make you fit into something they need. I didn't send out a single resume and the open house was the only interview I went to (I was offered a job in 20 minutes).

    Hope that helps and good luck!

 

 

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