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  1. #1

    choosing between a consultancy & end client


    Please do let me know if my question should not be posted here for any reason.Apologies in advance.

    I have about 3 years experience in Testing, with 2.5 years in Performance testing. I have been looking out for new jobs in Performance testing that would help me gain knowledge and experience in the Performance testing arena. I now have offers in hand and confused on which to take up.

    1. One is with a consultancy that sends out its consultant to carry out projects for their clients on a short-term/lon-term bass.
    2. The other is with an end client that is keen on increasing their Performance testing strength.They use devloper generated scripts for performance testing with a tool called Facilita.
    3. Another one is with an end-client that requires me to develop Test harnesses in QTP to test their intermediate builds and also do some Performance testing (Loadrunner)

    They are all reputed companies and the consultancy has a good client base.
    With the consultancy I would get experience of working on different projects and getting a variety of performance testing experience.But again it is quite risky in that I dont actually know what Im going to be doing unless I take up their offer.
    With the end client I would know for sure what my role entails.Also I would get experience on white box performance metrics from interacting with the developers and system testers.
    I am targeting the Loadrunner CPC,hence Im looking to work on Loadrunner in particular.
    Could forum members share their thoughts on working for consultancy/end clients?

  2. #2

    Re: choosing between a consultancy & end client

    This is a very personal decision that requires a lot of introspection. I don't know that anyone who does not know you very well can actually make a recommendation, but I can share some of my personal thoughts and experiences with you.

    1) I do encourage anyone who wishes to make a career in technology to find a period in their life when it makes sense for them to be a traveling consultant with lots of short term projects. It provides a breath of experiences that I believe are invaluable to a persons ability to adapt quickly to new situations and technologies and gives them a foundation of diverse experiences to draw from when faced with new challenges.

    2) I also encourage traveling consultants to become Full-Time Employees with minimal travel (FTE's) at points in their life when their family needs them around (i.e. newly married, small children, sick relatives, etc.). The travel live is amazingly stressful when your mind is still at home.

    3) For myself, I know that my effectiveness starts to drop after 6 weeks working with the same client on a consecutive, full-time basis. As a FTE, I have never made it past 18 months without wanting to poke out my eyes with sticks rather than go to work. This is a personality trait (defect?) of mine that makes *me* love consulting.

    My best advise is to start by pretending that the positions are equal in all other ways and search your soul for the answer about lots of short term, unknown, travel assignments vs. the same cubical and the same boss and the same politics and the same application for months and years on end. I suspect that will quickly point you down one path or another.
    Scott Barber
    Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus
    Executive Director, Association for Software Testing
    Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications

    If you can see it in your mind...
    you will find it in your life.

  3. #3

    Re: choosing between a consultancy & end client

    Thanks for the inputs Scott.My current situation is this :
    One of the offers is from a real time trading organization that already has a very strong functional automation testing team.They are looking to increase Performance testing strength now.
    This organization uses a tool called Facilita Forecast(www.facilita.co.uk)for Load testing.The tool is much cheaper than LR.Also since most of their applications are built in-house using JAVA, they find that Facilita are willing to incorporate their custom requirements into the tool.

    I spoke to one of their Performance testers who has a strong Loadrunner background.He says he does not regret joining them since Mercury's support has declined rapidly since HP tookover, and it is in the best interest of any Performance tester to get tools experience other than just LR. Moreover Facilita is quite a good tool he says.
    The best part about working for the organization was that he got the chance to work very close to developers and system testers that helped him know the ins and outs of the applications being tested.He also got to write complex scripts in Java.

    I now have to make a decision on whether or not to join this company. They seem very interested in me, but I personally would like to get more LR experience ( I have about 2.5 yrs experience in LR now).
    If I join this company I would not get a chance to give Loadrunner CPC exam which I am keen on.The prospect of working for a new client on a new assignment every few months excites me greatly, but the downside is I may not get to interact with the developers/architects etc.

    Could forum memebers share their thoughts on my predicament ?



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