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Thread: New hires

  1. #1
    Member qamjk's Avatar
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    New hires

    I have been given the green light to bring in a new QA Engineer, though our HR is slow as molasses. I approved several resumes to set up interviews and still nothing, and that was over a week ago! Very frustrating! Anyway, I am putting together an aggressive first 30 days training agenda including going through our application as well as having them go through regression tests for hands on experience and eventually sitting with our support team for a few weeks to get the feel of how our customers use our software. They will even get the chance to work the phones. I was just curious as to what others do with their new hires.
    Mike

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    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    qamjk,

    You haven't mentioned the level of QAer you are hiring.

    For other than a Junior QAer, 30 days seems like a long time to be in training. I tend to hire more Senior people, our first week is pretty much exclusively training, the second week is part work, and part training. From then on, it's mostly work with periodic "check-ins" to see how things are going.

    We usually have a "welcome packet" for the new hire which lists out key expectations, sources of information, etc. I go over that packet the first day, and assign a "buddy" to the new hire who also uses the packet as a checklist to make sure the new hire knows where the meeting rooms are, where to find food and bathrooms, etc.

    In the first week, we cover the applications, support systems (Bugzilla, SharePoint, etc), test environments, meetings, people, etc. We also make sure the new hire understands how to find rooms and people, how to report status, etc. HR handles all the formal onboarding paperwork, forms, etc.

    In the second week, we often have the new hire help read bug reports and verify bug fixes.

    By the third week, the new hire usually has assigned work to get started with.

    For us, the learning never ends - even after the new hire is fully assimilated in the team. We have discussions, brainstorming, bi-weekly learning sessions, and periodic reviews to make sure all team members stay on track and grow professionally.
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

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    Member qamjk's Avatar
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    I am looking for a mid-level tester, maybe a senior if I could get the Prez to fork over more salary. We do not have a very big office, right now only about 22 people, and we are out of room, so if a newbie gets lost, I really did a bad job hiring someone because this space is tiny!! lol.

    The 1st three weeks I pretty much have them going through the App with me, bug tracker and the other tools we use. This is a pretty big software and can overwhelm folks, which it has in the past, so I want to be aggressive, but not too aggressive. Even for a senior, it can be very overwhelming. We have at least 40-60 rules for loans that can be mixed and matched, plus just changing a Due Date, effective etc. can wreak havoc. At the end of the 3rd week they will be sitting with the QA Engineer to shadow her for a few days and also do some hands on with our test cases. Our welcome packet is one piece of paper with login information for the internal tools etc. Not much to it. And since right now I only have 1 engineer, the beginning training falls to me, which is fine.

    The next 3 weeks they will sit exclusively with the support team to see how the customers use our software and eventually take calls. I have been doing that for the last 3 weeks and its been a help. To throw them right into working bugs would be a disaster at first, again because of the amount of rules we have to know. I do like the buddy system, we did that when I was QA Manager else where and once I have more than 2, I can work that in. For now, I am their buddy.
    Mike

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    Super Member FredMan's Avatar
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    Man, 6 weeks of training? I would be chomping at the bit to get my hands dirty. If you hire a senior level QA person, I don't think all that support team training would be needed, maybe yes for a Junior tester but I know I would be bored to death with 6 weeks of training. Just sayin...
    Onward thru the fog...

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    Member qamjk's Avatar
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    I agree for most places, and I do have a lot of hands on built into the schedule, but believe me when I say this is a SICK software, and while I agree you want to jump in, if they jump in blindly, they will fail as many have before. I will admit, working in Support these last several weeks has been boring at times, but I have also learned a lot that will help going forward managing the group and testing. I worked at a place many years ago and everyone when through a 4 week training, no matter what position. It was another SICK software. Huge. If I get someone and they are catching on quicker then expected, then I for sure will put them into the fire sooner, but they will sit with support for a few weeks as that's what the CTO wants, and it has helped me, but I would probably opt for no more than a week.
    Mike

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    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    qamjk,

    No matter how SICK the application, I'd go crazy if I had to wait 6 weeks to actually do some work. To be honest if I heard during the interview that a 6-week training period was required, I'd probably move on, or at least put that in the red flag column.

    Now, it may work well for more junior folks, and not work well for someone as senior as me.

    And of course, if the CTO mandates several weeks of support work, then you don't have a choice. My only suggestion would be to try to get them at least a few hours of real QA work as early as possible.

    Good luck.
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  7. #7
    Member qamjk's Avatar
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    Well I have a lot of hands on built in, so its not just sitting with me going over the application. I hear what you guys are saying and I am the same way, I hate long training, which is why I am making sure the schedule has a lot of hands on, going through our bugs and features, running test cases. Just not really setting them totally loose, unless I see they are picking up really quick, then the schedule can be altered. I am going to try to cut the support time from 3 to 2 weeks. I am sure he will let it go, as I have done 3 weeks and I think it was 1 week too long. Of course the first thing is to get our lazy HR dept to get people in here to interview from the resumes I approved to interview.
    Mike

  8. #8
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qamjk View Post
    Of course the first thing is to get our lazy HR dept to get people in here to interview from the resumes I approved to interview.
    Maybe they are too busy with their 6 weeks of training...

    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  9. #9
    Member qamjk's Avatar
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    lol, I would like to put her through the training as punishment for not doing her job!! One of the worst HR people I have ever come across, but for some reason apparently the owner loves her.
    Mike

  10. #10
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qamjk View Post
    lol, I would like to put her through the training as punishment for not doing her job!!
    So you admit, the training is painful!

    Another reason why 6 weeks of training is excessive...
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

 

 
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