Suggestion for Job Change
I am new to this site and no idea if this is the correct place to ask my question. I want some suggestion regarding my career.
I am working as a Testing Team Lead.Currently we are into Mobile app testing and GIS application testing (All Manual).Previously I have worked with web application testing.I have 4+ years of exp, only manual.Not that much exposure to database, but I can understand queries.
One more thing is I worked for 1 year, then took 6 years break for kid and then again started working from last 3 years.Now I am with a small company from last 1 year.I want to switch after 6/7 months. I don't know anything about automation, just theoretical knowledge. So my question is: is it enough for me in this stage only with manual ? How can I enhance my knowledge and in which area.Is automation tool is mandatory for me to learn?And its too difficult for me to learn a new thing on my own.
Please advice me so that it will be a great help for me for the next switch.
A Few Tips I can tell you.
First off, manual will only get you so far.. which generally hits the career ceiling very fast at the Sr. Tester level. After that point, you start needing more skills for various walks.
In order to make the next jump, you'll need to get the following skills..
1.) People Management - at anything higher than a lead tester on a single project. You'll need to be counted on to manage a team of people. In order to get this you'll need to solid management skills. If your corporation has in house management training, go to as many of those as you can. You may want to supplement this leading activities such as organizing talks, events, etc.. for your company or out of the company to demonstrate these skills.
2.) Project and Risk Management Skills. At the division or product test lead level, you'll need to be able to complement a project manager and be able to access the risks and resources for the projects. The company is counting on you to staff a QA team correctly for each project and have test plans in place to mitigate the projects risks that are planned. I would supplement your education with say a PM certifications.
3.) Resource and budgeting skills. This is probably one of the hardest to build. Beyond knowing about all the cool tools out there and how much output you can get per staff member. At any middle management or higher level, you'll need to know how to communicate the business case to get the resources you need and justify why your department is even needed. One of the hardest issues I had when I was leading a product division QA, is always constantly fighting for budget. Since QA is usually an after thought, QA department is always struggling for budget for hire staff and purchasing tools and infrastructure. For this, you'll need to do a lot of reading. And I mean a lot. And network with peers in QA management, and try to learn everything out there. You'll also want to get very good at doing math on your feet. Generally during project planning, you only have a small 2 or 3 minute window where everyone is discussing concerns to quickly layout the business case. If you don't layout a believable business case fast enough, people on your team gets canned or budgets get cut. It's very ruthless at many organizations.
That said.. I think automation is much easier. ;-) In automation, there are a few more technical positions such as SDET and Test Architect you can go before going into middle management.
Got good idea after reading your post. I will definitely go through all the suggestions. And 1 more question, How should I learn the skills, I mean here in our Company, I am not at all involved in budget related things.So how can I know the details about those skills? Is learning by searching in the net will be enough for me?
Thanks a Lot.
Why do you want to switch?
Originally Posted by PMishra
Why after 6/7 months? What is special about that time frame?
Best thing you can do is find mentors.
Originally Posted by PMishra
In larger companies, there's usually career development courses and more clear advancement guidelines. I would recommend your first few jobs be corporate to develop your skill set before going into a high risk startup. Those tend to have little to no career development programs.
Aside from work related training. Depending on your budget, you may want to pursue an MPM (Masters of Project Management) or a MBA (Master of Business Administration). I'm currently doing my MBA part time, some of the classes I've taken have been very helpful. For example, quantitative analysis class was very useful in learning regression analysis to find correlations in the defect and dev/qa cost data.