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  1. #1
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    Experience levels of QA professionals

    I have a pretty unique situation to deal with in my company. I'm tasked with setting up the SQA group (without any testing responsibilities; only process engineering, audits, process improvements) at my office. Based on the headcount, number of projects, I proposed the team composition along with the expected experience levels.

    But since we could not hire experienced people, I was asked to groom a bunch of freshers to take up this role.

    First question - was it a good idea?

    Second question - If the answer for the first question is yes, then what should be the ideal approach in grooming these freshers into good QA professionals

    If the answer for the first question is wrong, how should i drive the point home the management that we will need experienced people in the team?

    Thanks in advance

    cheers!!

  2. #2
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    [ QUOTE ]
    First question - was it a good idea?

    Second question - If the answer for the first question is yes, then what should be the ideal approach in grooming these freshers into good QA professionals

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If you don't already know the answer to the Second question, then the answer to the First question should probably be No.
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    Sorry, what I meant to say is "if the answer for the first question is no"....

    nevertheless, since its obvious that the answer is "no".... how am i supposed to convey this to the mgmt..... am lost. F1... oops .... Help !!!

  4. #4
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    "I was asked to groom a bunch of freshers to take up this role"

    Perhaps you could ask management how much of a training budget you have? And how much time?

    Given enough time and money, anything is possible...
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  5. #5
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    I might be wrong, but IMO, even if you have enough money/time it is not advicable to give SQA roles to fresher. Reason is, in order to evaluate/suggest improvements in software development or testing projects, it is important to understand them first. If they have never worked on software development, do not understand what kind of problems they might face in the absence of processes, how will they communicate this idea to other people?

  6. #6
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    [ QUOTE ]
    I might be wrong, but IMO, even if you have enough money/time it is not advicable to give SQA roles to fresher. Reason is, in order to evaluate/suggest improvements in software development or testing projects, it is important to understand them first. If they have never worked on software development, do not understand what kind of problems they might face in the absence of processes, how will they communicate this idea to other people?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I don't think I understand your reservations.

    I believe if I had enough time and budget, I could interview, select, hire, and train a group of entry-level QAers to the point where they could be highly effective.

    As far as I can tell, you would never hire an entry-level person under any circumstances?
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  7. #7
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    Are you saying the freshers you are grooming are doing the process/audits, etc or will they just do testing?

    Bad idea either way in my opinion:

    For testing:
    Not good if you want a quality product right from the start. I don't really agree with Joe on this one. I can hire and train junior testers but I always want them with a mentor that has experienced the problems that occur during a project. You can't teach experience.

    A training course is fine and dandy but it is no substitute for experience. Eventually you'll get a good team but the first few projects may not be up to snuff until your test team figures out what is going on and what they need to do during a project.

    Hire one or two people that know what they are doing. Let them train the others. When you hire people new to QA you need to make very sure they don't pick up bad habits you will have to break them of later.

    Junior testers are probably going to be unsure of themselves at first and won't know how to push for specifications, write a good plan, generate proper defects, etc. You can create a process for everything but it would be easier if you had some people that can give you input and not just follow what you say. There may be holes in your process and it would be nice if it didn't have to fail before you figured it out.....8-)

    You can do it if you are willing to look over their shoulder on the first project and be the only mentor.


    Freshers actually writing the process:
    I won't even go there. You need lots of experience to know what does and doesn't work.


    Driving this point home to management:

    Pull out the cost of fixing a bug chart. Experienced testers are more likely to find the defects early in the process and save the company money.

    Costs of training every member on the team will justify the additional cost of hiring one or two senior members that are capable of training the others.

    Ask them if they are willing to have a few products with less than optimal quality while the testers are coming up to speed.

    You can hire new people in and train them. I am assuming you get to pay them less. They are likely to leave for a better paying job when they get experience. You can offer them more money when they get the experience but how much are you really saving by doing this. Maybe three years of pay for a senior tester. It isn't a big savings especially if it causes you to lose customers.

    Back all this stuff up with data. You should be able to find the information on the web. I've set up a process with junior individuals but I was there to monitor and mentor them. I can handle 6-8 juniors and make a decent team. Doesn't sound like what you are doing. Sounds like this is a basic policy they want to do.

    You can do it but you need to do it in stages. Example: Have one team you train and get up to speed, then split them up to multiple projects as leads/senior testers and let them train new testers. It depends on what trade offs the company is willing to do.
    Candyman

    Testing is not an art (that is unless your definition of art includes breaking other "art").

  8. #8
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    By the way....when you said fresher I assumed no testing experience. No problem if the company is willing to hire individuals with 2-3 years experience at a decent size company. Anyone who has been exposed to testing before could make a team.
    Candyman

    Testing is not an art (that is unless your definition of art includes breaking other "art").

  9. #9
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    If you are doing SQA work, and not testing, I doubt that you can do a good job at process engineering with new unexperienced employees. Engineering processes requires experience -- usually experience with many bad processes. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    If you are going to apply someone else's canned practices and have your people enforce it: that may be possible with minimal training. However this could result in implementing processes that don't fit your environment. Bad process enforced is likely to decrease quality, not improve it.

    At the very least, I think you'll need someone with experience to mentor the newbies.

  10. #10
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    Re: Experience levels of QA professionals

    I am assuming the original poster was talking about testing. Trying to write SQA processes with newbie testers....eeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!!! [img]/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] [img]/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
    Candyman

    Testing is not an art (that is unless your definition of art includes breaking other "art").

 

 
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