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  1. #1
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    HR question for Software Testing job

    Person 'ABC' has a Masters degree in Computer Science and one year of experience in software testing. Person 'XYZ' has only a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. 'ABC' applies for a full-time position as a Black-box tester at a software firm. The Hiring Manager is satified with the person's interview & then recommends him to the CEO for taking the final decision on whether to hire him or not.

    Now the CEO (who has some knowledge about testing) hesitates to take a positive decision because he feels that he can just hire person 'XYZ' and give him two months training in Testing & thereafter hire him as a full-time Black-box tester (because black-box testing is simple to learn and become expert at). Why should he hire the person 'ABC' and pay him a higher salary to do pretty much the same job that 'XYZ' could do for a paltry pay?

    My question for you is: if you were person 'ABC' then in this case how will you convince the CEO to hire you, instead of 'XYZ'?

  2. #2
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    Stupid question:
    XYZ has bachelors degree and how many years of experience as a tester?
    If he has zero years of experience, then the CEO is taking the risk that in two months, he will realize that
    - XYZ is not the right person for the job
    - ABC is no longer available.

    Furthermore, if XYZ does his job as fine as ABC would have done it, XYZ might get the idea that he deserves the same salary as ABC would have received (even if he doesn't know about ABC).

    Regarding the advantages of a masters degree over a bachelor degree, I am unable to argue as I have a German educational background. And I would need more data about the job opening in order to argue why my better academic qualification will help me fulfilling the employers goals e.t.c.

    Just my 0.02 EUR,
    Roland

  3. #3
    Moderator JakeBrake's Avatar
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    ... in addition to Roland's comments...

    [ QUOTE ]
    ...Now the CEO (who has some knowledge about testing) hesitates to take a positive decision because he feels that he can just hire person 'XYZ' and give him two months training in Testing & thereafter hire him as a full-time Black-box tester (because black-box testing is simple to learn and become expert at).

    [/ QUOTE ]
    <font color="blue">The CEO then needs an education because latching onto an opinion that testing is simple would be a major mistake on the part of the CEO. Leave the hiring decision to people who are qualified to make the decision.</font>
    .
    .
    [ QUOTE ]
    ...My question for you is: if you were person 'ABC' then in this case how will you convince the CEO to hire you, instead of 'XYZ'?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    <font color="blue">In my opinion, one does not "convince". Attempting to convince someone in this situation may not lead to the desired outcome.

    Does the company wish to invest in training for ABC?

    -OR-

    Does the company want someone who can hit the ground running as it were?

    If the very first filter is $$, then the company needs to look inward at its own value system for this to me represents a symptom of ignorance. Degrees, levels of, and quantity are not the best criteria for determining who might be better qualified. I would not work for this company because of the symptoms of internal breakage and apparent misunderstanding of testing. </font>

    <font color="brown">In my opinion the interview process is a two-way process where 1) the company is assessing a candidate to determine if that candidate is a good fit, and more importantly, 2) the candidate is assessing the company to determine if the company will have the necessary challenges to keep the candidate interested, and - the necessary empowering structures, processes and practices. </font>

  4. #4
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    [ QUOTE ]
    Person 'ABC' has a Masters degree in Computer Science and one year of experience in software testing. Person 'XYZ' has only a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science. 'ABC' applies for a full-time position as a Black-box tester at a software firm. The Hiring Manager is satified with the person's interview &amp; then recommends him to the CEO for taking the final decision on whether to hire him or not.

    Now the CEO (who has some knowledge about testing) hesitates to take a positive decision because he feels that he can just hire person 'XYZ' and give him two months training in Testing &amp; thereafter hire him as a full-time Black-box tester (because black-box testing is simple to learn and become expert at). Why should he hire the person 'ABC' and pay him a higher salary to do pretty much the same job that 'XYZ' could do for a paltry pay?

    My question for you is: if you were person 'ABC' then in this case how will you convince the CEO to hire you, instead of 'XYZ'?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If I were ABC, I wouldn't want to work for that company.

    Either the CEO is right, and they don't really need my talents, or the CEO is wrong but doesn't value my talents.

    Either way, there are plenty of other shops who would place more value on me than this company does.
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  5. #5
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    I agree with Jake and Joe on most points. Just a couple other points, though.

    First, if they were hiring for an entry-level position then they might not care about experience at all. So they might have been looking for a cheaper option.

    The upside to ABC is that, although experience is limited, they know what to expect. If XYZ doesn't have any experience in SQA then they might end up just not liking it. It's not like it would be the first CS grad with delusions about what SQA is.

    You also make mention that the CEO has some experience with testing so, on the flip side to that, maybe the CEO didn't feel that ABC was a good organizational fit. Heck, maybe he thought that the attitude of ABC was not one of a tester.

    1 year of experience is enough to know what testing is, but I don't think it puts people with zero experience out of the running. I'd much rather have someone working for me who is truly passionate about what they're doing than someone with 1 year of experience.

    Heck, what's the difference between 14 years of experience and 15 years of experience? Not a whole lot. The greatest testers didn't start with experience, so I think that ABC probably needs a reality check if he thinks that a year experience is going to go far in impressing many senior execs.

    That's just my opinion though.
    Brent
    --------------------
    9 out of 10 people I prove wrong agree that I'm right. The other person is my wife.
    --------------------

  6. #6
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    Not a bad question and some good responses.
    If the project was high-profile, complex, tight deadlines and the company wanted a fast-tracker, take-charger type person, then ABC is the obvious choice.

    If not, then XYZ may be the more suitable candidate, even though he's less qualified. This may seem unfair to ABC, but there are other variables that come into play in addition to the level of education/experience.

    I have been on both ends of the coin. Rejecting an applicant for being overqualified and missing out on a posting for being so myself.

  7. #7
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    The only comment I wanted to mention was the level of education vs experience. Some places get caught up with the idea of the certificates/degrees where those people knew how to learn the system but not necessarily have any worthy skills to do a job. While others have the skill set but may not have the specific degree.

    Just because a company is looking for a person with an engineering degree doesn't mean that someone with a liberal arts degree doesn't have the capability to be an engineer by trade. Sometimes subject matter of the degree is not important BUT it does depend on the person's ability to learn skills and then apply no matter the subject matter.

    During the interview process, was it determined if XYZ had any track record of the skill set required to learn testing? If no, then why was XYZ interviewed or even considered for the interview in the first place?
    Going out of your comfort zone requires failure. True genius is measured by your recovery.

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  8. #8
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    Hi Joe,
    You are telling that CEO got some knowledge in testing and i dint understand why he will take a person who dont have any testing experience.


    Thanks,
    Krishna

  9. #9
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    Krishna,

    I don't think I understand your question.

    Companies always have to decide how much (if any) prior experience is needed for a particular job. In some situations, prior experience is important. In other situations prior experience is not important.

    For some positions I have filled, I wanted experienced people. For others, I was willing to hire inexperienced people and train them. In the latter cases, I already had a staff containing enough senior, experienced people and was just trying to round the team out with some less-expensive members, to perform less-demanding work.

    The original hypothesis assumes that you have a Masters degree and 1 year experience, but are faced with a CEO who doesn't value either.

    My suggestion would be to walk away, and go somewhere else - presumably some place that would value what you have to offer.
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  10. #10
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    Re: HR question for Software Testing job

    [ QUOTE ]
    The only comment I wanted to mention was the level of education vs experience. Some places get caught up with the idea of the certificates/degrees where those people knew how to learn the system but not necessarily have any worthy skills to do a job. While others have the skill set but may not have the specific degree.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Based on my observations here on SQAForums and in-person interview, there are some countries that value certifications and pieces of paper more than experience. There are also those countries that value experience more than the pieces of paper. The answer to the original question may vary greatly depending on which country ABC and XYZ are interviewing in.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Just because a company is looking for a person with an engineering degree doesn't mean that someone with a liberal arts degree doesn't have the capability to be an engineer by trade. Sometimes subject matter of the degree is not important BUT it does depend on the person's ability to learn skills and then apply no matter the subject matter.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Borne out in real life. There once was an admiral in the US Navy named Rickover. He personally interviewed every officer candidate for the nuclear power program. One would think that on the surface, engineers and technical degreed persons would have the advantage. NOT. There were just as many policitial science, literature and history majors in the program as there were nuclear engineers. To him, it was all about native intelligence, the ability to learn, and the ability to operate under pressure, not the piece of paper you held.

 

 
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