Ten years on the Testing Field: Tips to Thrive
Everyone wants to have a successful career, which is only possible if they plan their professional journey and follow a well-structured strategy to ensure they gain the right exposure, while polishing their skills as they gain experience.
Here are some guidelines specifically for testers who aspire to be successful professionals on the testing field. These points are targeted towards an individual tester graduating in years of experience:
0-2 years of a tester’s journey:
- Be passionate about your career in the field of testing: Irrespective of how or why you ended up in this field; now that you are here, work with dedication and interest. During the initial two years of your career, most of your efforts will be expended on understanding your job role and becoming familiar with the work environment. It would be in your best interests to make dedicated efforts to understand the project lifecycle, testing lifecycle, software requirements, testing process, identifying bugs, reporting mechanism etc.
- Work on developing effective communication skills: Without being proficient in both written and spoken English and being able to communicate effectively one cannot expect to make it to a leadership position.
- Focus on relationship building and being a good team player: Networking is just about as important as knowing and fulfilling your job role. Networking isn’t just about being on a first name basis with people, it is about knowing the right people and then building strong interpersonal relationships with them so as they always help you get the job done. For this, it is important to have the true spirit of a team player and acknowledge and accredit the contributions of others on the team.
2-5 years of a tester’s journey:
How you approach things from the 2nd till the 5th year of your professional journey can have a very strong impact on the direction of your career. In this stage it is necessary to focus on learning new things and expanding your knowledge base beyond that of your normal responsibilities.
- Maintain professionalism in your attitude: A professional attitude towards work relationships means that you always focus on the end result and on achieving the goals of the project irrespective of the nature of the team you are a part of. People may come from different cultures and have varied behaviors however it is best to maintain a neutral stance and a positive attitude with everyone.
- Always be willing to impart your knowledge to juniors and colleagues: Sharing knowledge with others not only helps the team achieve more but also helps you as it motivates you to continue learning about new technologies. Never hold back knowledge because another may progress further than yourself; rest assured that no one can rob you of your knowledge and experience; they can only build themselves which makes you look good as people look towards you for inspiration and show increased interest in working with you.
- Learn ‘Automation framework’ and make it a point to find an opportunity to work with a real time project using an automation tool: The idea is to look into the various automation tools that are available and then to familiarize yourself with any one automation tool, making it your strong point.
- Get involved in all organizational initiatives and be an integral part of the team: Having completed five years, you are now looked upon as an expert in manual and automation testing. If you have been dedicated towards building your career in the right direction, then by this time you would be identified as a “test lead” and are relied upon to lead teams.
To be continued:
In order to follow the ideal journey of the next five years of a tester, please wait till my next post.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.