A life they say is what happens when you are planning something else. Do you think I had the slightest clue to become a software tester when I took up my MBA in Finance and landed in a banking job? It works like that always. You begin with something with your heart and soul in it and then suddenly you realize that it was not what you actually wanted to do in life. Luckily for me, this realization came early as it was not even six months in the job when dealing with people for someone like me for just not clicking well. I always had a knack for software development but felt it was only an interest which cannot be pursued to be a profession.
In the bank, as destiny had designed it, I was a part of the web team of the collection department — a typical banking role with not a pinch of IT in it. With time, I was often mired in technical issues related to the software and was often disappointed by the software and state of affairs of the banking systems. Soon enough I was over with the job mentally. I realized that what touched me in all this mess was not the work pressure but the fact that had there been no technical issues, the world around me would be a happier place.
I started to explore more profiles related to software and found my interests and curiosity shoot like mercury on a hot day. As my interests grew, so did the realization of the fact that all my education will go waste and would often lead me to a disappointment that I had not taken up any formal degree in computers. Of course it seemed too late to make a move. But, things started brightening when I reflected on it more deeply. I soon was able to chart my career course, and there was no looking back. I started taking up odd weekend assisting jobs in IT alongside professionals, started browsing through online forums and got myself grounded in the area. In this span, I found testing was the thing which interested me the most.
Yes, it was big and well repelled by many around me. Not many takers of my dreams and wishes and even fewer who would understand my potential. It was me with myself. It was in that hustle that I set up to explore the world of software testing and the options which were available to me. The first thing that attracted me was the career path of a software tester. Here is what I found.
A software tester is the one who ensures the quality of any given software by performing various tests and checks. Also, many bugs and errors are addressed as and when they show up. More often, these are employed as independent contractors in firms and businesses. Many times they are also placed independently on a permanent basis where they work in teams. They are also responsible for recording the location and characteristics of all kinds of errors and giving a suitable presentation to their teams.
Looking at it broadly, the basic roles of the software tester involves:
The role of a tester has also evolved with the level of technologies and the growth in a number of businesses on the internet. Every software whether an app, a website or other development software, etc. has to be thoroughly tested before they hit the market. It was the basic underlying fact which kept fuelling my zeal. After all the research and talk apart from the rhetoric, I knew that software testers have a way to go and they are the ones that will determine the quality of the future for many.
As I found out about the role of the tester in an organization, I also wanted to explore the career path to growth. Well, it all depends on the skill-set you have.
As a software tester, the first skills required for a person with no technical background were the technical ones. Definitely, it was an uphill task, but as they say, difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations, mine also was a similar case. Let me brief you about the skills which were required:
Having this set of technical skills will boost your confidence and make you more grounded in the field. Now you will be in a position to move ahead in the galleries where testing is done. I too did it but soon realized that this was not it. Software testing is no longer a closed-door profile, and you have to be in constant touch with other teams and even the clients to understand and acknowledge their pain points. Hence I realized the need and urgency for non-technical skills that were a must.
Here are a few of them that you need to have to make your way forward much easier:
Once you have mastered these skills, now you can have a quick glance at what your career path will look like.
The Career Path unfolds as you go up the hierarchy in terms of time. You begin as a QA Analyst and then move on to adorn the role of a Senior QA Analyst. While the former is a fresher profile, the latter requires you to have an experience of around 2-3 years. Further, once you serve as a Senior QA Analyst, you can take up the role of a QA Team Coordinator. As the name suggests you will be required to have great communication and organizational skills which are unmatched.
The next level-up comes after 8-10 years. This then definitely takes a huge leap forward and you adorn the title of a Test Manager. A great mind to work with who has great experience and expertise to handle almost any kind of situation with ease. Finally, you reach the top where the view becomes most beautiful as the journey has been tough, and you have learned so much. After a tenure of 14 years, you become eligible for this role. This is the dream role that every software tester aims to achieve. So many other factors also go into it, which will determine your progress and eligibility.
We all sail in the same boat and yes no matter how modest we play, we all are concerned about the numbers by which our banks will grow every month. Yes, salary is often seen as the most important consideration of why people make bold career moves and switches. I did for passion, yes because there was no substance for me in finance, and I would have never grown. But I will not deny the fact that IT was alluring because of the salaries that are associated with these profiles. Every profession demands hard work but if the same number of hours in a day, fetch you more greens, who will mind. As a Software Tester in the basic role, you begin at a figure of $45,993, and as you move up you will bring home a sum of around $98, 567. Yes, it is a highly attractive bet but comes after a great effort and input.
Now, is that it? Is it all you have in store for you? Fortunately, you will be eligible for many roles as you progress in life. As a software tester, there are many other career paths that open for you if in case you do not feel interested in the above line.
These definitely will interest you if the first ones failed to create magic as they are high in and futuristic.
All this information has come from my own bag of experiences, and I can state that I have lived most of these, now being at a senior level as a tester. There is a long way to go, and definitely, I want to stick to my guns till the end. I always wanted to be where I am today, and I had to go through a lot of mental and also a social struggle to reach here.
Tough decisions are tough, but they are also the game-changing ones. You have to make your mind and start working towards your goal unless the dream turns into a reality. Once you are through, all the struggles, the rush and the late nights will seem worth it.
Yes, you might meet failures all along, not to forget acquaintances who are just placed in your life to pull you down, but it is your grit and hunger which will push you through. Also, I want to mention the need for a blueprint or a game-plan. If you are starting fresh, then you should be getting all the right degrees, and if you are making a mid-career transition, then certifications are a must. They will make your struggle easier. Look for the elementary steps, like gaining information from all the relevant sources, getting some weekend training, learning Selenium, etc. to prepare for the certifications. JanBask Training has wonderful training options to advance your career on the same line. Here you can get certifications alongside your job, at your own pace. Job scene welcomes you with a different tone if you have certifications to back your claims. Experience is a must, and it will initially come after a lot of running around.
This has been my bucket of experiences that I thought will be helpful for anyone walking my path. I’m sure yours will be different but interesting in its own way. Do share how you plan to work around your career and how far was this information helpful in making your choice.
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