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How to apply for Software Testing Jobs?

job searchFew of my students and readers of this blog asked me to write on how to apply for software testing jobs?

These questions reminded me of the days long back when i looked for answers to get a job. And none of my answers (self found) helped me then to get a job in IT industry apart from relentless job search.

Points i discuss in this post today are learned from over 10+ years of experience. I honestly hope these pointers would help you in knowing (understanding) ways to apply for a job.

It’s a sad to know that nowadays Software Testing training institutes attract students by offering job guarantee programs. But post training, most of the students are still without job and their job search gets much more difficult thanks to the kind of training given. Institutes offer training from interview perspective only. The fun element is never present in such training. A student only learns what is essential to get a job. As a result, real essence of testing is missing. And you start feeling, Automation is replacing Manual jobs. So you end up doing another course to learn automation.

While i was searching for a job after my graduation, I miserably failed in almost every interview. My limited knowledge of testing kept me away from building confidence. I did not learn software testing from any institute but later attended BBST course.

Somehow I joined Satyam as a QA analyst but soon moved away from being QA to become a Programmer Manager as I knew my limited Testing  knowledge. Later I realized, if I had learned the soul of Testing, I wouldn’t have moved away from my QA role.

Anyways, I would like to share few guidelines that may work for you during your job hunt.

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Importance of Writing for Testers

WritingImagine an Explorer who lost his way in woods. Now, he’s got one option i.e. to track his route, make markings to avoid visiting the same area again and again. He has to keep notes of the time, sunlight direction, markings on the woods, areas covered etc etc. Similarly, A tourist in a new city always makes notes of the places to visit or visited. Imagine how important it is for a Tester to make notes while doing Exploratory Testing (an unplanned activity) or writing notes of something suspicious you come across while testing, to foster better communication and remember important things which are otherwise ignored if not written down.

Remember when we were in School / College we always used to take down notes of lectures and re-read them to understand the topic further in detail.

A Tester writes notes, pointers, bugs, important messages, journals to communicate information, reports, views, observations. They need to make sure no important information is missed. To communicate effectively, penning down your thoughts, activities is very essential. But a poorly written information may not help you as a tester, the project or the team. Testers can always learn the art of writing once they understand the importance of it.

Testers who submits incomplete, hard_to_understand information fails in their presentation. Details provided are lost in translation when Tester:
– makes use of very long sentences thus derailing the issue under discussion
– writes incomplete sentences to only create confusion in reader’s mind
– do not focus on the vocabulary
– too many issues presented in same bug report
– gives partial information and assume developers and team to fill in the blanks

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Web Forms without Usability is harmful

Now a days usability (UX) is one of the most important quality criteria to have in every application. A well designed application that focuses on ease of use of end user can only survive in this competitive world and convert users to customers. But the Designers today are more worried about the looks, how clean and attractive is the site rather than focusing on enhancing user experience.

I believe UI is part of UX but design alone will not improve user base, sales, competition unless it’s not focused on improving user experience.

I was working on one of the testing project. My client’s website looked stunningly attractive. Aesthetically pleasing front page UI was enough to attract users. The website talked about their business model and work done in past for various clients. The front end design to some extent fulfilled the business idea.

But their contact form was almost invisible. Though it was inheriting the website theme but was impossible to figure it out easily. Definitely, any pair of human eyes would fail to notice its existence. Now, Users are always multi-tasking when viewing the webpage. So, the chances of overlooking important things are always high.

The Contact Form in discussion here had worst user experience. Entered details in the fields had dark grey font color over black background. It is impossible for end user to review the form before submitting because user has to click on each field to read entered data otherwise not visible.

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5 ways to be A Smart Tester

Five ways to be a Smart TesterThis post will discuss 5 ways to be a Smart Tester. Testers should adopt these to work smart and gain respect but also keep your interest alive in Testing. After all, one should enjoy the work they do. So, make Testing a fun activity.

A Seasoned Tester might find Testing boring, un-interesting activity. She may find herself to reach a dead end performing same routine tasks which in no way is helping her improve her learning or adding value in her Profile.

Such a Tester starts blaming / cursing the project, the team, the application under test, the culture, the company or her astrological stars for all the wrong reasons. There’s no point of blaming others. Don’t even blame yourself.

Instead, Retrospect. See what went wrong and how you can improve to be a Valued (S.M.A.R.T) Tester. Find out ways to make your job interesting and improve learning at the same time.

 

S.M.A.R.T = Simple yet Meticulous Approach towards Realistic Testing

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9 Good Reasons To Choose Career In Software Testing

Career ChoiceAs its rightly said, one of the most common reason to choose career in Software Testing is, “You get job easily”. But this reason creates a false hope of having a good career and a handsome salary. Speaking about “having good career” – I quit my job out of frustration.

Initial few years of my job, I did not find software testing as an exciting career option. Running the same test cases every day, Running the same automation scripts which miserably failed every time, Reporting pass fail count, Copy pasting same test cases etc. etc.. I was stuck in same boring, mundane task list forever.

And that’s when i said, “I Quit”.

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