A challenge like no other


(Taz) #1

Hi everyone, it’s great to be part of this amazing community, I am honestly shocked on how friendly this community is. I have been working in IT for the past 18 years for the same small company and it’s been great for me. I am now 37 and although I have learnt a lot of skills and techniques there I feel I am becoming more and more unemployable everyday. The job pays well, I have good hours, but I know if the company ceases to trade the skills I have won’t get my anywhere near the same wage. I don’t have a degree as I started working when I was 19, it was a young company and we have worked so hard on different technologies to grow to a larger scale.

I started my career using adobe flash, moved on to video editing, a little web (setting up servers , domain etc), working with developers overseas on projects we won and then design for social media. Whatever I have learnt has always been great for the company and kept us afloat however I feel I am a little jack of trades and master of none. I know that I have a job here for life but I feel should anything happen to the owner I would need to start at a junior level somewhere else and with children to support, I really need to gain skills which interest me and something I feel I could excel at. I love trying to make software work perfectly and I feel I have good analytical skill, communication skills and a willingness to learn.

I feel it’s time to step out into the world, meet new people and see how far I can go.


(Miloš) #2

Being a “jack of all trades master of none” is not as bad as it looks like. You can apply for all sorts of junior positions, or even go for project manager position.

Downside is of course lower paycheck for junior positions, so you should decide what is your biggest passion from all those skills and start working on mastering it.


(Robert) #3

Hi Taz,

Welcome to the community! This is probably one of the few places these days where you’ll find perhaps as many people without formal qualifications as have them, because testing is still an evolving profession. Many of us (myself included) came to testing via a range of different routes and life experiences - and that can be our strength as well as our weakness.

In a job search situation, of course, this is a weakness. I’ve been testing for more than twenty years out of a forty-year working life; I only found this community when I started my current role two years ago. I’ve learnt more about testing here and from my current colleagues in those two years than I ever did in the previous eighteen!

Should you ever be so unfortunate as to have to start putting your CV out into the job market again, treat your diverse experiences as a strength. Make a point of saying that you offer a wide range of experience that other candidates will find difficult to match. Sooner or later, you will find an employer who is looking for range of experience instead of certificates and classroom learning. (At the same time, you have to make it clear that you can learn new stuff and want to learn new stuff!)


(Taz) #4

Thank you for taking your time to reply Robert, I will certainly take everything you said onboard. I have signed up for the The Association for Software Testing Foundation in January (as this was the earliest spot they had available) and there is a massive amount of information online. I was wondering you found any books / learning material particularly helpful to recommend for a newbie to the industry like myself.


(Robert) #5

Taz,

Being pretty much self-taught in testing (see my earlier comments!). I can’t recommend any particular books. (You’d understand the gravity of that comment if you could see my personal and - though I say it myself - rather extensive library…)

The best learning resource on testing that I’ve come across is this forum and the other features that MoT offer. (Disclaimer: I have no connection with MoT other than as a highly satisfied user of this site and attendee at TestBash.) In particular, I’d check out the links to a wide range of testing blogs and the various learning resources, webinars and meetups that MoT organise. It’s taught me a lot.


(Ady) #6

Hello @Taz I’d echo @roberday in his comments that exposure to lots of things can be a strength in itself.

In terms of books, it is very much what you want to learn. If it is testing in agile methodologies you can’t go far wrong with Agile Testing and More Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. The book Explore it! is a very good introduction to exploratory testing or there’s lots of information on http://www.satisfice.com/ James Bach’s work on Session Based Testing and Rapid Software Testing with Micheal Bolton are both well worth looking at.

If you want to look at automation, which many do these days, then https://automationintesting.com/ is a worthy starting point but there are a lot of resources out there and many are highlighted around the club.

Of course tailoring your CV towards your strengths and keeping it up to date is useful too and there’s a good discussion here, CV’s: How Do You Write Yours? I uploaded my CV in that thread and there’s a lot of other tips too.

Good luck Taz.