Career break from programming, need suggestions on how to get into testing

Hi all. I just joined. I am an analyst programmer with over 15 years of experience mainly in the financial industry. My job include business analysis, data modeling, a lot of programming, testing, documentation and support, but I found that I enjoy testing the most. After a planned career break, I would really like to get into a testing role. I have been thinking of this for several years now and tried to get into testing jobs. I completed a testing certification to show that I am really interested to get into this role.
My testing experience is Unit Testing and approving and assisting with test cases for UAT and System Testing. I don’t have any experience with automated testing or use of any tools. I would very much appreciate any suggestions on how I can get a job as tester.
I believe I am a good tester and I’m passionate with testing. I understand the philosophy and I have experience of it having worked as a tech in IT but I just don’t have experience of the tools. I’m sure that I can quickly learn them.

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Hi Ann,

I think you have the skills to become a great tester. The Tester and Developer roles are merging over time. Especially with all the demand for Automation,

I would suggest becoming familiar with html and CSS, if you aren’t already and pick up a course on selenium or Appium from Udemy or one of the other online training sites. With your development background it should be fairly straight forward for you to get up and running.

Good luck.

Welcome @annsj I think these are valid in your situation and I would suggest you think about what types of test jobs you would be interested in. It sounds like you would be comfortable creating test automation but the pitfall can be that the automation is prescribed and you don’t get to do any ‘actual’ testing, test creation or exploring the software it pertains to. If you are happy with this as a starting point that’s ok, so looking at test engineer type positions would be an idea. But if you want to do hands-on exploration, getting involved in testing ideas and user stories then working as part of a development team as a test specialist might be more appealing. In that case, look into researching exploratory testing. Maybe Explore it by Elisabeth Hendrickson would be worth investing in as well.

Good luck and I hope you find a situation that makes you happy.

Couple of places to start are with these free online courses:

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Thank you @cruxto for the vote of confidence. Trouble is most of the jobs require working experience with the tools.

Thank you @adystokes. Very helpful information. I’ll get onto those and the suggestions from @cruxto.

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That is true bit I’ve seen CVs with online course completed too. Like Pluralsight or Udemy so you could include something like that to show you have exposure to the tools at least.

Also it depends on the level of role you are applying for. If it was Senior Automation Engineer then I could understand that. If I’m interviewing somebody, I’m more interested in them as a person as how they would tackle a particulate problems, the tools can be learnt.

But that’s just me.


I moved from development to testing a few years ago. Brief details of my journey are below…

At the start of my career I was a manual tester. I then moved into development after 3 years in testing. I was in development for approx 4 years.

My route back to testing was joining a small company who had a slight gap in quality and there were no dedicated testers. My job was software developer and I did it for 6 months helping test other developers work and they tested mine. I suggested the company allowed me to take on more testing responsibility to help address the quality gaps. I made a case for it by (1) emphasizing the quality gap, (2) demonstrating how I’d found more bugs than colleagues during our existing peer test appoach, (3) stressing that I was an experienced manual tester earlier in my career, and (4) showing an added potential benefit of me moving to dedicated testing as I could couple my development AND testing skillsets to add s lot of value for automated testing as we had none at that time.

I guess it was a combination of (1) right place, right time, which you may not be able to do much about, except by looking round a lot, and (2) really selling what I could offer the company, which if you can refer to video/reading/pet projects this can definitely get the right company’s attention. Just remember career stuff is a numbers game: if you send 10 CVs you may get 3 interviews which could lead to 1 job offer. Your situation sounds like finding the right company may give you a great chance provided your skills can be sold/interesting to them.

Wishing you every success!

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Thank you for sharing your journey @gerardmccann. Finding the right company is exactly what I need, like finding needle in a haystack. What do you mean where you mentioned video/reading/pet projects?

Hi. Sorry for the delay replying.

It is possible to find some videos from Lynda/Pluralsite on things like page-object model and API testing. If you were to review same then in an interview you could give some info on them. Things like that can impress an interviewer as it’s showing you’re willing to take the initiative on your own time to do learning.

By pet projects I mean things like contributing to open source testing efforts or if, for example, you created some automation code from your book/video learnings you could store it in Github. A link to your Github could show an interviewer you’re serious about your learning as you’ve taken the time to create the code etc,

Hope this helps and good luck!.