Hi everyone! I’m looking forward to starting my career on this new path. I am aware of the demand for QA testers in my country, but one question arose this weekend, is QA TESTING a job that only works as a contractor or a full-time job?
Personally, love to have a full-time job in this career but whenever I read a post saying “2 years project”, or “6 months project” it got me thinking about what happens when the project ends. Does that mean I’ll be jobless until somebody hires me again?
I will be very thankful for your answers and explanations, which will clear a lot of doubts.
Plenty of full-time jobs in the QA field.
There’s a lot of companies that don’t work on time-boxed contracted projects but rather develop their software on an ongoing basis. Think Netflix, Facebook or Microsoft - those are of course giants but there’s loads and loads of smaller and less known companies that work the same way.
Thank you Baysha for your reply
Based on what I observed in the country that I am in (the Philippines), contractual QAs exist for projects that last for a specific duration of time and the client in question has their own QA team that will support the final outcome, while full-time QAs are for projects that become flagship products, thus requiring their presence, and mastery of the product.
When I was still in a consulting firm (as a developer), I notice that most of our projects when completed and turned over to the client’s internal IT, they are the ones who will study and maintain the workflow, which generates a full-time QA role on their side. On the consulting firm’s side, QAs are usually contractors in nature and last only until project deployment and completion and if the firm liked their performance and deliverables, they will likely be renewed and work on a brand new project.
Lots of variations out there.
Here’s a few of them.
Company owns there own product and they hire you as part of the team. These are usually perm positions and tend to include your personal development as well.
Contract position. This goes to whatever is in the contract, say 6 months then there will often be a discussion for extension or new contract. Rates on contracts are generally higher than you would earn as a perm team member but when contract ends you likely need to find a new one. Expectations on hitting the ground running are normal. Different countries have legal variations on this but usually any holidays are unpaid and limited employment benefits as you in effect work for yourself and sell yourself as a service.
SaaS companies. I have seen a couple of variations with this. The usual one is usually a perm role with those benefits but often part of the remuneration is linked to them selling you. Plus side is varied projects rather than long term on one or two products.
Contract vs perm is often lifestyle choice and driven by market demand.
My experience in the UK is that solo contract work is plentiful, but will last 6-12 months in reality. Which normally is enough to keep you going for another 3 months while you take a holiday or search for the next gig. I would start out getting a permanent job to get some experience onto my CV before contracting solo. If you are young, contracting solo is great. Permanent work is most people’s preference, and frankly a lot cheaper and thus is plentiful. You hit the ground running as a solo contractor and although you are accepted as one of the gang, and get to go to all the parties, you don’t do quite so much of the boring stuff employees do, like those company meetings. You get less choice in matters, but, people do listen to you because contractors are by nature impartial. So it’s actually fun, downside is you cannot get sick.
I’m a big fan of getting something permanent, but would never want to work in one of those “3rd party” companies which “rent you out” as a team to companies. Although you will get broad experience by moving around often, these “tester hothouse” companies are stressful places to work. Any broad experience you can get is good.
It can be both, but if you’re just starting out I’d recommend applying to either product companies or agencies that do long-term projects. Once you get more experience you can give consulting a try, it’s more demanding in a way that you will be expected to pick things up fairly quickly and won’t be given a lot of time to get to know the system and gain a lot of domain knowledge.
If you find a company with a 2-year project that will also be perfectly fine to get started, as that is enough time to get trained and you can learn a lot in 2 years. With 2 years of experience, it will be significantly easier to find new jobs, compared to having no experience, and besides your pay will increase significantly once you change companies - due to the fact that most companies have hiring budget way higher than the repetition budget.
Thank you Piconyannyan for sharing your experience !
Thanks Everyone for your replies, it helps me to know what to expect and be ready for the challenges it might bring,
I would try for jobs in areas that have high security requirements. Banking, medical, lots of regulations. That needs to be tested and there should be jobs.