Imagine you have the power to time travel. Yup, I know that's a little silly. Yet imagine you meet your younger self at the point where they are about to start their career in testing. Ignoring the shock of your younger self seeing you, what advice would you give them to help set them up for success? Please also ignore the fact that your future/now self would already know what advice you would've been given.
First, buckle up, champ. From about 2016 on things are gonna be pretty rough on a global scale.
Second. No matter how impossible that dream career in the arts sounded at 25 it is infinitely more difficult at 45 with a mortgage, car payments, and children. The greater financial freedom is an illusion as it comes with the requirements to maintain your finances and also eats up all your time.
I’d tell young Mirza to get into IT a few years earlier, try hard to start spending more as soon as you start earning more, and maybe invest in BitCoing while it was very low in value. But, as the saying goes, all generals are wise after the battle!
You think you can do this all by yourself, muddle your way into becoming a testing specialist and work out how to be a people leader.
You will do all that and that’s great. But consider this. Join the testing community now and don’t wait 10 years to do it as I did. Don’t get caught up in the world of the specific places you are working at. Yep, they’re great and you’ll be treated well – yet they aren’t the be-all and end-all.
The Testing Community is where it’s really at. You will learn and discover so much more than you think is possible. And you’ll feel great about giving back much sooner than later.
Don’t worry about hitting your current career goals or feel bad if they don’t come to fruition. In time you’ll get new (and better) goals that you can achieve.
There will be periods where you might feel lost or dissatisfied. Try and make a difference rather than find a different path. Get MoT membership and get involved in the community. It can start to transform your career
I stumbled into an amazing manager when I first got into testing. Within the first month or two I attended both an AST conference and a three day RST course. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was.
My advice to earlier me is:
You may really love it here now, but at some point in the near future, your employer will become extremely toxic. That will be an outstanding time to leave. Leaving at that point may be a scary thing, and you may think that things will improve, but the alternative is scarier.
Try to get an all-round experience. Work a couple of years as a Business Analyst, then a couple of years as a developer, do a degree if you can and then get head over heels into testing! Start with manual testing, automated testing and then make your career as a Performance Tester.