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Career Development for Test Engineers

Let's spend this session discussing ways to further our careers as test engineers or beyond. There are several avenues to pursue, what are they and how do you get there?

This MeetUp will cover the obvious career paths like management, gui automation specialist and backend automation specialist and also throw in a few not so obvious progressions like web developer, consulting and startup founder.

Lastly, I'd like to try a slightly different format that'll mix together a presentation and some group participation whiteboard work. The MeetUp will start with a presentation discussing each of the career paths in general and then head over to the whiteboard for some insight into the career paths that excite the group the most.

Cheers!

Jim Kellas

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  • Brian M.

    Nice overview of the various paths of study and progress, and Chegg were kind hosts as always. I think one path that we may not have talked about that is important is one of the simplest: Ask within your current company! Companies routinely seem to be short QA resources, and somebody willing to tackle problems may very well be offered side projects doing manual QA and/or some simpler automated tests to write, and this way you have the added bonus of people you already know and work with helping you to get experience. Whether you ultimately get the internal promotion or not, you'll be adding valuable experience to your resume that will help you down the road.

    1 · December 4, 2012

    • David

      Good suggestion Brian. One can take that further in that you don't just have to ask internally for opportunities. One can create opportunities by helping out here and there with whatever skills they've learned without being asked to do them or if help was needed. When done well, that can create the recognition for success, opportunity, and promotion, without asking for it at first. Your peers and management will notice, if done right.

      February 23, 2014

  • David

    I unfortunately found out about this group late, and didn't get to hear the discussion. But if these have not been covered, I'd like to mention in my QA experience, these are alternate paths to take for a career: product manager (e.g. more on business side than tech/engineering management side), UX (user experience/interface) developer/designer, business analyst. As QA, testing functionality, usability of a product, and flushing out any missed/unclear requirements, you actually are quite involved in these areas that it can be a natural transition to those roles if you're good with dealing with UX or help shaping a product, or figuring out the requirements for the product.

    February 23, 2014

  • Wendy D.

    Many thanks to all for excellent ideas! *Jim, did you or anyone else take pictures of what was on the whiteboard from the groups? *The recommendation was to specialize. But what about people who are good generalists? Is there room for that so far as a career path?

    1 · December 5, 2012

    • Jim K.

      Specialization is what makes you stand out but it is certainly advantageous to have a breadth of knowledge, as well.

      1 · December 5, 2012

    • David

      Being a specialist & generalist (or rather a specialist in multiple areas but not all areas) has worked well for me. It helps you stand out well if you know how to utilize this overlap. Likely more helpful at startups that could use generalists, or when you're a founder of a startup or a consultant. But do beware that as a generalist, for job interviews, you may have to brush up in areas here and there that you may be a bit rusty in that a sole specialist would less likely be.

      February 23, 2014

  • John T.

    Here is a link to the Silicon Valley ASQ chapter. It is more valuable to me than the certification. ;) Watch for a topic that seems interesting then give it a try. :) http://www.asq-silicon-valley.org/

    December 4, 2012

  • John T.

    This was my first meetup but it will not be my last. Loved the discussion and synergy.

    1 · December 4, 2012

  • Jag S.

    Too aggressive

    December 3, 2012

    • Jim K.

      I'm always open to constructive criticism to improve upon the Meetup but this review lacks any substance and is not actionable.

      1 · December 4, 2012

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