Technology & Software is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world today. In the tech industry, the number of people doubles every five years and more than half of the workforce has less than five years of experience. With so much development going on in these areas, the market for testing, automation, and quality analysis is growing exponentially (with few minor exceptions/corrections) too. The trend has continued for over 20 years now and hopefully will remain the same going forward. If you are someone who is just about to complete your engineering, or has recently completed your engineering and looking for a job, Software Testing could be an interesting field to be in.
However, in reality (thanks to our engineering/education curriculums), most fresh graduates actually don’t even have the slightest of an idea about ‘testing’, or ‘what working as a software tester’ is. Most testers who work for industry companies became testers by chance. This scenario is definitely changing with time but the gap is still very huge.
Through this article, I would like to talk about some tips & ideas on “How to get a job in software testing”. But wait, If you are a total beginner to this term, then I would suggest you to refer to these blog posts on Testing is… and What Is A Tester? by Michael Bolton to get an idea about what Software Testing actually is.
If you are interested in self-learning the basics of software testing before you begin with a job search, then you can start with the BBST 3.0 Course on Testing Foundations by Dr. Cem Kaner. It is one of the most comprehensive courses on Software Testing Foundations. If you need free notes for this course, you can get them here.
So, If testing interests you as a good potential career, Here are some of the popular ways (not in any order) that have helped people to seek a job in software testing as a fresher:
- Campus Placement: Most IT Companies (including specialized testing companies) hire freshers from Campus Placements. There are On-Campus & Off-Campus Drives that take place for passing out batches. Skills that help in such drives:
- Aptitude for Learning
- Good Written & Spoken English
- Reasoning & Logical Abilities
- Programming & Technical Knowledge: The degree to which this is expected varies from company to company. Generally, Product based companies expect these to a good level. In contrast, companies who are focused on service might want to access how quickly can you upskill with training and support. However, there are no fixed rules and it’s mostly context-driven.
- Post Graduate Diploma Courses: There are good courses that emphasize practical and industry-oriented learning by institutions like the Centre of Development for Advanced Computing (CDAC). A lot of companies visit such institutes for hiring freshers. There are many new promising options coming up in this format too. If you don’t have much familiarity with the tech world then this might be a good option for you.
- Internship / Externship Programmes: Many testing and IT companies offer internship and externship programs to college students. Start with such an opportunity and add value to the work you are doing there. They would most likely offer you a full-time role once you complete your graduation. Things that would help you to get such an opportunity:
- Build a profile on professional platforms like LinkedIn.
- Watch out for opportunities.
- Do 2-3 projects till your third year. It doesn’t matter how big or fancy it is. What matters is that you should know what you have done.
- Learn to showcase your skills & work.
- Approach relevant people to check if they can refer you to any such opportunity. As Anuj Magazine says, “Your first message should not be asking for help”. Keep that in mind!
- Approach your college placement officer/alumni network if they can help you with any such opportunity.
- Look forward to learning the basic skills that can help you be eligible for such opportunities.
- Testing Courses: There are courses that are open to all graduation streams. They will guide you on the basics of testing, programming, tech skills, interview skills, etc. In some cases, they can also help you with job search assistance. Despite the fact that there are some genuine courses in this area, most of them are simply designed to generate revenue for instructors. Prior to joining one of these courses/trainers/institutions, do some background checking. Seek out the feedback of people who have already been through such courses. Do not take advertised testimonials at face value.
- Job Portals: Learn about testing & tech and apply for jobs via portals. Good popular platforms are Naukri.com and Indeed.com. Most recruitment consultancies scout for profiles from these portals. If you are lucky, you will get a call.
- Job Referrals: Another popular method for getting a job is to ask for referrals. You can also ask your seniors/network that, what you can do to get a referral. Make it easy for people to refer you. Focus on networking within your space by being active in software testing conferences, workshops, and meetups.
- LinkedIn Posts: Apply for jobs that people post on Linkedin. Drop mails to the concerned HR, write a cover letter, share your work portfolio (if you have one and you want to maximize your chances of selection) along with your resume for such job applications. It is likely that you would have to compete with a large number of equally competent professionals, so you should do whatever makes you stand out from the crowd.
- Automation in Testing Courses: There are many institutes that provide training on UI / API / Mobile Automation that is industry-oriented. If you are interested in automation, scripting, or programming and want to start your career in this field, apply for these courses. Again, Seek out the feedback of people who have already been through such courses.
So, those were some of the basic tips that will hopefully assist you in getting a job in the exciting field of software testing. Also, I plan to write one advance post on how to obtain a job in software testing for people who are ready to put in some effort in building a relevant portfolio. As an open market today, the software industry offers a lot of different possibilities, opportunities, and ways to make your way in.
By – Rahul Parwal