Saturday, May 17, 2008

Career Planning in Software Testing

About Software Quality Control / Testing
Software Quality control is the process of testing the application’s output according to the defined inputs and comparing them with the expected results.
The quality control team helps to improve the quality by testing and confirming that all the
requirements are fulfilled in the delivered application.
Testing should be done in each phase in the life cycle for any application, testing the
requirements, testing the design, testing the code, testing the functionality and finally testing the
user acceptance.
The Quality control or verification is the checking or testing of items, for conformance and
consistency with the defined specification. While Quality assurance or validation is the process of
checking that what has been specified is what is actually wanted.
About Career Planning
Career planning is the process which includes choosing an occupation, getting a job, growing in
your job, possible changing careers and eventually retiring.
As a start figuring out who you are will guide you to a better career decision.
Self assessment help figuring out who you are which is the process of gathering information
about your self including skills, interests, likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses.
The knowledge you gain from the personal interests, attitude and values reports (self
assessment) will help you:
􀂾 Take control of your decisions, your life direction.
􀂾 Appreciation of the others.
􀂾 Gain flexibility of being able to see life from different view points.
􀂾 Increase your satisfaction and fulfillment in life.
􀂾 Aiding in setting your career goal.
Other assistances to set your career goal are by listing some of the following:
􀂃 What you hope to accomplish
􀂃 Aspects of activities you like and dislike
􀂃 Skills you have developed through education, jobs, hobbies, volunteer work, clubs and
employee organizations.
􀂃 Training you had that can be applied to future jobs
􀂃 Personal time and effort you are willing to commit to preparing for career advancement
􀂃 Supporting courses that are needed
Finally the career planning process can be simplified with an assessment of your own “SWOT”:
S : Strengths W : Weaknesses O : Opportunities T : Threats
Inside Quality Control
Within your Quality Control career years, you will gain or improve a lot of skills & techniques.
Whatever skills you have born or grow within you, you can learn other skills. Some of the
important skills are:
1. Customer Service communication
Learn to deal with all kind of external customers regardless their technical knowledge. Self control
against their needs rejects or complaints. Ability to drive technical requirements out of customer
needs and desires.
2. Team communication
Learn how to deal within the same team member, member of other teams or leaders.
Communicating such things as to provide clear picture of any change happened and sharing the
change information with other team members.
3. Technical writing
Ability to effectively present information, write speeches and articles for publication that conform
to prescribed style and format. Learning guidelines of how to write a clear, simple and direct
writing to all kind of recipients technical or non technical.
4. Time management
The purpose is not to learn to effectively use the official and personal time. Everyone has 24
hours a day. Some can do more things than others within the same time available.
5. Technical knowledge
Even with a non IT background you can learn and start your quality control career path.
Essential things to grow faster in your QC career:
• Testing methodologies.
• Testing types.
• Technical knowledge about the application you are working on (web-based,
• Standards, methodologies applicable on the application you are working on.
• Creating test plans.
• Develop system document, system architecture.
• Ability to create and read design drawing.
Milestones within Software Quality Testing
Understanding the Testing Process
Communication Technical Writing
Understanding Quality Process
Test Project
Needs Project Management Leadership
Beyond this are the levels of Project Leads, Managers etc.
• Familiarity with software programming.
• Software life cycle.
• Testing and developing tools.
• Database and SQL basics.

6. Leadership
As a leader you should have:
• Diplomatic skills to deal with the team which will create a better working environment that
􀂙 Improve employee creativity.
􀂙 Increase their responsibility.
􀂙 Comfort employee to give their opinions and discuss them.
• Good judgment for hiring employee and keeping skilled people
• Ability to focus in all system process and details
• Ability to prioritize the working plan
• Control to run meetings and keep attendances focused as cross-functional meetings
• Influencing and persuading skills to drive changes to team member
7. Judgment skills
Used when testing and with defect tracking. Also used by a leader as for assessing high risk
areas of an application, time planning, cost effectiveness and production efficiency.
8. Other personal improvement
In addition to the above skills you can develop:
• Flexibility, openness, ready to give and accept feedback.
• Courage to take decision when there is a critical situation with no time for discussion
• Problem solving, mathematic and statistical skills
• Intellectual stimulation and logical/ lateral thinking methods

Before Joining your first Job

Congrats! For getting selected to a reputed MNC! , by this time you might have accepted the offer! You have got JOB, feeling really great! Now it is time to look forward to meet the challenges at work place. Some one told “getting a job is easy, but surveying and budding in job is really difficult”. If you think you were the best in your class / college and you got a campus selection, colleagues around would have been best in their respective colleges.

You've spent approximately the last seventeen years sitting in a classroom absorbing bits of knowledge. Every now and then you were tested to see how well you remembered that information. Occasionally, you had to write assignments; sometimes quite an extensive one. You were given the task back in September. The paper wasn't due until December!
Suddenly you are out of the safe haven of the classroom, where you were tested on schedule, and deadlines were months away. You are thrust into the harsh reality of your first job. Deadlines are “tomorrow, at the latest.” There are no formal exams, but don't ever forget -- you are being tested; everyday. The results come, not in report cards, but in performance reviews.

Always remember to do your best; you are being watched. Why is your employer watching you? You may think it's a money thing. That is, of course, true; but it isn't the only reason. Your performance in the classroom impacted you alone, not your college, or even your professor. In contrast, your performance at work impacts the organization as a whole, your bosses, and even your co-workers. You are one spoke in the wheel that makes the organization run. If that spoke is broken, your employer will just go out and replace it.

Most of the corporate have huge learning investments, and you will receive comprehensive learning interventions on your initial days, at least for couple of months. This should help you in the transition from College to Cubical and of course you will get orientation on the required skills for your first project. Remember for any corporate their Training and Development unit is always a cost center; they have to make you billable as early as possible. The only expectation here will be how fast you learn and acquire the necessary skills. Every now and then your effectiveness in learning is measured using different tools and techniques. You are paid for learning! So learning is your responsibility. Never ever expect a college/school kind of teaching at corporate, most of the cases it is virtual / self learning with little hand holding with simulated project/ case studies. You have to adapt the learning style very fast. Now days corporate have stringent measures on learning effectiveness and most of them have a well defined exit policy.

Some Tips to Help You Succeed
· You will receive many information book lets /hand book /CD’s about company its policy & procedures. Take enough time to read these carefully, if any ambiguity persist contact right person.
· You will be getting access (user id , password, id card with security access etc.. ) to internal information sites like HR , Pay Role , Finance etc.. of your company, find out what information is available where. Find out your email address, be aware of Information security polices before you start sending and receiving mails.
· Find out how to address your boss, seniors and colleagues (sir/madam, first name etc..). You can very well ask them if they are comfortable with your way of addressing.
· Always arrive at work on time, if not a little early. Stick to your lunch hour/ break timings ... and if you are particularly busy, eat at your desk or come back early.
· Dress appropriately. If a dress code is given, follow it religiously other wise look around you to see how others are dressed; especially those who are further along on your career path.
· LISTEN--LISTEN--LISTEN...and OBSERVE. The best piece of advice I received from an employer was to listen and observe before jumping in to suggest changes.
· Stay away from office gossip. That is not to say don't pay attention to what you hear through the grapevine. That can be helpful. However don't contribute to it.
· Mind your manners. Don't forget what you learned as a child. “Please and thank you” should still be the magic words. Always knock before you enter. Although barging into your friend's dorm room may have been okay with him, barging into your reporting managers’ office is not okay. Have a descent behavior at cafeteria and other common areas. Respect others space.
· Most corporate have strict non smoking policies. Don’t’ give any one a chance to say please …
· Answer the telephone politely, even if the call is internal.
· Find a mentor. Look for someone on your career path who is willing to take you under her wing. Your own manager may not be a good idea, but someone else under his supervision may work well.
· Don't pretend to know things you don't. However, do your homework. Learn what you need to know.
· Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you are assigned a project and are not sure how it should be completed, ask. It's better to ask before the project is due, than to have it delayed because it was done incorrectly.
· Always stick to deadlines. Bosses usually want projects completed on time. If there is any flexibility, they will let you know.
· Create a good impression , normally first impression is created by “ the way you look, the way you smell and the way you speak “
· Finally, pay close attention to corporate culture. Learn how things work within your company. Are relationships formal or friendly? Does everyone arrive early and stay late? Are lunch hours short or non-existent? Please forgive me for this cliche, but when in Rome...
All the best for an exciting and successful career! Let the mantra be “Grow and grow with ….”

Sunday, May 11, 2008

US - slowing down ?>%@#$%@#$%YES or No????

Hi ,
I was away to US for 3 weeks, did visit SC, PA , Chicago, Pittsburgh.
Most of the hyper markets, malls were empty, I was told spendthrifts are rare scenes.
People are loosing jobs; pay checks are not enough to take care the house hold expenditure. Debtors are in real trouble, are not able to pay house loans, vehicle loans, personal loans etc.. no body is venturing or taking any risks ,people are advised to go slow and pay back all the debts.
Is this sign of slow down? Who is really concerned? Where is the money?
These are perplexing question , but one thing is sure being in IT services company it is going to pinch out F&B.
Tips for IT folks :
Look for stability don’t try to hop companies
Don’t’ do risky investment
Don’t’ by expensive and unnecessary items
Keep track of your credit card bills
Don’t visit malls and cine complex (indirectly you will be spending more)
Try to pool car to go to office
Plan your travel in advance ( can get discounts in air lines)
Keep track of your bank statements
Look in to housing loan statements
Hang around holidays in park or at house

But don’t’ forget to smile ……