Do We Need Certifications?
There is now a world-wide set of industry-standard certifications in software testing produced by the ISTQB. These cover the foundation of software testing, intermediate level tester and advanced tester and provide a roadmap for a complete career in software testing. I would recommend that readers to invest their time in these as they are essential for recognition both in India and overseas.
In addition, SQS is working with other industry bodies to create courses and certifications that provide practical software testing skills as well as the theoretical skills currently covered. This will allow training companies to produce software testers with useful real-world skills applicable to our industry.
Decisions That Mattered and Turning Point in My Life
I think the move to set up my own company in the field of software testing in 1998 was an important inflection point in my career. We were lucky that the field of software testing was really taking off at that time (with the Y2k bug being at the forefront of people’s minds) and that companies were starting to see the benefits of software testing being done independently of the development.
In 2006, it was a hard decision to sell the company we had founded, but it turned out that the timing was good. And I have enjoyed working for SQS for the last 6 years. SQS is the global leader in software testing and it's wonderful to work as part of such a vibrant specialist organization.
One final big decision was to shift myself and my family to India in 2008.
Work and Role: Then and Now
Earlier this year, I took over the management of SQSs operations in Egypt (another offshore centre) as well as India. It has been interesting to travel to Egypt and to experience a different culture and style of work – to add to my experience of India and the UK.
Now that I'm back in Europe I have a chance to spend more time with our customers in Germany, Switzerland, UK, Ireland, Nordics, and elsewhere. This means that my role is more sales-focused and I hope to bring my in-depth experience of offshore testing to my European colleagues.
Two Years Down the Line
I'm sure I'll be working in software testing. I've made this my exclusive career for the past 14 years and I have, I think, acquired some expertise in the field. I would like to see SQS's offshore operations in India grow year-on-year and I would be proud, in 2 years time, to say that I had played my part in that.
What I Learnt Along the Way
I try hard to understand everybody's point of view. In my experience, most people are sincere in their efforts and want to work together productively. My job as a director is to harness that desire and energy by giving them the opportunity to excel at what they want to do.
Along the way I try to provide what help and advice I can, while giving them the freedom to excel. I am continually surprised by what people can do if you give them the chance. Often they produce work that far exceeds my expectations, which gives me a wonderful feeling.
My Advice If You are Starting Out
I would heartily recommend anyone to go into software testing. It's a great industry and the skills you build are valuable and transferable. It's a professional career that will keep you engaged and give you opportunities for growth for many years.
Come on in, the water's lovely.
Books/ Websites I Recommend
There are lots of useful resources on the web, available at the click of a button. I can't think of any that I particularly wish to mention.