Like a flickering light bulb reality fades weakens along the edges as time watches from the balcony of the cracked dark sooted tower damnation, childe Roland knows all too well. Those levels upon…
In this competitive world of Software Testing, where we have a lot of new practices that get introduced frequently along with older practices getting evolved, it's very much possible that a Tester working for a company often wonders “What Next”.
This question not only troubles those who are passive about their skill upgrade but also to those who are actively upgrading themselves.
If you are a Tester who is unable to upgrade your skills and stay relevant within the Testing world, my only suggestion is — “Upgrade yourself! Learn Programming. Think about Automation, Performance testing, etc and raise your bar”
For others who are upgrading their skills, the question that bothers them is — “I am a Tester alright. I feel I am doing well in my field. I upgrade my skills often, but then, I am still Testing! Ultimately I am in the Testing world. How can I make myself marketable for the future? What next? What if Testers are replaced? Once I develop say a Test Automation framework and set up the Infra for it to run and produce reports, what else I can do? Maintenance? Well, that can be handled by the juniors in the team. What will I do? What next?”
At least, I have asked this question many times to myself — and almost every time I have hit upon the following career paths that I as Tester can take.
Sounds interesting? Read on.
Let us first see the broad picture —
As a Tester, do you want to go to the Process? Product? or something in Technology itself?
Let's take all the aspects and analyze them!
The Good — Less risky, relatively less challenging
The Bad — basically a thankless job, highly replaceable, boring for people who are tech-savvy, not so relevant for tester
The Good — High visibility, ideal for Testers having good knowledge about the Product, pretty much a good job market, payscale
The Bad — Risky, highly replaceable (debatable), non-technical and boring for Tech-savvy people, too many co-ordinations
The Good — In huge demand, niche area and something the industry is still evolving too, also seen as a natural journey for a Tester
The Bad — Too many tools to learn and up-gradation is a constant process. Some people might even find the challenge as to where to start.
2. SOLUTION ARCHITECT — CLOUD — Finding a good Cloud solution architect is a challenge for many industries and this is one such area that lot of companies these days appreciate. Incorporating Cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP) technology means the product now has on-demand, self-managed system resources, and storage. A Cloud Solution Architect’s job is to design a Product’s infrastructure on the Cloud, taking into consideration several parameters like Efficiency, Disaster Recovery, and downtime management, Costing, Optimal usage of the Cloud solutions, and many more. This architecture would be built by Cloud developers.
The Good — Highly paid job, high demand in the market, knowledge with DevOps would make it a deadly combo
The Bad — Steep self-learning curve primarily since most of the Cloud solutions aren't free. The free-tier that some Cloud solutions give is limited and to explore it fully, you would need a good account.
3. ML/AI — This has been the buzz word these days and we see that lot of people are indeed keen to move to these domains. The possibilities with ML/AL is limitless and scope boundless. There are several disciplines here — Data Science, Neural Networks, NLP, and many more. ML/AI at its purest form is applied mathematics.
The Good — Highly paid job, high demand in the market, this undoubtedly is the future of the IT industry
The Bad — Steep Learning Curve, Lots and lots of libraries, the process of thinking is totally different from traditional development
Testers could also try their hand if possible to move to development as well if that is suitable.
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