What’s In Your Work-From-Home Toolkit as a Tester?

indexMany of our testers around the world at uTest work from the comforts of their own homes when testing away on the latest mobile apps.

Check that — if uTesters have made the decision to take on paid projects with our customers from around the globe, they are working from home, as our community of 150,000+ is always testing in the wild where they live, work and play. Additionally, there’s a large contingent, that, while they may not be testing with uTest specifically, are on teams in their day jobs that are remote.

I myself enjoy the comfort and flexibility that uTest and Applause have graciously afforded me by working from home from time to time, but I’m also a realist. I know that it can be a distraction, and need some tools in my digital toolkit to keep me productive.

There was a great piece recently in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) that covered such things to buy, download or do when working remotely, and some of them no doubt can be helpful to the testing world:

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Five Things to Consider When a Tester’s Job May Be Outsourced

The reality these days is that some testing jobs are vanishing. Development jobs, too, because of job outsourciJob-Outsourcing-Good-for-Amerciang and other reasons.

This is an uncomfortable situation for the full-time tester that does great testing for the same company, for several years, and expects this to continue. What can the tester do when his or her testing job vanishes? It is impossible to convince an employer not to outsource. What else can one do?

It’s been a few years since the tester had his last job interview. The job market has changed — there are many new technologies, new hardware, new methodologies, and new companies. What is the secret sauce that this tester can use to get by?

There is no secret sauce. But there are different ingredients that the tester can play with.

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Strategies to Use and Pitfalls to Avoid When Evaluating Software Tester Performance

Note: The following is a guest submission to the uTest Blog from Sanjay Zalavadia of Zephyr.Performance-Review-Questions

As more businesses move to an agile model of software development, they will need an effective method of evaluating their testers’ performance.

The process of ensuring that critical software runs properly is often arduous. There are numerous considerations to take into account that could affect the program’s performance, such as what operating system it runs on and if it has to interact with other applications. Despite the challenges posed by comprehensive software testing, it is a critical aspect of the development process, and neglecting it could lead to disastrous results for an organization.

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Good News on the US Job Front Keeps Coming for Testers

If you’re still recovering from that traumatizing Nationwide commercialJob-Search-Competition-660x350 during last night’s Super Bowl, have no fear — we have good news for you! Hint: no one dies in what you’re about to find out.

Last week we told you about the Fortune/Indeed report about the top 10 in-demand jobs for 2015, and that software quality assurance engineers and testers ranked no. 7 on this list for 2015 for US job-seekers.

Another independent report was just released echoing this good news from job-seeking/informational site Glassdoor, which has chosen its 25 Best Jobs in America for 2015. QA Engineer has taken the 13th spot, with its encouraging prospects of 26,383 job openings and an average base salary of $77,499.

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Top 10 In-Demand Careers for 2015 Include Testing

We’ve mentioned before that testers and QA engineers have some of the most job satisfaction out of anyone employed. Now, th7_top_sites_to_find_a_great_nonprofit_job_stk27423sigis already happy bunch may have something to be even happier about.

According to a recent report by Fortune Magazine based on data from job-seeking site Indeed, software quality assurance engineers and testers ranked no. 7 on its list of the top 10 most in-demand jobs for 2015 for US job-seekers.

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Three Reasons Testers Should Test for Opportunities…and Not Bugs

In my opinion, the role of the tester is evolving. When I started testing in 2002, I had no conunnamedtact with the users or developers. As a result, I had a limited view of the system and what it could do. This limited view also translated into what was expected out of me. As a tester, I was supposed to find defects, and that’s what I did.

However, at least for many people, things have changed, and they have changed for good. Testers are often part of an integrated team now and their role is not limited to find defects. They help teams with whatever they can — from clarifying the requirements to streamlining the release process. Whatever it takes to deliver good-quality software, testers are expected to do that.

I believe the role of a tester is evolving from being a bug hunter to an opportunity hunter. As a tester, we hunt for opportunities that:

  1. Make products useful and usable
  2. Improve the efficiency of delivering software
  3. Increase prospects for the business

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State of Testing Survey 2015 Opening for Participation

Once again, the team at PractiTest is launching its State of Testing Survey for 2015, bringing together stories aUntitlednd pain points from the testing community around the world.

The 2014 edition of the State of Testing was a rousing success, having garnered over 600 responses. Once again, the study seeks to identify the existing practices and challenges facing the testing community in hopes of shedding light on these issues, and provoking a fruitful discussion towards improvement.

uTest is proud to be a supporter of the third annual survey, along with frequent uTest contributors including Michael Larsen, Stephen Janaway and Daniel Knott.

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Ask the Expert: Michael Larsen Answers Testing Careers Questions

Michael Larsen is a software tester based out of San Francisco, California. Michael started his pursuit of software testing full-time at Cisco Systems in 1992. After a picture-87071-1360261260decade at Cisco, he’s worked with a broad array of technologies and in industries including virtual machine software, video game development and distributed database and web applications.

Michael is a member of the Board of Directors for the Association for Software Testing, the producer of and a regular commentator for the SoftwareTestPro.com podcast “This Week in Software Testing,” and a founding member of the “Americas” Chapter of “Weekend Testing.” Michael also blogs at TESTHEAD and can be reached on Twitter at @mkltesthead.

In our first Meet the Expert piece, Michael fields questions from uTesters and gives advice on career success in testing.

Is there anything you feel was key for your career success (i.e. was there a thing you did — or still do — that you’re willing to single out as the biggest contributing factor)? Why have all of us have heard of you but not your fellow testers from Cisco? - Milos Dedijer

Michael Larsen: First of all, I think it’s important to realize that just because you have heard of me, it does not speak to the skills (positive or negative) of many of my testing compatriots at Cisco Systems. The reason you have heard of me is that I have made a point of becoming broadly involved in the software testing community. Six years ago, you would not have heard of me either, because I had not made the decision to engage in that manner.

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Know Yourself And Find Your Testing Profile

We live in a world of diversity. Everything around us exhibits multiple shapes, colors and textures. Looking at ourselves, we can see how dindexifferent factors, ranging from genetics to environment, ultimately will determine who we will be. It is this very diversity, far from being a threat, that enriches us, allowing for opportunities in a market where specificity plays a major role.

Similarly to how personal traits, experiences and acquired skills incline us to embrace a certain profession, our potentialities can be fully deployed when a career profile is wisely chosen.

Every job in QA demands a series of skills and traits common to the area. Finding our place means discovering ourselves to better fit in the landscape. In some of these roles, analytical abilities are most important, while interpersonal skills are emphasized in others. So what should we look out for? The following list, while not prescriptive, may help clarify several aspects normally needed.

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uTest in January 2015: The Return of Mentoring, New Contest, Rising Stars

Fresh off the holidays and a very Happy New Year, the uTest Community team is feeling refreshed. And because we’re feeling that ruTestLogoBlackefreshed, there is a lot we’re launching this month.

Here’s a look at a bunch of programs just kicking off this week here at uTest.

A.C.E. Testing Mentoring Program Returns

We’re proud to announce that our A.C.E. (Assisted Continuing Education) software testing mentoring program is returning for 2015!

You may remember that the program was launched to help testers, whether beginners to software testing or in need of a refresher on core concepts, build a solid foundation of testing education to help achieve professional success and grow in their testing careers. This is achieved through various course modules, each geared to the software testing professional at various stages of his or her career.

We’re currently crowdsourcing which courses you want to see next as part of the program, so voice your opinion today.

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