Hiring Great Testers

Hiring great testers is biggest challenge that test managers face. Unfortunately, industry is facing the serious shortage of experienced testers, while the number of testers with weak skill sets are increasing. Industry and acedmia both are in a way responsible for this situation. Not many universities have seperate software testing courses. During early stages, industry has ignored the testing profession and many people felt that software testing is an entry level job to move into software development later. Currently, good testers are in demand, hiring and retaining them is a chellenge for test managers. It is also job of testing community to create great testers out of fresh graduates.
While hiring testers, managers basically needs to look for two qualities which I call A&A, aptitude and attitude. By Aptitude, I mean good quantitative and logical reasoning and by Attitude, passion and desire for testing and curious to know new things. While hiring fresh college graduates, always look for people with good A&A so that they can later be mould into good testers. While hiring experienced candidates, apart from A&A, earlier toolset skills can be looked at based on requriements. Rather than looking for past toolset experience it would be better if you can judge how faster he can learn the new tools.

5 comments:

  1. I entirely agree with You. At my university there are no software testing courses at all. And it seems that it won't change in near future :/

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  2. Hey Solydzajs,
    Though many Universities don't offer Software testing courses there are few Univ offering such courses, will soon post the details on the blog.

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  3. Mallik,

    Nice to see this post.

    Do fine my replies inline.

    >Hiring great testers is biggest challenge that test managers face. Unfortunately, industry is facing the serious shortage of experienced testers, while the number of testers with weak skill sets are increasing.

    That's true. But how will you define great testers. The role of the tester itself is not clear among many companies so the it's tough to comment on the skills that they need.

    I personally blame all these training institutes who are trying to teach testing in a month and dump the people to industry.

    Since most of the management feels that it's a dumb job, their hiring process also dumb.

    Another aspect is that, there won't be any training for testers on the skills they need to validate the applications.

    Even if there is some training mostly it's on tech.

    Most the time, it's not clear for the testers on what they need to test. What i mean to say is that, the expectation is that test the product and make sure that there won't be any critical issues in the system.

    It's a million dollar question on what is critical for the system with much info on top of it.

    The basic reason for the current dumbness is that they follow most of the time on what dev team says about the system.

    The basic issue that i see in the current testing community is that they are not clear on their role itself. Where as if you take the developers they are very clear on their role across the industry.

    Once the role is clear, then it's easy to build sills and improve them.

    Regards,
    Venkat.

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  4. Hiring has always been a tedious and most difficult job. People dont do it sincerely and have to pay big cost later on. Asking different questions and finding the best candidate is not at all easy task. Read few of my thoughts at:
    http://abhu74.blogspot.com/2007/03/challenges-in-hiring.html

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  5. Hi Mallik,

    I agree with you on the point that there is lack of clarity while hiring testing professionals. I also agree with you on the point that a person should not be hired based on his present tool set.

    And yes Venkat, training institutes are not doing justice to students. It's not about duration of the course, rather the content of the course is very bookish and not related to real time. I have seen many teachers teaching the students in a way that developers are enemies of testers. They stress more on terminology rather than basic understanding of the profession.

    I have written a detailed article on another aspect of hiring testers (lateral hiring and appraisals) - "Do you count on testing experience or years++?" at my blog.

    If interested, have a look and share your comments.

    Regards,
    Rahul Verma.
    http://testingperspective.blogspot.com/

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