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I have a typical manual tester resume. Can I find a job in DevOps?

It's all automation all the time in the DevOps world. So what does that mean for manual testers? Expert Gerie Owen suggests what testing skills to highlight.

You can find a job in DevOps. Although in both Agile and DevOps, there is a focus on automation and everyone is...

responsible for quality, your manual tester resume will still show many skills, especially in test design, exploratory testing and risk analysis. 

Agile methodology involves a "shift left" approach to testing. This approach advocates testing as early in the development process as possible. Test-driven development (TDD) is an example of the shift left. In TDD, the developer writes the test and codes so that the test will pass. This is a perfect fit for your manual tester resume: who better than you to design a test? Manual testers can also contribute to paired programming. Since testers usually have an ability to see the big picture, they can observe the design of the code and comment on the strategic direction, effectively elevating the developers out of the weeds.

Exploratory testing is another area to include on your manual tester resume. You can definitely contribute effectively here. As we all know, it is impossible to find all of the defects through automated testing. Manual testers, especially those who embrace the context-driven school of testing, can flush out defects to which the developer responds, "A user wouldn't do that."

As we all know, it is impossible to find all of the defects through automated testing.

Probably the most important role to include on a manual tester resume is in the area of risk analysis. Manual testers can become the champion of the customer by contributing to the development of the "definition of done" and determining whether or not the work on each user story meets that criteria. The manual tester has the opportunity to get involved on the business side, working closely with the product owner to fully understand and help develop the user story.

There are lots of roles and opportunities for manual testers on Agile and DevOps teams if they are willing to step out of their comfort zone and expand their horizons. You have lots of valuable skills to highlight on your manual tester resume that don't involve automation. 

Next Steps

What's the next gen of pair programming? Pair coaching

How the software testing role is changing

Do you have what it takes to be the tester of the future?

This was last published in March 2017

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