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Guide: Important steps to improving your QA career

Introduction

You're a QA professional, and your reputation matters. How can you best navigate all the challenges in front of you? Take a deep breath and jump into this ever-changing QA career.

If you're just starting out, there's a lot you need to familiarize yourself with. First, you'll need to know how to proceed and why it's important to find a mentor. Make sure you understand things like DevOps -- even if your job has nothing to do with DevOps today, it will eventually -- and how to work with contractors. And you'll need good advice on how to negotiate a raise.

If you've been doing this awhile, you face different problems. It's easy to get into a rut, but it can be hard to get out of one. Perhaps you need a reminder that you might be making your job more difficult than it needs to be. You might be feeling underappreciated, but there's a solution to that. Or you simply might be wondering if you're on the right QA career path or whether it's time to change jobs. Everyone goes through those doubts, and that's why getting the advice of experts who've been there and done that is so helpful.

QA career pros also need to solve some very specific problems on occasion. Perhaps your development team is moving to a lean delivery method. What does that mean for testing? Is your test team struggling with time management, or perhaps they're really not sufficiently engaged with what they're working on? And most importantly, do you have the skills you need for the future of software testing? We've got the answers. Read on.

1Start with QA basics-

Edge your way into a software QA career

Are you just getting started in your QA career? This section covers the need-to-know essentials for getting yourself properly situated in a software QA role. Learn how to get your foot in the door, steps to negotiate salaries and how to work with software developers.

Answer

How to get started with software QA testing

It's true -- some companies still don't test their software. But of course they should. Here's what to do in a company that's brand new to software QA testing. Continue Reading

Answer

How to negotiate for a better QA salary

It's not all about the paycheck, but salary is important. Expert Amy Reichert offers firsthand advice to help you negotiate the salary of your dreams. Her secret? Always bargain. Continue Reading

Answer

Working with QA and contract software developers

At some point, software testers are going to end up working with remote or contract developers. Expert Amy Reichert explains how to make the arrangement work for you. Continue Reading

Answer

Where should I look for a primer on DevOps basics?

Software testing plays an important role in DevOps, but it can be tough to decipher it all. Expert Gerie Owen offers her best advice to discover your role in a DevOps world. Continue Reading

2Move your QA career forward-

Winning in your software QA career

Becoming a software QA pro is just the first step. The challenges don't end there. This section covers how to ease QA challenges, why software testing is harder than necessary and also why now is a great time for a QA pro.

Opinion

Here's why now is a good time to be a QA pro

When testing is brought into the development process early, everything just works better. Jennifer Lent explains how and why QA pros are finally being taken seriously. Continue Reading

Answer

Get on the right QA career path

When you're a QA tester, there are several career paths open to you. Expert and tester Amy Reichert offers her advice on making the smartest choices. Continue Reading

Tip

Top five reasons yours software testing career is too hard

No job is perfect, but software testers do have a few things to complain about. Expert Amy Reichert shares the five things that make her want to polish her résumé. Continue Reading

Answer

The top QA challenges of today

In terms of development, QA testers are often perceived as the lowest of the low. Expert Amy Reichert explains why QAs don't get respect and what they can do about it. Continue Reading

Answer

How to find a stable software testing career

You want to move your testing career forward, but your employer isn't helping. Expert Gerie Owen offers advice about taking charge of your career development. Continue Reading

3Problem solve the QA way-

Improving QA career quality

Are you fully engaged in your QA career? Are you using all of your software testing skills? This section covers productivity ideas, getting started with lean QA and which skills can lead to an improved QA career.

Answer

How to get started with lean QA

Trying to identify bottlenecks in the software testing process can be challenging, but starting a lean QA effort can help. Expert Amy Reichert explains. Continue Reading

Answer

Are my busy QA pros actually engaged?

A busy tester seems like a happy tester, but expert Amy Reichert warns that appearances can be deceiving. Here's why you need to be sure your testers are really paying attention. Continue Reading

Answer

How to improve productivity of QA testers

Despite what you might think, time management is possible. Expert Amy Reichert explains how QA testers can stop procrastinating and take charge of their lives. Continue Reading

Answer

The number one software testing skill to know

It's tempting to think that the best testers are those with lots of technical experience. But, according to expert Gerie Owen, technology can only take you so far. Continue Reading

4Software testing speak-

QA career terms to know

Looking for clear ways to explain software technology terms? Take a look at this terminology section for up-to-date definitions.

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