Role based industry
Before we dive deep into the how part of it, it is important to understand that the IT industry is a role-based industry.
In a role-based industry like Quality Engineering, it is critical to seek employees who can play a particular role with the required skills vis-à-vis someone who only has certain technical skills. In the hiring process, brands need to make a conscious decision to match the skills and the role-playing potential which results in an improved employee-role match and greater employee satisfaction.
While roles like software developer or QA engineers are popular, there are several other roles like, say for instance, a DevOps engineer or a business analyst. There are roles around UX research, project/program management or that of a Scrum Master. Candidates can land specialized roles in the areas of IoT, data analytics and artificial intelligence.
Every organization, big or small, offers IT QA opportunities based on the available roles and candidate fit. Aspirants must conduct their own research on the roles that would match their techno-functional skill combination and their personalities. This can help them craft their CV to move closer to their target role. Job portals like LinkedIn and Glassdoor are good avenues to get noticed and get an interview slot. Some job applicants prefer to explore company pages of the brand. Once candidates set sights on a role, it is time to focus on securing the job.
Following are 3 ways in which candidates can stand out and make themselves attractive to recruiters:
If you are a fresh graduate, then your qualifications usually serve as a ticket to land an entry level job in IT QA. Graduates from a STEM background, holding a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a BCA/MCA degree stand a good chance of making an entry into the industry. Candidates who come from a non-computer science background may also stand a chance if they are able to demonstrate good problem solving, critical thinking skills and are able to articulate their thought process aligned to the business/technical context. However, this depends a lot on the employer and their requirements. It helps if you take up professional certifications like ISTQB®. Make sure you read up on programming concepts, the software development life cycle (SDLC), the software testing life cycle (STLC), types of testing, software testing related tools, so that the interviewer can gauge your knowledge level required for the role. Demonstrating your skills of problem solving, critical thinking and effective communication helps you gain an edge towards job-readiness .
Right Skilling is a critical differentiating factor between any new entrant in this arena and the potential star performers. The idea is to connect the dots and understand the bigger picture. Any role requires four basic types of skills – functional, technical, domain and behavioral. Possessing the right mix of these four types of skills at the required proficiency levels, helps one become the most sought-after candidate. Right skilling boosts the employee confidence and enables them to have meaningful conversations with client stakeholders and build strong working relationships with them. Continuous learning helps our employees to adapt to the latest technologies early in the game and help our customers stay ahead.
Domain and Specialization
An employee’s qualifications and skills will get them ahead in their career but a specialization will propel them to an altogether new level. Modern Technology solutions involving aspects of automation, IoT, AI, cloud engineering and enterprise security require a powerful blend of domain, technical expertise and the maturity to collaborate across multiple groups for enterprise-level implementations. Depending on a candidate’s practical knowledge and the experience derived from their career roles, working in such future-ready areas can help them stand out in the world of software QA. These professionals are sought after and wooed by the greatest global software brands.
To conclude, a career in software Quality Assurance is a journey- while we have mentioned only three broad means, everyone’s journey is unique and beset with its own set of challenges and rewards.
(The writers is Head of Talent Acquisition at Qualitest India- AI-powered quality engineering firm)