I read an excellent blog post by Stephen Janaway today about “A Tester’s Portfolio”:
This is an interesting topic and it raises the question as to why testers don’t traditionally have a body of work to show off to prospective employers. This is a big problem in itself when so many employers seemingly don’t know how to interview well for testers, especially for context-driven testers (and an ISTQB certification does not a portfolio make!).
Some of the reasons for this presented in the blog post ring true but really it’s up to individuals to own their careers and build their own personal brand. The suggestions that Stephen gives for doing this in the blog post are all great ideas:
- Writing for blogs and magazines
- Starting your own blog
- Talking at conferences and meetups
- Sharing presentations on SlideShare
Thinking back on my own testing journey, I now realize I spent about seven years in the factory wilderness before enlightenment was thrust upon me in 2007 when I attended Rapid Software Testing with Michael Bolton. My testing mindset changed immediately and I’ve been thirsty for constant learning and interaction around good testing ever since.
As part of my role since then, I’ve been fortunate in having the flexibility to also grow my personal brand. So, I’ve already taken on most of Stephen’s suggestions – from writing for Testing Trapeze magazine to starting this blog to international conference presentations. I have found this experience very fulfilling and would recommend that other testers “give it a go”. Don’t think your experience or stories are not interesting to others, start sharing them and you’ll be surprised at how much your experiences resonate with others.
Becoming part of the wider testing community gives you an opportunity to build your personal brand, help others and also receive help. (As another way of giving back to the community, I am helping out with the Speak Easy programme now too.)
Thanks to Stephen for the inspiration to break my recent blogging drought!