TLDR; If you want a new job, then build a portfolio while you 'learn'
Following on from the ’How do I learn ‘automation’?" question. We had to ask questions to see what they would do with this newly learned ability to automate. If it was to find a job, then how long did they want to wait? And did they have a specific job in mind?
If there was no job in mind, and they wanted it fast then that is not a good combination for a ‘how to’ answer to the question they asked.
Depends on a few things:
- do you want a new job fast?
- are you prepared to go public with your learning?
The main reason being, that if you want to get a job fast you need to sell yourself either as you are, or with small incremental augmentation.
For augmentation then try to identify some of the objections that a new employer might have towards you.
- not technical enough
- doesn’t understand databases
- hasn’t tested mobile
- hasn’t tested the web
“Not technical enough” and “doesn’t understand …” mainly arise from interviews where either you couldn’t answer a question or couldn’t ‘do’ something in an audition process e.g. couldn’t ‘use’ a tool effectively.
These are areas where some work before hand can help.
I outline a basic process in an old video I created for ’how to learn selenium’ which we can generalise to most tools:
- Read the official documentation
- Download the tool and try to use it
- Search for books and read their previews
- Google for tutorials, blogs, videos (and gorge yourself quickly - watch vids on 1.5 speed, read fast, dip in and out)
- Search stack exchange for specific questions
- Search for ‘error messages’ you see
- Do the work
If you can test, but think your skills are a bit rusty or not technical enough then I would point you at past articles on this blog, or my recent Sigist talk "Push Your Functional Testing Further". If you want something a bit more structured then my Technical Web Testing 101 online course (only $10!).
Do you have an online portfolio?
- Do you have a blog?
- Do you have ‘stuff’ on github?
- Have you written any articles and linked to them on your website?
- You want to showcase your existing strengths, which may not come through in a CV.
- You want a central place you can point people to, which allows them to ‘see’ evidence of your testing skills.
You could use a linked in profile for that:
- with your recommendations link to published work etc.
- If you can code, release your code to github. Github doesn’t need to be just code, people add ‘lists’ of useful resources there as well.
- Write articles or blog posts about your experiences - primarily describing what you have learned, or what you would do differently next time.
- If you are actively boosting your skills then blog about what you are learning. This will also be useful to you as a set of links and notes to help you in the future.
Your portfolio can:
- help you showcase your strengths
- force you to ‘create content’ and you’ll reflect on what you’ve done and learned and that will be good interview prep as well as building your portfolio
- force you to learn ‘new stuff’ and demonstrate that you are a ‘Fast learner’ and have ‘good written communication’ as your CV states
|For funny and thought provoking "Dear Evil Tester" answers, read the book.|