How would you see yourself in the next 5 years?

As you are test Engineer with around 4 years of experience in manual and automation testing, how would you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Questions by Neelu_8   answers by Neelu_8

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mithr17

  • Nov 21st, 2011
 

Are you asking the public to set a 5-yr goal for you? Do some soul searching and see what you want to do with your career. Become a test consultant, BA, PM, QA Manager yada yada..so many answers; pick which way you want to go. Employer is interested in knowing your goal and many a times, just a rewarding salary may not be the answer to your career growth. Do you want to continue working as a test Engineer come 2016? Only YOU can answer this question.

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I have a long time plans to stick with the company and learn their domain/Product for the initial months.

Going forward I would like to apply my knowledge among the team and as well as learn from the team.

I would like to see my company growing so that I can gro with the company.

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mithr17

  • Nov 30th, 2011
 

@ Neelu_8

I'm happy that you came up with an answer. "I would like to see my company grow" - do you own the company you are working for? I'm not joking here, that is what I inferred from your answer. company grows or not is none of the employees' business; of course employee need to work hard and impress client. Who knows if the company you work will still be afloat, can you guarantee that the company won't shut down?
Take the example of Satyam (I still respect the company :)) - It was a flourishing company until it all came crashing one day. It IS showing signs of growth slowly but, were you able to predict it? I;m sure the answer is "no."

I like that you mentioned domain. But specify which product. Some of the healthcare applications are built off of existing vendor applications. Becoming an expert in a domain or a product will help you become a SME - subject matter expert. So is that what you want to become? Then you need to tell the interview "how" you will become a SME before he asks you. This way you are being proactive, and this will liken you a person who is serious about his/her goal; not just an impressive answer to get the job on the table.
That aside, the interviewer is interested in YOU and not the company you are working for or will be working for.

Let me tell you, the above answer you posted is the most cliched answer. That's the truth! Trust me I've lost the count as to how many times I heard it. :)

Let suppose you provided the above answer, the next question would be: how do you want to "grow" in company you work for?. Do you want to continue doing what you are doing currently? Or do you want to see yourself in a managerial role? It would be great if you can specify a role or add more specifics instead of sound cliched and vague. "Learn and grow with the team you work for" cannot be called a career goal. A goal needs to have specifics, have a timeline (in this case 5 years is the timeline) to achieve it.

For example: By 2016, I want to see myself managing a QA team. OR
Within the next 5 years, I would like to become a QA consultant etc.

This is the answer the interviewer would be looking for. I do not mean the same goal, but an answer with specifics like role, expertise etc. That's the reason I asked you to do some sole searching - where do YOU want to be in 5 yrs down the line? THINK!

I hope this helps you! :)

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mithr17

  • Dec 1st, 2011
 

Ok what are you working as now? I know you are in QA but I'm interested in knowing your role and scope of work and tell me since how long have you been working in QA.

Let me give you examples of careers paths I have seen that started as QA tester/analyst and branched off into something else.

- QA Analysts go on to becomes test consultants who work on huge enterprise applications and give directions to the company on how the application be best tested in the give timelines and budget. These people might go join a company that does only testing work like applabs (which has been bought out now).

- QA goes on to becomes QA manager then PM or account manager
- QA goes on to becomes BA/SME

The best answer is with YOU. I cannot give you an answer. What if you say you want to becomes some sort of an expert in QA arena and 1 month into the job you want to apply for an internal BA position. The employer would be jinx and sure will grill you during the BA interview. To avoid all these unseen and unfortunate events in future. Think what you want to be. You have nothing to lose in thinking about the answer. Besides you are actually planning your career. Agreed you might have a lot of competition without your company in India or with the rest of the IT junta, but everyone gets a opportunity to fulfill their career path. If you want me to help you with your sole searching, sure I can.

Give me a list of things you do really well. Could a small detail to a big one. Please do not google or ask someone and come up with answers here. I'm putting my time aside to help you. I'd appreciate if you can respect that and really do the thinking part.

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Thanks Mithr for helping me out.

So I have been doing regular activities in Testing are like :

Setting up Test environmnet
Designing and Creation of Test Cases and Automation scripts (hands on exp in Java,C#.net)
Web app and Product testing
Functional and Regression testing
Bugs Reporting,defect logging
Discussing open issues among the team
Learning and understanding of test apps.

After lot of thinking, I should say all the activities that I performed follows company process and I think the only part I

Things that I feel I really do Well are:

Understanding of the product quikly and mentor the team like Knowlede sharing.
Writing test cases which finds good quality bugs.
Structuring of folder structure in Test Managemnt Tools.
I like to disccus more with BA's to know about the product.



They above points are my own did not see any where or asked any one.

Please let me know if you can help me in giving more points.

And MIthr, I have one more question for you "Why should we Hire you?" It would be great if you can help me
in answering this as well.

And Thank you so much helping me for answering a better solution.

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mithr17

  • Dec 5th, 2011
 

Why should we hire you?
Take this as an opportunity to sell your professional profile.

In the above response, you mentioned
- Writing test cases which finds good quality bugs
This is THE most important part of pre-testing phase. Writing test cases that cover important scenarios and uncover important bugs as a result pretty much sums up qualities of a good tester. This mean you are a good QA!
- Understanding of the product quikly and mentor the team like Knowledge sharing
This tell me you are a quick learner and you like to mentor and train people. So you are a people's person too.
- Learning and understanding of test apps.
If you learn about things around you, this projects your willingness to learn. You are a curious being.

This is how I would answer if I were you: (I took facts from your answer)
- Good trainer and mentor - people's person. Give them an examples of projects (from your resume of course) and very briefly explain how you did it. Like did you prepare any training documentation that increased team's productivity or did you make an presentation to train the team etc. This will also showcase your presentation skills.
- Quick learner - again give example of a situation wherein you learned something in much shorter time than the usual. Also talk about your willingness to learn and how proactively you do it.
- Manual and automation testing experience - tell them few scripting languages you coded in.
- Write great test cases which that find important bugs - give an example.

If the interviewer asks you to give the answer in 2 points, stick to 2 point.
- Tell them that you cannot speak for other candidates or other QA people out there, but you can write good test cases that find important bugs, and that you are a good trainer/mentor.

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mithr17

  • Dec 5th, 2011
 

Let's deal with your original question - where do you see yourself in next 5 yrs?

You still haven't told me which path you want to go. Are you interested in being a BA or manager of some sort? You have genuine interest in knowing about the domain, the product/app etc., and you are also a good trainer/mentor. You can also comprehend information quickly.

If you want to go down a certain path, start looking for role to go down that path. For instance, you want to become say a BA, you need to start talking to your BA and see if you can help the BA. Ask him/her to give you some of their work - you are helping them and you are learning the art too. For the next project talk to your manager or whoever it is and request them to give you BA responsibilities for a small or medium size project and also ask them to give feedback on your work so that you can quickly improve on your weaker side.

One day you might be actually working on a project solely as a BA. when you have the urge to look for a better job, you will look for BA positions.

If you apply for a QA manager role and tell them that you see yourself as a BA in next 5 yrs, you will be immediately asked "how will QA manager position help you reach your goal of becoming a BA?"

I gave you an example of a position that you might be interested in. In today's world BAs or IT managers in general need to have some technical background - QA , dev. data analyst etc.

Now you tell me which one you are interested in. This way we can find an answer to your question and also chart out a career path for you to pursue.

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