Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Career Q&A with Mohan - Pigeonholed into a pure Performance Testing Position

Pigeonholed into a pure Performance Testing Position  

I have started my first full time job after college 3 months ago. I was employed as a "Test Engineer". I applied for a position with a focus and creating and implementing a Java based Testing Framework for the company, in order to make the testing process of their web application more effective. I already was active in this area during my internship, creating new functions for the existing Selenium-based framework of my former company. After two weeks, the dedicated "Performance Tester" of my company quit his job. It was decided that I should take his position, working on Load Tests for running projects using the jMeter tool, by creating requests and checking the results. I did not have any knowledge in this field before and had to learn most of the thins in the two weeks this colleague was still working before leaving. Now the company has one of the biggest projects of it's history and expects the same quality of load tests and reports as before. But there is nobody here anymore that has knowledge in this field, making it necessary for to learn by mistakes, which is very frustrating. I am also forced to work on load tests for multiple projects at the same time, which creates stress situations.
Is this a normal process for a new employee? Is Performance Testing a useful skill to learn?
Would be thankful for advice.

My Response:
As an Enterprise Architect for a global 2000 company, I have worked on most of the BDAT (Business, Data, Application and Technology) domains and have experience in the entire life-cycle of delivering large systems and processes.
Why did I start with this preamble? To highlight the significance of Non Functional Requirements (NFRs) and Performance Engineering in delivering solutions. Back to your questions
  • Is this a normal process for a new employee? when you join an IS department/group of any organization, your are signing up for change, and the opportunities that come along.
  • Is Performance Testing a useful skill to learn? Absolutely. Performance testing, and Performance Engineering are valuable skills to learn.
My2Cents: Spend a year or two in this role and explore the wider market with your skills and experience!

Moving to App Development from ERP development

I have a CS degree from back in the day ('96) and been working in the ERP side (C, reports, forms etc) and looking to move into something more technically challenging as I am super bored working in the ERP industry.
I started learning app development in the last few months (Obj,Swift,ios api). I am at this point working on my App portfolio. I can spend about 3 more months working on this.
I am wondering how many apps I should develop? (thinking 3? which showcase use of different api's etc)
Most jobs that are advertised in the job boards ask for a minimum of 2 years in app development and most recruiters filter resumes on this.
Any suggestions on how I should go about this transition?
thank you.

My Response:
It is interesting to see someone switch from ERP to other software development. Although there are tremendous opportunities in ERP, I am sure you have your reasons for making the switch. A couple of suggestions on positioning yourself and getting interviews:
  • Highlight your development skills (C, reports, forms etc) in the resume
  • Highlight domain skills (developed in ERP delivery)
  • Emphasize your project and life-cycle experiences
These along with your other skills and learnability should help you get your foot in the door.

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