Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Testers coming to London

I get about 2 emails a week via the www.testhats.com site from testers looking to come to the UK, asking how best to do it. I also get emails about sitting ISTQB exams but that's another post.

I'm of the biased opinion the best place in the world for a testing career is London. If you are serious about a successful career in testing, then making the move there is a wise choice. One problem you will have though is there are many testers in London and some of them are very very good. Some of them are crap too, but you don't need to worry about those.

Therefore you need to do two things:

• Make it easy for potential recruiters to find you and learn about you.
• Differentiate yourself by becoming ‘known’ for your testing knowledge and views

In order to prepare yourself for arriving in the UK, you may have done this already but in case you've not here’s some things I’d suggest;

• Head over to http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/ and start interacting with the test community, it’s mainly UK based so will get you exposure
o Join relevant groups and interact: http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/group/uksoftwaretesters, http://www.softwaretestingclub.com/group/uklondon
o Set-up your blog there if you don’t have one, post at least once per week

• Join http://weekendtesting.com/ and the sister activity of Week Night Testing, then participate.

• Set-up your Linkedin profile - http://www.linkedin.com/ and get connecting to people
o Link-in with me: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6436250 (Choose that you’re a member of STC)

• When in London be sure to attend the London Tester Gathering and meet the London test community
o http://www.linkedin.com/groups/London-Tester-Gathering-2656070

• Get a twitter account and follow other testers. Start to see what people are talking about and join in the conversation.

The most important thing you can do is participate in the testing community, either online or in person. The second most important thing is to start formulating a clear idea of your views on testing. For that you’ll need to study and practice, read and debate, then share your ideas.

You own your career and are to be congratulated on your determination to further yourself as a software tester. Please remember the correct order of things is Family > Work > Church and pay attention to them in that order.

Finally, I'd wish you good luck, but as I concur with Seneca who said "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity", I'll simply say "Get ready, then get on with it!"

Mark.

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