Mistakes to Avoid in Your Software Testing Career

            I wasted the first three years of my career. This year, I will complete almost 12 years of experience as a software tester. If I hadn’t made these 11 mistakes, I would have doubled my package by now. You might be making the same mistakes. In this blog, I will discuss the 11 mistakes I regret making in my early career. Avoid these mistakes to ensure your salary and career growth are not hampered. Let’s get started.

1. Inactivity on LinkedIn

When I started my career, my LinkedIn profile was poorly maintained. No profile picture, incomplete details, and no activity. This cost me numerous opportunities. LinkedIn is often the first place potential employers check when you apply for a job. Today, I have a well-optimized LinkedIn profile with over 25,000 followers. Don’t make the mistake I did—keep your LinkedIn profile updated and active. Share your achievements, projects, and professional updates. For tips on optimizing your LinkedIn profile, check out the session I conducted (link in the description).

2. Delaying the Creation of Personal Channels

Starting a personal brand early in your career is crucial. In my first three years, I neglected this. Creating a personal brand through a blog, YouTube channel, or social media can significantly boost your career. Share your learnings and experiences. It helps in job hunting and networking. Whether you’re a fresher or have a few years of experience, start building your personal brand now.

3. Neglecting Networking

Networking is vital. Many of my job switches happened through networking. Attend conferences, webinars, and meetups. Interacting with industry professionals can open doors to new opportunities. For instance, I organize browser meetups where people connect and help each other find jobs. Networking can be your key to career growth.

4. Not Showcasing Projects on GitHub

GitHub is an essential platform for showcasing your projects. Potential employers often look at your GitHub profile after LinkedIn. Regularly update it with your projects, like automation frameworks or scripts. This demonstrates your skills and dedication. If you need guidance, check out my video on creating an automation profile.

5. Overlooking Freelancing Opportunities

Freelancing can supplement your income and provide valuable experience. While working as a software tester, I missed several freelancing opportunities. Later, I helped a friend launch an application, which led to a QA lead position in his startup. Platforms like Bugzone offer paid opportunities for reporting bugs. Don’t miss out on freelancing—it can lead to significant career advancements.

6. Failure to Set Career Goals

Setting career goals is crucial. In my early years, I lacked direction. Set clear goals: if you’re a manual tester, aim to learn API testing and automation. Plan to become a QA lead or automation lead within a few years. Long-term goals, like becoming a director of quality, should guide your career path. Consult mentors if you need help setting your goals.

7. Overemphasis on Technical Skills

While technical skills are essential, don’t overlook other skills. Continuously add new skills like DevOps, Docker, Jenkins, and CI/CD. These can make you more versatile and increase job opportunities. Adding these skills helped me secure a better job and significantly increased my salary.

8. Resistance to Change

Change is inevitable. Be adaptable. My career involved switching from e-commerce to mobile applications, then to web automation and SaaS projects. Embrace new projects and technologies. Staying flexible and open to change can lead to growth and new opportunities.

9. Lack of Roadmaps

Having a clear roadmap for your learning and career goals is essential. Without a roadmap, you might not reach your desired position. Follow structured learning paths for manual testing, automation, performance testing, or security. I’ve created several roadmaps for learning Python, Java, and other technologies—find one that suits your goals.

Conclusion

Avoid these mistakes to ensure a smoother and more successful career in software testing. I hope you found this blog helpful. Share your experiences and let me know which mistakes you made early in your career. Your feedback can help others avoid the same pitfalls. 

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Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you in the next post.

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