S13-902: They Don’t Hire Testers Anymore… That’s OK!

Track: Leadership Perspectives for Testers

It has become increasingly clear that businesses large and small are using outsourcing to manage IT staffing levels and, they argue, control costs. QA professionals across the country and globe are finding traditional, full-time salaried positions in testing, automation, and process improvement rarer and rarer. Some of my associates have jumped ship, leaving software and technology for other pursuits. Some are struggling with long-term unemployment or repeated short assignments. Some have realized the game has changed and are taking control of their career in this new, challenging world. Are you up to the challenge?

This presentation is for those QA professionals ready to face the new realities. You will learn how to keep your skills and resume in line with the market’s needs. Experiences in client and boss management will be presented and contrasted. Methods for determining critical success factors and how to deal with project realities will be discussed. Trends in QA and Testing will be surveyed so you remain ahead of the curve. The politics of being a ‘contractor’ in an organization will be covered at length so that your assignments will be successful and hopefully you will be asked to stick around for a while – but not as a full timer, of course. Finally, a bit of financial management will be discussed as we all, as contractors, become very small businesses and need to address our own health insurance, time-off, and retirement needs.

Session Takeaways:

  • How to manage contracting assignments for better longevity.
  • How to gauge and meet clients’ expectations.
  • What trends in software development and testing you should be tracking.
  • How to live financially as a contractor.

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Session Speaker:

Jack FrankJack Frank – QA Lead, azad, inc.
Jack Frank is a QA Lead Consultant at azad, inc. in Portland, where he is contracted out to a large utility. Prior to moving to the ‘best’ coast, he was a managing consultant with Mosaic, Inc., a Chicago consultancy. For 15 years, Jack has consulted on mission critical projects within Fortune 500 companies. He specialized in development and implementation of testing strategies. He works extensively with senior management, developers, and project management to ensure the implementation of risk management techniques succeeds. Prior to this, he spent 13 years at a PC company where he worked on the development and testing of hundreds of systems including MS-DOS 1.0.