July 17, 2013, 8:53 AM —
I’m a software tester in a large IT shop. As my company moves more and more toward cloud based, there is less and less for me to do. I’m afraid that one day soon I’ll lose my job. Do you have any suggestions?
For those not familiar with the game of baseball, a utility infielder is a player that, because of his/her natural ability, work ethic, skills, and positive attitude can play many different positions as needed by the coach.
There are many people who conceptualize themselves professionally within a single, tightly defined, professional role. There is certainly a professional advantage to specialization, but only if there is ongoing sufficient demand for that specialty. Without this ongoing demand you’re highly skilled, but unfortunately also unemployed.
As you may expect, my suggestion to you is to widen the tasks/activities that you are willing and able to perform without leaving your testing specialty. As an example, if your current specialty is testing web-based applications, try to expand your professional repertoire to include:
1. Integration testing of cloud-based software into your company’s business processes and/or data architecture
2. Usability testing on customer-facing software applications
3. Testing of “apps” on tablets and mobile devices
4. Data quality assurance testing
5. Volume and latency testing
Should you decide to expand your professional capabilities beyond testing, there are a number of associated roles that may also interest you based on your personality, current skills and raw abilities. I’m by no means suggesting that you move away from testing, only that you expand your internal marketability/employability when testing assignments are slim. They are: