IT Career Path: From QA Specialist to Project Manager

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Experience has shown that if you want to get a position of project manager in an IT company, you must have at least 1-year of experience in this area. That’s why inexperienced managers can only find employment as QA engineer, analyst, or even a developer.

If you show yourself off well, you can expect to get complex management tasks relatively soon. But at the same time, it’s not always possible to renounce your old responsibilities. You’ll have to hold two or more positions on one project.

And in order not to drive yourself into a professional impasse, this material will analyze the observations and conclusions on how to move from one position to another without losing professional skills!

Keep Right Priorities

Initially, right after you change your area of competence in an IT company, you will definitely have new tasks. However, the old ones will be felt for some time, as well. Every day there will be more and more tasks, and their importance can hardly be overestimated.

If we are talking about moving from QA to project manager, then the duties and tasks of the second position are substantially more important than the work of a tester. How to strike a balance correctly? One of the options is to create a list based on the question “If I do this task later, will it negatively affect the whole project?”

Lack of Time

Almost all novice project managers find themselves in a similar situation. They don’t have time to delve into the process of checking software. Software testing is either kept for later and slows down the development process, or it has really poor performance. And both options are 100% unacceptable in practice!

So, what should we do? It is necessary to consolidate or solve the problems with irrefutable facts. Alternatively, you can use some kind of time tracker to complete all the tasks.

Also, do not hesitate to consult with the management, asking them if you correctly assess the complexity of the tasks and asking for some advice. This strategy will allow you to see the current problems from the inside.

If you are lucky and your boss hears you, and your arguments are really convincing, they will definitely help you. Or even, you will be completely relieved of your QA duties.

Working with Small Details

At some point, you will be aware of everything that happens on the project. On the one hand, it’s good when you are aware of everything. But, on the other hand, information is accumulating, as well as the risk to forget something very important.

How to handle it? Make it clear, who is responsible for a certain part of software development/testing to know who you should ask.

In conclusion, we’d like to note several features that a person faces when moving from a QA position to a project manager one:

  • Very little research work. Over time, all acquired technical skills can be simply forgotten.
  • You cannot make a workgroup by yourself. Usually, the project manager works with those who were appointed to him/her.
  • You cannot change the projects only as your desire (f.e., if you like this one, but don’t like that one).
  • A lot of communications (regular calls, online and face-to-face meetings).
  • You cannot avoid tasks that require an immediate solution.

But at the same time, the position of project manager allows getting a lot of useful skills, namely:

  1. Ability to find common ground between customers and members of the project team;
  2. Ability to solve problems and prevent them in the future;
  3. Acceptance of reasons for management decisions;
  4. Understanding how the development process of the entire project is structured.

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