Why Does a Tester Need a Self-Development Plan and How to Devise It?

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Sometimes it’s very hard to start your professional development, especially if you have no clue where you should go and what you should start from.

Or even if you know the answer to the question “What is your dream job?”, you can easily stay where you currently are and all your dreams will be only interesting but inefficient vision if you don’t plan and foresee every stage.

It’s a very hard task for a human mind to reach such a target as professional or career development. You will constantly plot against this and do everything to resist the direct reaching of this huge target or simply procrastinate.

A clear plan will help you to rapidly build a clear and illustrative path of professional development and completely refresh your mind to work with other important tasks.

So, first of all, you should find the target you want to reach and understand what you mean by career or professional development.

This article will describe the professional development of a widely qualified QA engineer.

Target definition as the basis for career development and self-development

Today software testing field can suggest numerous training material that can be really helpful in self-development or learning first related skills.

By the way, we’d like to mention Grow, an online platform that provides numerous field competences, gradual studying of which helps to obtain and enhance QA skills.

For example, if someone is testing new software, the platform will automatically give him/her tips what he/she should study first of all, what courses should be studied in an online mode and what courses should be observed by experts and also, it will automatically give a list of useful literature that you should read.

While you are reading training material, the online platform is showing the scale of your professional development.

But this doesn’t mean that you should trust the system completely since it can’t help you to understand what IT position is suitable for you, it simply manages the process of personal studying of the suggested material.

If you want to keep your personal diary, you can use numerous specialized tools – from Trello to Google sheets.

It doesn’t matter what tool will be selected, the main thing is that you should have a plan, to return to it when needed.

Find your personal mentor

Some motivation books and articles highly recommend asking certain mentors for help. They can serve as a driver of your professional development and will ask you sometimes about your progress.

For example, if you work at a huge product company, your office should include a resource manager who will be responsible for this.

A resource manager is a specialist who is either a manager or an assistant, is responsible for someone’s career development, constantly monitors his/her working process, to make their working conditions completely comfortable. Usually, it’s the specialist who has developed in a professional way inside a company and who can give others tips on correct behavior and proper actions needed.

But such a colleague can’t be a perfect example to reach career targets in every case, sometimes he/she can have absolutely different specialization.

Therefore, if one is a Junior QA engineer and wishes to develop in this field, he/she should ask a person who has developed in the related specialization.

If you interest your potential mentor, show great desire to study and interest in all suggested aspects of professional development, it will be much easier to receive working recommendations and tips.

But sometimes you have no possibility to discuss several moments of development in real life, then you can copy the model of proper behavior as a primary step that you can start from.

You can try to ask him/her about his/her personal story of success, receive the best working lifehacks, sources of knowledge, internalize everything, adapt it to your case, and try to start using it when needed.

Outside your company, you can search for work in various online communities. You can find certain specialists in specialized forums.

It’s very important for career development to attend thematic conferences since a conference itself is a special place where there are numerous people who possess huge knowledge and experience in the IT field.

Dividing career targets into tasks

It’s impossible to reach a target very easily, you should primarily divide it into small steps and components.

For example, one has decided to acquire professional skills to improve his/her career (to get a higher salary).

Grow platform mentioned above will give him/her the possibility to find numerous courses to learn new skills and study new technologies and also, will help to improve current skills and get recommendations from other colleagues, who are also connected to this platform (potentially connected).

Anyway, all this goes to the fact that you should constantly extend your sphere of influence, in other words, do something additional and try to reach  a logical end, not stopping improving certain skills and capabilities.

There are numerous articles and materials concerning the topic of the skills that are needed for reaching your targets. You can easily find other materials and software in open sources of various courses and make your own plan of professional and career development.

You can start working with tasks on the basis of the scientific approach – always divide a task into small subtasks on the basis of Agile methodology or a simple principle of building an algorithm.

Or don’t waste your time on this and divide the target into small subtasks.

There is no right solution, the main thing is to divide the task into such small tasks as possible, according to structural elements of your professional development.

As soon as you imagine how to get promotion and what are the steps of your career ladder, you can start your time management process.

Work with deadlines

You should complete any task on time, to completely understand how to properly divide the time needed for preparing and learning the material, and also, you should always remember that soon there will be the time when you will need to show a director everything you have done.

Before you start your career development, you should go to a director and discuss what is the best time to start your career assessment.

This means that the one who starts his/her studying is also responsible for the deadlines.

The main thing here is not to procrastinate since this can add some uncertainty if you have a big target and if it hasn’t been divided into small subtask and there is not a proper way to start reaching it.

You can use various tricks of modern time management, try Eisenhower matrix since it greatly helps to prioritize personal tasks and other methods of the proper setting of the priorities and deadlines.

Progress analysis

It’s a really important thing. Any plan, no matter a chart or simply a task template will always help to track current progress and also, not lose hope.

For example, one set the date for executing a certain task. The date may be unreal. The task is not completed, and there is no progress.

Problems that may arise

Problems That May Arise

Problems That May Arise

No motivation

A person loses motivation only if he/she has not established a self-development target.

You can use Feedback, a great tool, which helps to communicate with your colleagues and exchange your thoughts on the career development plans (by the way, you can use any corporate chat or group inside a selected social network.)

Constant connection with those who you constantly work with is the best way to understand all aspects of professional development since other people can see more than the person sees himself/herself.

No time and high load on current tasks

As soon as you understand that you don’t want to study something new after working hard, you should rapidly search for different variants to refresh your mind and dive into the studying process to get at least any productivity.

Overload at work is not a normal situation since you don’t need to work too much if it’s not a deadline or fixing someone’s shortcomings.

Choosing the right field

Sometimes you need to have rest between the tasks that are easy and enjoyable but need concentration.

At this moment, you should think about what is around you and start getting some skills from the sources that have been added to bookmarks a long time ago but have not been studied yet.

Moreover, some mentors highly recommend getting skills from unrelated fields since right such an approach will give a person new and interesting ideas.

To conclude, we’d like to say that no plan can help to reach your target if you are not really interested in something that makes your mind constantly search for new ways of development.

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