Online Presentation: Career Tips for Testers

I haven’t done an online presentation in quite a while now. I’m always happy to share my thoughts on testing with anyone who wants to listen. It was nice to have the opportunity in January to present to a rather large audience on test design as part of a SoftwareTestPro web cast, but I enjoy lower key events as well.

I’m planning a talk on career tips for testers on April 20th. This is a variation of a talk I gave internally at Microsoft a year or so ago, but I’ve discovered since then that the tips are (mostly) relevant to testers outside MS as well. As you may know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m somewhat passionate about tester career growth – in many ways because I want testers to grow in skill and experience so we can advance the testing craft much faster in the next ten years than we have the past ten years.

Here’s some more information.

Ride the Gravy Train and other Career Tips for Testers.


I’ve collected quite an assortment of interesting (bordering bizarre) career advice over my eighteen years (so far) in testing, and thought it would be fun to share. I’ll share tips on leadership, finding the right work and career growth that (I hope) should be helpful to anyone wanting to grow as a software tester. Some more information on the original presentation can be found here and here.

No RSVP is necessary. Just add the presentation to your calendar, and join the meeting. You may want to join a few minutes early to make sure everything is working. I’ll plan to start at 10:05 (PDT) to give the procrastinators a chance to join.

If you have questions you’d like to make sure I address, please post them here. I’m also open for suggestions for future talks if you have ideas or want me to repeat something from a conference.


  1. Hi Alan, This might be not a good place to ask this question but still Testers are often underrated as compared to developers, I am a tester who is interested in development. As you are pretty experienced guy i want you to ask how can i use my development skills in Testing, or should i switch to development? Thanks.

    1. It depends – my stock answer is “do what you love”. If you love testing, and have an opportunity to use your programming skills to bet a better tester, then you should (of course!) be a tester. If you’re in a dead-end job where you aren’t valued and can’t progress because you’re a tester, then you either need to switch to a development position or get a new job.

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