Tim Farley, Cambia Health Solutions
How did you learn to be an effective SQA Engineer? Chances are, you didn’t learn it in college. Recent graduates might have only a single class or a single lecture about software testing, with no mention at all of activities to prevent defects, enable development productivity, or deliver required product quality. If you’re currently working as an SQA Engineer, you probably taught yourself.
This presents a clear challenge to companies needing to grow their SQA Engineering organizations. Few job candidates will have all the needed skills and experience when they begin, and hiring only senior-level SQA engineers is not sustainable. In addition, not all individuals interested in SQA will take the initiative to learn the necessary job skills on their own. Internal training programs can also be a risky investment if SQA Engineers have no incentive to stay with a company in an SQA role, or see an SQA Engineer job only as a stepping-stone to a career as a Developer, Project Manager or Scrum Master.
Cambia Health Solutions recently began a comprehensive program to grow SQA engineering capability and capacity. The initiative ranges from recruiting and cultivating interns interested in SQA, to offering training programs and coaching to newly hired and existing SQA Engineers, to providing a clear career path within SQA to keep people in the profession, help them advance in their careers, and ensure the company benefits from the investment made in them.
This paper presents several elements of the program, including training and coaching for SQA Engineers, developing new job descriptions and career paths, and partnering with HR and hiring managers to identify and qualify good job candidates. Examples of new employee onboarding, test automation training, and career path advancement will be reviewed. Integrating social media elements into the program is also discussed.
Target audience: Intermediate