What should be the career in Software Testing after 5 years of joining as a manual tester?
Plenty of options my friend! Most important point is that you can still switch your line if you don’t like software testing. However, if you want to continue, the following could be a few options:
1. Business Analyst/ Technical Architect/ System Analyst: You may opt for a more technical line of work if you have the eye for the details and have a strong knowledge in terms of how the components/ applications work.
2. Team Lead/ Project Lead: This is the usual path if you want to grow towards a managerial role. You may want to look at some certifications like PRINCE 2 along with basic testing certification to have a good hold on processes.
3. Automation Test/ Performance Test: You can switch into Automation or Performance if you have the mind for writing codes and finding logic. Personally, switching to Automation is pretty easy within the organization.
4. Product Companies: You can switch to product companies such as Banking, Insurance, Telecom, etc if you have strong domain knowledge. Companies are constantly on the look-out for good candidates.
Other benefits such as Onshore are not exactly linked to the number of years of experience, but to the contractual agreements your project has (i.e., whether there is a component for Onshore and if yes, what percentage of the workforce can work from there. This will also depend on how good you are, obviously). The best way to climb up to your career is to start learning automation testing. By working as an automation test engineer you will not only be developing scripts for your test cases but also understand the software much better by getting into it. Earlier while doing manual testing you would not be taking so much interest in knowing about the technology used behind the software. Also, start getting a hang of how project management works by working in sprints and working parallelly with developers. This will be laying the foundation for you if you ever want to jump into project management.
What are the best ways/things to learn to come out of manual testing after wasting 2 initial years of my career?
I can relate to your question because I have spent 4 yrs doing manual testing. Although it’s not a waste of time 4 years in manual testing didn’t take me far in terms of knowledge and technologies being used in the current market. Then after 4 years, I got the opportunity to do automation testing as my company shifted entirely from manual to automation. I struggled to learn JAVA. It took me a long time and am still learning JAVA but I am enjoying it. I have also started to learn selenium as well as retrofit which is used for API testing. I wasn’t even aware of these terms 6months back which I am using now. I am glad I got the opportunity to explore these tools. Have also started learning APPIUM for mobile testing.
I would say make a list of all that you wish to learn and set a time to finish those goals.
All the best!