The common notion that software engineers can progress to project managers is very true. Anybody in the software development realm, including software QA testers and virtual assistants, can make a good project manager. However, unlike other careers within software engineering, software testers can quickly become product managers.
QA software testers should essentially have a deep knowledge of software products. Like product managers, software testers know precisely how software products should behave and their unique specifications. Below is a guide on advancing from software testing virtual assistant to project portfolio management (PPM). If you are in this fold, this article outlines the essential things you should do as a software tester to become a project manager. The two critical points of discussion include:
- Software testing vs. project management: The differences and the specific roles under these careers
- How to advance from software testing to project management
How Software Testing VAs Differs from Project Management
As the name suggests, software testing involves verifying software products and web applications to ensure they function as intended. An experienced software tester oversees the quality assurance aspect of software development. This includes conducting automated and manual tests on software. Advancing technologies have allowed software testers to work remotely as virtual assistants.
On the other hand, project managers are tasked with planning, scheduling, and managing the delivery of software products. Software project managers should be qualified in software engineering, computer science, or other IT-related subjects like software testers.
How to Advance from Software Testing VA to Management
Your career as a software tester virtual assistant offers unlimited opportunities for advancement into senior engineer and manager. To advance from software testing VA to project management, you should know the specific skill sets required to succeed in software project management. You should advance your skills through further education, training, and certifications. You should also:
Become a Product Expert
Software testing lets you understand various software products’ coding and back-end processes. This includes perceptions on how specific software products should benefit end-users. However, you should become an expert in your company’s preferred software products to advance your career.
Fortunately, this isn’t a challenge, primarily if you have worked with the company remotely for a while. Working with subject matter experts, conducting extensive research, and conducting regular product demonstrations can make you an expert.
Further your Education
All managerial roles require that you advance your studies. Even with an undergraduate degree and years of experience, you should consider a master’s degree to advance your career. You should also actively enroll in training opportunities and various courses for certifications.
However, it would help if you didn’t solely focus on technical degrees in your field. Becoming a product manager puts you in a leadership position. You should consider courses that nurture your leadership skills. As a software project manager, you’ll lead a team of professionals. Learning leadership skills, such as decision-making and conflict resolution, are essential.
Learn Managerial Skills
Becoming a successful project manager also requires that you have various managerial skills. This will ensure that you oversee project development from start to finish. While there are a lot of managerial skills to work on, you should prioritize leadership, team management, problem-solving, and risk management skills.
Since you’ll oversee the entire team, you should also perfect your hiring abilities to ensure you hire the right candidates for various positions. Note that hiring virtual teams has several challenges for which you should prepare adequately.
While a career in software testing virtual assistant is fulfilling, you should consider advancing to a product manager for more significant and more challenging roles. Your experience as a virtual software tester forms a strong foundation and will help you succeed in project management roles.