I had a fantastic time today full of insights and learning more about Agile with a lot of exciting speakers. Still have a lot to process from my notes. But if you ask me which speech I liked the most, without a doubt I say – Uncle Bob’s! At the end of his presentation, somebody from the audience asked: “When you come to a new company as a consultant, what do you do there first of all?” And Uncle Bob replied: “I ask them to show me their tests” This was that one of the “Yesss!” moments for me personally. Because that’s what I look at first hand myself!

In the image below I’m talking about that same thing with Uncle Bob when I stopped by to say thanks.

Life took an interesting turn and I was laid off from my job this past January. Things happen. That means – a job search! Alright… what can one do? Sure thing – enable Open for Work on LinkedIn. This sounds reasonable, so why not… but be prepared to be contacted by a bunch of unprofessional recruiters. Here I’m sharing my ideas about those.

Below in this article, I posted my collection of templated communication openers from recruiters that most likely will lead to no positive communication whatsoever. I base this opinion on a large number of recruiter pings in the past few years. I can easily predict by reading an opener what outcome will follow. I developed my knowledge by actively responding to these messages and filtering them out. Weeding away those who I call “time wasters”.

Those recruiters:

  1. Have no actual opening at the moment
  2. Let the candidate go all out in the interview knowing they don’t have any role
  3. Often lie in the beginning to get a person on the phone, to confirm they are alive and reachable.
  4. Their main goal is to collect contact information and the experience profile.
  5. Never even try to read the profile of a person they are trying to reach. Because they are looking for the skills a person doesn’t even have on their profile.
  6. Attempting to get a person to a job with a pay rate below any possible competition.

I consider these types of communications a time and effort waste. This can be a 15-30+ min call that usually ends up with: “We currently don’t have a position to match your skills” or “The position has just closed, but we’ll keep you in mind for the next opening” or “You don’t have skills for the current opening”.

When encountering any of these openers below, chances are, one will waste their time on the phone and get nowhere. If asked questions to clarify details about the role, like good JD, requirements, contract or perm, pay rate and so – those recruiters most likely will disappear looking for much easier prey. Enjoy reading those examples! All the original orthography and punctuation are preserved.

Before you proceed! Big bold note here: There are professional recruiters in the market, plenty of them. They are open, responsive, and communicative people. They are always ready to answer questions and follow up with candidates. Work with those people.

Now… let’s go!

Dear ______________

I trust this email finds well.

I came across your profile on Linkedln.com and would like to speak with you about an opportunity for SDET Automation Engineer REMOTE.

Job Description

Design test processes and procedures for native mobile applications to ensure that software operates within defined requirements. Implement test plans, automation, and validation strategies. Identify and investigate issues found during testing. Work closely with software developers and software quality analysts to resolve issues. Develop and maintain automated test scripts to reduce repetitive manual testing.

QA Engineer / SDET to focus on quality automation. In this role, they will be working alongside our UI developers helping to create, iterate upon, and deliver high quality products by leveraging automated testing in CI/CD pipelines. Candidates that do not have a background with modern web development will struggle in this role.

I had a chance to review your profile and feel that you may be a good fit for a role we are having. Please let me know, If you are looking to explore new job opportunities.

I’m an IT Recruiter for _____. I am currently recruiting on a 100% REMOTE QA Engineer opportunity for one of my top clients in the ______ industry and you very impressive profile. They are looking for someone with your mobile experience! The pay is very competitive and offers full benefits. Please let me know if we can schedule a quick 5 minute phone call to discuss more details. Thanks for your time in reading this and I hope to hear from you soon!

This is _____ from _____

I wanted to understand your career aspiration and wanted to check if you’re available in the job market.

We have remote position for Test Automation Engineer

Job details are Shared below:

Job Title: Test Automation Engineer

Location: Remote

Job Duration: 3+ months Contract

I was super impressed by your profile and I think you would be great fit for QA Test Engineer role which is with my client _______.

Pay Rate: $53 an hour on W2

I’d love to talk to you about it. Please give me quick call at my number

I do hope this message finds you and your family well? I have been directed to reach out to you regarding a business proposal that fits your statutory requirements. Details shall be made available on your response to ______

I see that you have experience working with Sr. Software engineer . We have been consistently looking for individuals who have experience in Manual testing with Manual and Automation(Hybrid) . This position is based in Bethesda, MD and some one who can work from client office twice a week.

We have large initiative kicking off. If you’d like the opportunity, let’s set up a time to talk.

Hope you are safe and doing great!

I came across your profile and wanted to see if you might be open to having a conversation. Looking for QEA Test Engineer for Remote.

Not sure if you’re on the hunt for a new role, but if you are, please let me know when a good time might be for us to connect on phone.

I just heard that your company recently announced potential downsizing/lay-offs in the near future and am unsure if those may have impacted you directly or not.

I am currently sourcing for the following roles at ____ and would love to connect I you have any interest in hearing more about any of these:

IT Product Owner, End User Computing Specialist, Scrum Master, Sr. DevOps Engineer, Sr. & Principle Full Stack Developers, Sr. Data Engineer, Sr. Data Architect, Sr. Principal Integration Engineer (SOA, WebLogic, Boomi), Sr. B2B Integration Analyst (Sterling Integrator/EDI), Sr. Information Security Engineer, Network Engineer, Business Systems Analyst, and an Infrastructure Engineer.

Please let me know if you are interested in connecting about any of these or what you would be looking for in new opportunities and we can set up some time to connect.

Thank you and hope to connect with you soon.

I really like your background and wanted to reach out and see if you were poking around the market? My top client has a Senior QA Engineer position that I think you would be a great fit for! The client is looking for a sound background of Python and AWS.

Pretty cool opportunity working with a Fortune 500 company across multiple internal teams like Infrastructure, Finance and Engineers.

I have interview times, and the process will move quickly.

Let me know when’s a good time to chat!

Just came across your profile and I am quite impressed. I would love to set up a time to speak with you in reference to the Senior QA Automation Engineer position that we’re looking to fill. We’re looking for a Senior QA Automation Engineer to do testing for large web components. Your background in building frontend QA Automation frameworks, can test reusable components for Design Systems, and particularly working with JavaScript are very interesting and run parallel to our requirements. Please let me know when you would have some time to speak, and what is the best number to reach you? Thanks so much. Hope all is well. Looking forward to speaking with you.

These are just the most recent examples… I bet there is much more to come. So just beware my fellow job seeker… those types of recruiters will not get you anywhere!

We all see what’s going on with some prominent layoffs lately. And just to stay sane and on top of it… I’m sharing some personal thoughts about what could’ve been done better while still employed… For future me, and for a random reader who stumbles upon this page. Let’s go…
  1. Pay attention to all possible warning signs in the company. There are plenty usually, they might seem subtle but take every one of them in account and maybe even write them down for future you. So you might see how the picture gets grimmer and grimmer. So you are aware and ready to act accordingly.
  2. 1 year is the time in the current IT world where you just need to start brushing up your resume regardless of how good you are positioned. And even start interviewing just to see where the market is and to keep your interviewing skills top notch. There are a lot of benefits in doing this. Just think about it a little, you’ll find them. 
  3. Never discard any job search documents created during the previous job hunt. They might seem like something unnecessary and even outdated, but only God knows how soon you might need them. And maybe even sooner than you think.
  4. Working for startups – no matter what phase they are at, they can pop any moment. Just remember this. They are more prone to business restructures, missed goals that are crucial for financial posture of the company and so on. Just keep that in mind and follow item #2 from this list even more carefully.
  5. Don’t overestimate your value for the company. Your colleagues may absolutely enjoy working with you and think that you are doing a great job, and even your boss may think the same. But… There are no irreplaceable specialists. Yep, the company may struggle a bit after letting you go, but with their resources they’ll be fine.
  6. Work for the company, share values and do your work well, but put your interests first. Nothing personal, it’s just business. The company will fire/lay you off following their interests, why should you think differently? It’s mutual. Be ready to leave any time.
  7. Layoffs rarely come as a one-time thing. This one may not affect you, but that doesn’t mean another one won’t. Heard about lay off in your company? Revisit #2 in this list and start acting.
  8. Better leave than be let go, kinda obvious… but not for everybody. Still it’s best to quit on your terms than on theirs.
  9. Be aware of US companies going global. It may change very quickly. As a company becomes global it opens the whole new opportunities for the company to hire cheaper workforce from the other countries. And you don’t have to look far… employees from Mexico and Latin America are 25-30% cheaper than US workers. And they are often in the same time zone. So no need to hustle with candidates from India for example.
  10. Do you do a lot to move your career forward in the company you work for? But you don’t see any progress, and it doesn’t matter if your performance is high. And you even try to push it forward from your end, and still, there’s no progress? That’s a sign that this company won’t let you grow. There are plenty of reasons why. Some examples: they don’t have room for your growth, they are happy that you cover the work you are doing in your current position, and it’s hard to back your role up. Etc. There are multiple reasons. But it all boils down to the idea that this isn’t your company. Time to move on.

Are you guys looking for cheap developers? 🙂 Prepare to ask yourself many uncomfortable questions 🙂

This trend is really interesting these days, I’ve been bombarded by recruiters looking for SDET position candidates on a daily basis. I know, recruiters aren’t those who write job requirements. So this post would be more addressed to Hiring Managers. So who do you guys really want? Let’s look at skillsets(obv. incomplete, just for the sake of visualization):

  • Software Tester(QA Engineer):
    • Testing approach: Black Box, White Box, Grey Box.
    • Understanding of SDLC
    • Different types of testing: Functional, UX/UI, etc.
    • Test tracking and management tools.
    • Automation tools for testing. (This one deserves a separate list I think)
    • Programming basics.
    • Critical Thinking, Communication skills.
  • DevOps:
    • Infrastructure as code
    • CI/CD
    • Test automation
    • Containerization
    • Orchestration
    • Software deployment
    • Software measurement
  • Developer
    • String knowledge in programming language or multiple (OOP, Frameworks, etc.)
    • Version control
    • Understanding of SDLC
    • CI/CD
    • Software Algorithms, Design, Architecture
    • Databases
    • Unit/Integration testing
  • SDET:
    • Everything from Software Tester (QA Engineer)
    • Everything from DevOps
    • Everything from Developer

Just think about this for a second. Let it sink down.

What is very interesting is that most of SDET job descriptions represent a developer background. Not just any, a strong developer background with 3-5 years of experience.

Let’s look at simple life scenario of SDET at work:

– Hey, {Name} can you test this?
– Sure, here’s a bug.
– Can you look in the code and make sense what’s wrong?
– Sure, here’s the problem in the code.
– Can you fix that yourself?
– Yes, I can fix that and I’ll test the fix after.

Ask yourself these questions now:

  • How is that an SDET and not a Developer?
  • Should your developers stop testing their code? Because that what’s going to happen.
  • What’s going to happen with the software quality when approach like that is used?

Here are some more questions to think about:

  • Why would a developer cut like 15 – 20% of their pay to become an SDET and focus on testing?
  • What kind of developer would be the one who wants that? Why do you think they will be better at testing?
  • How is it possible to be good at all of these areas at the same time given current software complexity?
  • Why do you think there’s such a demand for SDETs in the market?

Who can actually make a good SDET?

  • College grads / Junior developers. They still have a lot to learn. Good start for them to decide which way to go. QA, DevOps or Dev.
  • Testers who want more in their career. Who can and want to automate more or become developers.

So these are those who are you looking for to fill your SDET positions. Plain and simple.

Same article on LinkedIn