List

Effective May 1st, 2012, I would be a Consulting Software Tester, Python Developer and Coach. This is going to be a long blog post, as I want to capture this story in full, in my current state of mind -a story which I would like to read in future. It might be interesting for some of you. Let’s sail along!

The Four Deterrents

When I talked about this decision/desire, most of the people around me, told me that such decisions should be taken up only by those who fulfill one or more of the following conditions:

  • A good financial backing, in case it does not work out. This might be one’s own savings, inheritance etc.
  • Either one is not married/does not have a family to support or the spouse is working, sufficient enough to run the family
  • One has a lot of links established which would fetch enough business
  • One has had lack of success in employment, is not satisfied with salary etc.

I don’t fulfill any of the above, with a small exception that I have a close circle of some great friends in the industry. But I have always looked at them from the perspective of friendship rather than business, irrespective of the fact that on some occasions we engaged in a business context. And it’s not just about others. The idea of independent consulting has been brewing in my mind for a couple of years, but I have been giving the above excuses to myself and to the handful of friends who encouraged me to take this up. It took a lot of time for me to stop giving excuses and listen to my heart.

The Decision that I should have taken, but Didn’t

Most of my close friends know that for a significant part of my student life ( about 12 years ) I was a stage person. I did stage acting, was interested in writing poetry etc. I won several awards for my acting, which was a continuous source of encouragement for me to continue. I was an approved artist for Jalandhar Doordarshan and was contacted by one of the radio channels. It was a time when the television didn’t have the kind of channels there are today.

There was a precise point in my life, where I had to take a decision whether I should pursue acting as a career beyond my high school or should I go to an engineering school. I was financially dependent, came from a family that had a limited amount of resources to support my education. With reasons similar to the four deterrents,  my friends, family, professors – all were able to convince me that I should pursue engineering. I don’t know for sure what would have happened if I had gone on the path to acting on stage / television as a full time career. But I know one thing for sure. I am not proud of myself. The truth remains that I did not have the guts to take a crucial decision, to pursue my passion.

I have this burden for my retirement – a sense of regret. This was a strong motivator for my decision to become a consultant. I asked myself:

Can I afford another burden for retirement? Is it so out of the world, that I didn’t give it chance even for 1 year?

This is a tricky question, ofcourse :-). Almost certainly, one would get an answer that motivates oneself to trying things out. It happened to me as well.

The Game of Numbers

Another concern that people around me expressed was that there aren’t many independent test consultants in India. For example, there are thousands of testers in Bangalore, but how many independent test consultants do we see? If it were a viable option, one would see atleast a decent percentage pursuing this. The point is right. There is only one pure play independent test consultant that I know about – Pradeep Soundararajan. Ofcourse, he later went on to opening up Moolya and can’t be considered as such. But he did it when atleast no one to my knowledge was even thinking about it. I’m not sure whether I would have taken this step at this stage if I had not known him. I’m glad I do.

Atleast on this point I score myself well. I didn’t consider this as a deterrent rather as a motivator. This essentially means that this area has been largely unexplored and a huge business scope exists. Ofcourse, the testing industry needs to be educated on the benefits of engaging independent consultants, but then which business does not have initial phase of tough work?

The Two Rejections that Changed Me

There were two interviews which I couldn’t clear and both these changed me in a positive way. The first one was about 8 years back. The interviewer commented that she didn’t understand what’s there in my profile that I found myself suitable for that testing job. At first I was offended, later I realised that she was right. I didn’t know much about testing and technology. I started investing a lot of time in self education, which was critical to my career.

An year later, I failed in second interview not because of testing skills, but because of lack of programming skills. This added another learning area for me. It infact opened the doors to a lot of things. I realised that for being a good tester, rather the tester which I would like to be, there are skills to be honed beyond the usual. Then on I actively sought out work hopping from one skill area to another, exploring each area with equal intensity. This enabled me to develop decent skills in performance, security, test automation, Python, agile and so on.

Skill-development is an ongoing journey and not a one time activity. Expertise is not a destination, rather a journey. The trick is to make each day count, as a milestone that matters.

Testing Perspective Platform

When I started the Testing Perspective blog 5 years back, I had not thought how helpful it would become in the long run. The fact that this website was already established and running for a few years, at the time when the idea of consulting popped in my mind, came handy. I felt happy that I already have a way to reach out to the community. This would remain as my most critical investment in terms of time and effort.

The Back-up Plan

Through the course of motivating myself and my family, I said – What’s there to worry about. I can always return to regular employment, if consulting does not work. I’ve stopped doing that. This is a negative thought. If I carry a back-up plan that points to where I started, there is a high probability that the moment I’m low on courage, I would exercise this plan. I am now rather looking at how I could develop plans to make it work, none of them pointing to employment.

What Failure Means to Me

As success versus failure was a common thread, mostly pointing towards the latter, in all the discussions which spun post my decision, I needed to define what failure means to me. Does it mean not able to earn enough? Does it mean earning less than what I earned last as an employee? So, this is what I think about failure as of now:

If I don’t try what I want to try out, it’s a failure.

Life is meaningless if not lived to the fullest. The best moments from my life, about which I am proud, are the ones where I tried things out. These were the moments when I broke conventions, when everyone said that’s not how things work, but I gave them a shot! I know that the coming year(s) are going to be extremely demanding for me in terms of patience, effort and skills. I have to deal with a lot of unexplored areas especially w.r.t. business aspects. I am excited about the kind of learning it is going to bring and the kind of strong individual it is going to make me. I know I am going to discover more about myself.

Unconventional is Beautiful

I remember an episode from my theater days. I had directed a play for an inter-college competition. All the other 5 actors were freshers. A day before the show, all of them went out of town to be a part of a strike against fee hikes. I had two options. The obvious one was to let it go, after all what else could be done. The other unconventional option was to do it all alone. Judges won’t allow that! Friends criticized my decision, as I was a winner in other areas, and it could spoil my name. Organizing committee was against it too because a stage play is supposed to be a team game and required a minimum of 4 actors. I remember crying before them ( literally ), begging them to give the 30 minutes slot. I told them that I wasn’t concerned about the competition at all. And there it was! I was allowed to perform a stage play as an extended mono-acting event of 30 minutes, out of competition, where I played all the 6 characters alone. It was the most tiring stage performance I have ever done till date but also my most daring and passionate attempt at acting.

For all my IT career as a software tester, I have been a hands-on tester, said a polite ‘No’ to a possible promotion as a Test manager because I didn’t ( and I don’t ) want to become a Test Manager. I have always pursued the path of an individual contributor. Another convention which I broke for myself, was the expertise convention – “If you want to become an expert, you need to choose one area”. I chose multiple areas and developed decent expertise. The reason I did this was to have a unified approach of doing things, I didn’t want to miss perspectives. Every time I became comfortable with a certain area of testing, I hopped to the unknown.

I did the same to my employment. I rate my employment career as highly successful, but I guess I had a little too much of that. So, it’s time to try out something fundamentally different from employment! At the stage, where I am, independent consulting looks like that.

I’m not the Only One to be Blamed

I didn’t do all of this alone. There are a couple of more culprits :-), who encouraged me to take this and were a source of motivation and support all along. I am very thankful to Pradeep Soundararajan and Vipul Kocher for their constant encouragement.

Pradeep has had a lot of aggressive arguments with me. He was impatient ( in a good way ) during these meetings as he trusts my skills and was not happy with the way I was giving excuses for not trying things out. But he was very patient in terms of never giving up on me & had many of these meetings over the past few years. I got a lot of good advice from him which finally helped me in understanding what I wanted to do and how I should go about it.

I came home from one of such discussions and decided to tell my wife that I have decided to take the step. She told me – “It’s not you, it’s Pradeep talking!” The fun part is that she knows about Pradeep only from my discussions. This created doubt in my mind that she could be right. I needed to be sure that it’s MY decision. I have seen people who keep blaming others that it’s because of them that they did something. I don’t want to be one of them. I spent a lot of time on introspection and found beautiful stuff. Pradeep has definitely been instrumental to my decision.  But was it my decision? Yes! If it were not true, I would have done it long back, as my discussions with him on the subject go back for more than 2 years. What was I doing in this time – asking myself whether I’m ready.

It was a very important step in my decision making – owning full responsibility for all my actions.

Vipul has been very lavish with his compliments about my work and has provided constant support. He created various opportunities for me in the past few years to hone my skills in coaching and authoring/reviewing contents related to software testing. On the technical front, his work on Q-Patterns changed my thought process and would always remain a milestone in my career.

I am also indebted to Alan Mynard, the most passionate and thorough tester I have met, who at the age of 50+ is more energetic about testing than any tester I have known. He would always be a source of inspiration for me to pursue my career as a hands-on, individual contributor for a pretty long time.

Breaking the Mold of a Poor Family Person

One essential aspect of this move is to provide quality time to my family. They have sacrificed enough for the last few years which I spent mostly on my job or catering to my education. I feel great that at last I would be able to create a work-life balance.

62 Responses to “My Journey to Becoming an Independent Consultant”

  1. Rahul Gupta

    My best wishes are with you Rahul. We share the same name. As per Wikipedia, your name means “Efficient” or “conqueror of all miseries.” Live up to your name and I am sure you would do wonders.
    Also, don’t think of maintaining work-life balance rather care for “work-life integration” that’s more important.

    All the best….Cheers

  2. Prasanna

    All the best Rahul!!!
    From your blog and limited interactions,I feel you have enough technical capability for this career move.
    I hope you have made some market study on the demand for Independent Consultants in India.
    IMO Indian testing companies mostly leverage the cost arbitrage of Indian testers to run their business, so very few are likely to engage an external consultant paying for his/her quality contributions. Till now consultants in India, are regarded as contractors(paid less than permanent employees) who can be hired for a particular project, not necessarily competent experts adding value to the project or product.
    But some people have to take the initiative and change this mindset, glad to know you are going to be one of them.

  3. Rahul Verma

    @Rahul,

    Thanks for the good wishes and the advice.

  4. Rahul Verma

    @Prasanna,

    Thanks for the good wishes.

    As mentioned in my post, the testing industry needs to be educated.

    The contractors as you mentioned are hired and would continue to be getting hired. I too have observed that the work into which they are put is non-critical, an area where the company does not fear that its IP is at stake, areas for which it becomes increasingly difficult to retain regular employees etc. The companies through which these contractors get hired are paid pretty well, much better than regular employees as far as monthly monetory compensation is concerned, although they are paid as regular employees by their respective companies.

    I’m not targeting such work. I would rather spend time at home studying and experimenting than being immersed in jobs that are not as per my skills. The other side of this is that because I am looking for work that needs more skills, I expect to be paid well, much better than what industry pays the companies for the contractors.

    It is always cost versus value. I hope that the way there is work of this kind, there would be work requiring special needs. I’m starting out on this hope.

    I would choose which work I want to do. In the past few months, there were several opportunities to which I said No, because of similar reasons. I’m fine with that.

    The long mental struggle which I have gone through has made me strong not just about stepping into independent consulting but also the way I am going to handle it.

    If I get work for 30-40% part of a given year, it means I have rest of the year to hone my skills to give my best during this 30-40% time.

    I know it would take time, but from my experience, whosoever has engaged me for any service, has never looked back or for alternatives. I hope that I continue delivering the same value, or rather exceeding it every time.

  5. Anuj Magazine

    Congratulations Rahul! and Wish you all the best for the challenges ahead. I could imagine its going to be lot different than the usual routine of going to work and coming back home but i am glad that you have backed your skills and instincts and given youself a chance to take a path less travelled.

    You would do well!

    Regards,
    Anuj

  6. Rahul Verma

    @ Anuj,

    Thanks for the good wishes!

  7. Jassi

    Congratulations Rahul :) Wishing you all the best, somehow I have been unable to proceed & connect with you due to my new job & home, would connect with you soon.

    Regards,
    Jassi

    • Rahul Verma

      @Jassi,

      Thanks for the good wishes! Take care of your new job and then let me know how I can help you.

  8. Abhishek Singhvi

    After all 1 year is just 1% of your life of 100 years. It would be a great regret if some one was not in complete control, harmony and passionate for that small time of their life. Hence one year is too small a time to ruin your other 99%, but it has the capability to make the other 99% seem mediocre.
    Definitely worth the try at least for the experience of hurting our knees to emerge a much stronger man.
    I like your definition of failiure:)
    All the Very Best!!!

    • Rahul Verma

      @Abhishek,

      Nice to hear from you.

      Thanks for bringing in the point of what percentage an year makes and trying out things. There is a also a hidden wish that I am going to live for 100 years. I accept that :-)

      There is an Urdu couplet for the exact message that you gave to me/the readers:

      Girte hain Shah-sawaar hi maidaan-e-jung mein
      Vo tifl kyaa gire k jo ghutnon ke bal chale

      ( The fighters who ride the horses in the battlefield have a chance of falling. How would those fall who walk on their knees! )

  9. Amith

    Wish you all the very best, Rahul!

  10. Pradeep Soundararajan

    What a lovely write up. I envy a few people (not for the money they have but for the skills) and you are one such. Inspiration can never work one way. I am happy you wrote this post. God bless you do so well I get to envy you much more.

    • Rahul Verma

      @Pradeep,

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I’m deeply satisfied that you are envious about some of my skill set. I promise you to work hard on increasing this feeling.

      I too envy you for your skills. I can work hard to cover some of them. But then how do I get rid of one strong feeling of envy – Why am I not the first one to try independent test consulting in India!!! This is there to stay. I can’t change history. I don’t have detailed data, I don’t want that too. To me, you are and would remain the first one.

      Thanks for all the support and guidance! I need more of that for the coming years.

  11. Keshav

    All the Best Rahul. I’m really happy to see someone standing up and believing in something that is contrary to normal perceptions. (Flew here from Pradeep’s blog)

    • Rahul Verma

      @Keshav,

      Thanks for sparing time and leaving a note of good wishes.

      “Normal” is a very misunderstood word and is usually associated with “majority”. As far as I can think, the beginning of every good/bad change in the world was done by one person or a handful of people to begin with (before it became popular and normal.).

      Pradeep did a good thing by sharing my story on his blog. I hope it inspires others to do what they have always wanted to do.

  12. Mithun Kumar S R

    Hi Rahul,

    All the very best for the bold move. Good to read the entire story of what triggered you. I am sure this post would be inspiring for many testers to break the conventional paths that has been set. Even I was curious whether independent testing consultancy would work in India and here you are taking the lead. I wish you only success in the journey henceforth.

    Regards,
    Mithun Kumar S R

    • Rahul Verma

      @Mithun,

      Thanks for the good wishes.

      Independent consulting is what I wanted to try out. My story should, at the minimum, pass a message that we must do what we want to do. That’s the secret to happiness!

  13. Lalitkumar Bhamare

    Congratulations Rahul !

  14. Sundeep Gupta

    Congratulations & best wishes for the new beginning in your life. From the short period we worked together, I can surely tell, you would never taste the failure.

    – Sundeep

    • Rahul Verma

      @Sundeep,

      Thanks for stopping by and wishing me success.

  15. Prashanti

    Rahul,

    My heartfelt wishes for a successful career in consulting.

    “If I don’t try what I want to try out, it’s a failure.” – This really got me to think if Iam doing any such things with my life. Not just in my career but my life in general.
    Thought provoking and a really nice post on how you arrived at this decision.
    Once again all the best to you.

    – Prashanti

    • Rahul Verma

      @Prashanti,

      Thanks for the good wishes. I am happy to hear that the post moved you in a positive way.

      What you are thinking is correct. This post is not just about consulting, rather about trying out what we want to try. I failed at doing so once, now I won’t let that happen.

  16. Rahul Gupta

    hi Rahul,

    Read something interesting on Elisabeth Hendrickson’s blog. Hope you would like it.
    Link : http://testobsessed.com/blog/2012/04/19/happy-birthday-quality-tree-software/

    Cheers,
    Rahul

    • Rahul Verma

      @Rahul,

      Thanks for sharing the link. It’s a very useful article.

  17. Anuj Sharma

    Hi Rahul,

    I came to your blog through Pradeep’s blog and this is the first entry that I am reading. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and motivating other people like me.

    Best Wishes !!

    -Anuj Sharma

    • Rahul Verma

      @Anuj,

      Welcome to Testing Perspective!

      Thanks for the good wishes. Good to hear that the post motivated you.

  18. Vivek

    Congratulations Rahul! I wish you reach greater heights being an independent consultant. All the very best!!

  19. Sourabh

    Hi Rahul,

    I am really happy that u did what u said at the time of BugdeBug-2012, Congratulations for the new chapter of your life. Hope to see you reaching new heights and providing ur thought so people like us start to think about fitting into ur shoes and carrying the quality perspective further.

    Happy Freedom and Growth,
    Sourabh

    • Rahul Verma

      @Sourabh,

      Thanks. It indeed is a new chapter, which I am enjoying to the fullest.

  20. kishore

    Great Journey indeed.
    “with a small exception that I have a close circle of some great friends in the industry. But I have always looked at them from the perspective of friendship rather than business”

    And I would like to applause for the above thought.

  21. Harish Krishnan

    Hi Rahul,
    I am really Happy to know your this decision, and i know you can do it well & reach Greater Heights!!!
    You were always one of the persons i was getting inspired from… All The Very Best!

    regards
    Harish Krishnan

    • Rahul Verma

      @Harish, Thanks for the kind words and the wishes. When a person like you says that I have been a source of inspiration, it makes my day!

  22. Sushma

    Rahul,

    All the very best to you.

    Regards
    Sushma

  23. Suman Palepu

    Rahul,

    First of all, thanks for such an excellent post.

    Right from the early days of my Performance testing career, you are the inspiration and role model for me. And am very glad to see this post now. This is really thought provoking and there are plenty of things which i would like to take it up from this blog and start working on.

    Wish you all the very best, Rahul :-)

    Regards,
    Suman

    • Rahul Verma

      @Suman,

      Thanks for the kind words. I would like to see you doing well in your career!

  24. Mallikarjuna Y C

    Hi Rahul,

    Was very informative. Can you also give what were the challenges that you faced? How you overcome them?what were the client expectstions? how you addressed the conflicting interests of different stakeholders in a project as a consultant? What is kind of workload that you have? What do Indian customers expect assuming that your clients are mostly Indian? What a test consutant should have in terms of technical and management skills? Where a person can go if he has to improve a particular skill (like books, training seminars etc and if you have the information) etc

    regards,
    Mallikarjuna

    • Rahul Verma

      @Mallikarjuna,

      I’ve listed the biggest challenges I faced in the blog post. All of them were my own mental blocks. As much as it looks simple, it is very difficult to gather all of one’s courage to do what one wants to do. Convincing the family was another challenge. For me it was important that my family atleast understands that I want to do this ( not necessarily why I want to do this ).

      W.r.t. conflicting interests, I have just stepped into consulting. So, I can answer your questions w.r.t. coaching which I have been for a few years now. There is no definite answer except one – I was very clear about the value that I can deliver or can not as well as the value that I want to deliver. Typically the coverage of contents would be sorted out through the course of various meetings/calls where such conflicts would be sorted out. Consulting is a more complex area to handle than coaching. I’m looking forward to knowing how I handle conflicts pf interest.

      I’m just about 10 days old into independent consulting , so it’s too early to comment on workload. I did my first assignment in my first week itself. I’m doing one this week. Then there are things in pipeline. I have taken this step so I can spend 40-50% of my time on studying and experimenting new stuff to build more value into my consulting and coaching services. I don’t know how much work is going to come. From my side, I would not commit to more than 50% of work time. Atleast now that’s what I think.

      As far as Indian community is concerned, I’m happy to observe that many people are appreciating my move and have come forward with proposals for associating with me. Also, when I go into meetings, I’m treated with respect. What more do I expect? So, my experience with the Indian industry has been great so far. I understand that there aren’t many companies who are thinking about engaging independent consultants. But should I worry about that? Can I work for them all anyways? I am not focusing on volume of work as of now. I’m focusing on doing a controlled volume of work and delivering my best. People who engage me are served well, so they engage me again if the need arises.

      In my opinion an independent test consultant should be very skilled in whatever areas s/he is offering services. S/he should also possess very good communication and people skills. I don’t consider the latter as management skills, rather skills every consultant should have ( FYI, I by choice never pursued a management track in my career ).

      W.r.t. learning, there are multiple ways. I have spent last 7 years on learning various areas of software testing bsed on self study and experimentation. I chose my jobs carefully. Within a company as well, I always tried to get good work. When it wasn’t a possibility, I created work fro myself, did PoCs, got permission from management to work on them etc. Trainings is another way if the coach is great. There are also several resources available on the web – blogs, books, online videos. The opportunities are endless.

      I hope I answered your questions.

  25. harsha girimaji

    Very interesting. My best wishes for a eventful career.

  26. Mallikarjuna Y C

    @Rahul Verma

    Thanks for the reply and you have addresses all my questions. All the best for an eventful career.

  27. Ramanjaneyulu Narra

    Hi Rahul,

    Got to this thread from Facebook and spent at least an hour in reading through various contents. I still remember the image of a group of dogs and the questioning dog :). I am glad that you agreed me as a “disagree bird”.
    The line “If you cannot try what you wanted to, it is a failure” has a great instant impact on me.

    Hope to see many more Independent Consultants (including me, but not so early though) and you being the coach for all such consultants.

    I am proud to say that I have worked with you.

    Wishing you all the very best for all future endeavors — Anji

    • Rahul Verma

      Hi Anji,

      Thanks for coming by and leaving your response.

      I’m proud too, to have worked with you. I quote about you a lot of times. I remember that in the very initial stages, you had communication issues. You took that as a challenge and you set an example of good communication for others. You applied the same trick to technical areas. I still remember you as a patient ,humble and an ever-smiling individual, three great qualities any human should have.

      I hope to work again with you in whatever way. Let’s keep in touch.

  28. Lokesh K

    Congratulations Rahul! And my best wishes for your success……

    • Rahul Verma

      @Lokesh, Thanks for the good wishes.

  29. Bineet Bohidar

    Rahul,

    Everybody is wishing you ‘all the best’ not just for the sake of wishing, all of them wishing you from the bottom of the heart. It’s because everybody respect you as a person and I am not the exception. In my opinion it is difficult to be a good person rather than a successful person. This particular article is really awesome and it provides some strong positive messages to the readers. Wishing you all the very best for an eventful and successful future.

    Thanks
    Bineet

  30. Rahul Verma

    @Bineet,

    I’d remember your words that it is important to be a good person rather than being successful, although being both is what one desires.

    There were many points in my career/life, some of which happened this year itself, that I had to choose between ethics and a great opportunity. I chose ethics every time. But in my dark moments, when the devil takes over, I was thinking whether my approach is correct.

    Having moved to independent consulting, in the absence of a regular income, these dark moments are happening more frequently than earlier. I need to be as ethical as ever during this time, otherwise I never was. I’ve realized that only during tough times, one discovers his/her true self.

    It is indeed important to be a good person, else the life is meaningless and the success is hollow.

    Having followed this path, I have some great well-wishers like yourself. It’s worth being what I am.

    Regards,
    Rahul

  31. Ritu Sati

    Hi Rahul,
    I was also part of McAfee and attended few presentation from you. I really appreciate your testing knowledge & Concepts.

    Best Wishes .. I know you will surely get success ..

    Few inspirational words from Harivansh Rai Bachchan :
    Koshish karne waalo ki kabhi haar nahi hoti..
    Lehron se dar kar nauka paar nahi hoti…..

    Regards,
    Ritu Sati

  32. Rahul Verma

    @Ritu,

    Working at McAfee was a great experience for me. I’m very happy to hear that you attended my presentations and you liked what you attended.

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful piece of inspirational poetry. May your wishes come true!

    Regards,
    Rahul

  33. srinivas kadiyala (skc)

    Hi sir,

    After u said to read this page yesterday: I have read this article for 1 hour and found ur approach is same as exactly by me..I love to learn-practise-perform using Hands-on and which helps to understand the concepts easily.
    You are inspirational to many young folks who come as freshers.

    I want to make my career life better as taking your life as inspirational.

  34. Rahul Verma

    @Srinivas,

    It was nice talking to you. I hope that with our yesterday’s chat and this blog post, your queries about software testing as a profession would have been clarified.

    Your testing career would grow as far as you want it to be. Simple.

    I remember when after my mechanical engineering, I entered into IT, one of the college professors told my mother that non-CS/EE guys would be soon thrown out of the companies.

    That was about 10 years back!

    Do not seek opinion about software testing from people who don’t know about it or while still being testers have never been passionate about it.

    You are a fresher into software testing. Now is the time when you decide whether you want to be a software tester or not. Whatever you choose to be, give your best!

  35. vinodh

    Hi,
    I read this long writeup. Its particularly useful for developers like me who is thinking (but postponing endlessly) of becoming independent software developer. That’s fearsome as I find it difficult to get atleast a paying client. I am a java web developer for past 15 years.Do you get paying clients/continuous gigs thru this blog or other means.pls reply.
    regards
    vinodh

    • Rahul Verma

      Hi Vinodh,

      This website was started as a learning exercise 6+ years back to express my opinions on testing and record what I learn. I had no intention of become a consultant back in 2005.

      Getting clients has not been easy and it’s something that still consumes a lot of time and energy. Testing Perspective definitely has helped me in becoming known in some circles, presentations in conferences helped further and conducting technical workshops was great too — all of this during my employment. This was the best career investment I ever made, which started unknowingly, but when I understood its value, I focused more and more on the same. Check my blog post on May 11, 2009: Are you a brand?: http://www.testingperspective.com/?p=144 . You would get a feel of the constant introspection I have gone through and it continues till date.

      There is no sure shot way of getting clients/projects known to me, I just focus on learning and demonstrating.

      All the best! Every entrepreneur has his own journey because we all live in our own circumstances. Take the risk when you can. Experience-wise, irrespective of the results, it would be rich and fulfilling.

      Regards,
      Rahul

  36. Goutam

    Hi Rahul,
    Entered your PERSPECTIVE through Pradeep’s blog. You both inspired me a lot. I had this thing in my mind for a very long time to be an independent TEST CONSULTANT. But was not sure how to get started. I do have 5+ years of exp as QA Engg in an MNC. Does it take years of experience to become one? or its purely on knowledge and skills?? still confused. And can you elaborate on your comments to Mr. Mallikarjun as “In my opinion an independent test consultant should be very skilled in whatever areas s/he is offering services.” ? Does AREAS mean domains?? OOPS.. think am asking lots n lots of ???????.

    • Rahul Verma

      Hi Goutam,

      Consulting is more about branding – recognition in the services that you are offering. Skills in my opinion are not about years, but industry takes consultants with more years of experience more seriously. You can help in changing this perspective with your work, I try that too.

      Your service areas are defined by you. It is a question you should ask yourself. When I mentioned areas in my comment, I meant Functional/Performance/Security and so on w.r.t. testing of quality areas/attributes. Another way of looking at it could be technology perspective (mobile/web/client-server) etc. Still another way could be from business domain perspective. There could be more perspective.

      So, my suggestion is that you go through a questioning exercise with yourself and start off with something. It is both a tough and fulfilling journey. You must experience it first hand to know how it treats you – everyone’s story is different.

  37. Mala

    Hi
    Although I do not know anything about software testing, I really enjoyed reading the account of your journey. Just wanted to share this.

  38. Priya.S

    Hi Rahul,

    I am glad to read this. As a QA person, I met lot of colleagues and friends who are all in the same domain for more than 7 years. But a passion and more than just interest in the field, I am finding a word to call the kind of dedication that you have towards it. To become a independent test consultant, is that enough with complete knowledge of manual testing and backend knowledge or the automation skills are mandatory?

  39. Kart

    Hi Rahul, Nice to see your bold move and I was thinking of taking up similar independent consulting roles in testing and product development. As a QA with 10 years experience, I would like to know how to get clients in this space for consulting. Would you be able to help ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *