So you want to be a software test manager and are wondering about your decision?

There are plenty of ways to become a software test manager. If you ask current test managers how they got there, these are some of the answers you may get:

  • Traditional: They started as a tester; became a test lead and ultimately a manager.
  • They were a lead in some other area and a managerial role opened up which they took.
  • They have no background at all in any sort of role but were seconded to a Test Manger Role.
  • It is part of the career path (particularly applicable to larger organisations).

Regardless of which path you used to get to Software Test Manager there are several common aspects once you are there:

  • Metrics are crucial at both the department and project level.
  • Much of the management is similar to other management roles.
  • Be prepared to communicate a lot and to explain over and over again why things are being done in a particular way.

There is a lot of conferences, user groups or LinkedIn groups that cater to Test Management. One of the better known ones is the QUEST Test Manager’s Workshop.

Due to ongoing evolution, it is critical not to lose your technical edge even as a manager. If you find yourself looking for a job later, it is helpful to be current with at least some aspects of technology. While it may not be an immediate concern it will certainly help..

Some companies will provide career paths for personal and technical development and improvement.

Make sure to join LinkedIn Groups and your local Quality Assurance group. These are great options for networking and finding out other information. Take a look also at straight management groups whether related to testing or not. They have lots of information for you.