Within many companies (those worth their salt) you will find a clear path of progression, a path that has been planned out and proven. That’s brilliant, and if you work for such a company, well done, don’t waste the opportunities that are put before you.
These paths are not always funded literally, you won’t always get to go off on conferences, training courses and the like. Especially now where many company budgets are tight in the current economic climate.
But my advice is this, do not rely solely on the good will of your company. Take responsibility for your own development.
I have been an IT professional since 1999 across a variety of industry sectors and companies. In all that time, I have understood that I need to be passionate about my career. If I like my career then I need to invest in myself, regardless of what a company can offer me in training, I am a tester…I need to master my craft.
While a company might provide training, this is typically only if it has at best mutual benefit. At worst it only benefits the company (although very rare). But that’s only going to provide a snapshot of the wealth of information out there. Your company may only test A & B type project, so any training will be tailored to that goal…but what about the X, Y and Z projects…what about the skills needed for that?
If you are a tester, if this is your chosen career, take it seriously. You must take responsibility for your personal development. Testing is a vast subject, it touches on the technical, the psychological and the logical. The potential for learning is huge, so reach out and get stuck in…grab your personal development by the horns and make it work.
I personally hook up with like minded individuals, and use social media to learn interact and ask questions. You can visit Ministry of Testing to get started, you might also like this post.