Should I change from .NET to Testing

By prajo77 prajo77 Points: 0 | Level: Starter | Status: [Member]
Posted on: 3/6/2010 1:31:06 AM | Views: 5887
I have a real hardship in choosing my career path. Don't know whether I should be doing course on .NET or should I be learning automation tools. confused between Development orTesting?

I have 3 years of experience in IT industry. In this 3 years I have worked in a maintenance project which was on .NET 1.1 . Then worked on support which was mostly mail support, answering questions for the newly developed controls (microsoft mediaroom specific). currently into POC development for the same mediaroom. I don't see any future with the current POC development.
Now as I have not even worked in a single development project, I have lost all the confidence when it comes to applying for a job change. as my skill set is not uptodate with the current .net market level.

As microsoft keeps on releasing versions of .NET (which of course is good).

Should I be changing to Automation testing as I feelto update my skill set

Sainath's Advice on Sunday, March 07, 2010 :

In a way you have answered the question yourself - no matter which area you choose (development or testing) you will need to build your skills rigorously. And developing skills involves being hungry to learn and master new technologies which hit the market and understanding their relevance - how they are changing how things are done.

Development or testing - you will need to create your own opportunities when it comes to gaining experience in relevant areas. At this point, the market requirement for a dotnet professional may look like a huge mountain to you, but you need to target 1 thing at a time (prioritize by highest valued market skill) and gradually build yourself. This is a process, you will need to be consistent and there are no overnight successes. Confidence grows in stages - once you start building your skills, gradually your confidence will go up.

Most importantly - ask yourself where your true skills and abilities lie - do you have the ability to become a good developer ? or do you see yourself as a good tester?  Which area interests you more - changing directions on the basis of market forces will not help you in the long run. Take 1 decision, take some small steps - just learn 1 new skill and your entire attitude and focus will change, just ensure you learn something everyday and within 3-6 months you will be asking a different question on the career forum.

The below links of previously answered questions should also help you:

"The big secret in life is that there is no secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work. It is called massive action. Action is the gas in the tank. Without it, the car will not run."

Marcy Blochowiak


Sainath Sherigar,

Prajo77 said on Monday, March 08, 2010

Dear Sainath,

Thank you for the valuble response.

I thought learning testing would be easy task when compared to .Net (2:8).

Basically I am good with the logical thinking because when my PM talks about some POC I understand the requirement and quickly respond with the solution.

though I am working in a MNC, I am not satisfied with the project I am assigned and my SPM is not willing to release me, and my HR/PM is asking me to lookout for other company as this the only option I am left with.

But for continuing with .NET I am confused as I don't know what should I be updating. Earlier it was only ASP.NET 1.1, C#, Java Script, Webservices, SQL Server.

But now it is

.NET Framework 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 & 4.0
ASP.NET 2.0/3.5/4.0 + C#
SQL Server 2005/2008

Now my question in the skill set is:

1. Should I go with the.NET Framework 3.5, as it must be having 2.0 + additional features. (4.0 is still in Beta stage)
2. Will it be enough if I do certification on .NET 3.5 and not do any projects on it.
3. While learning we will come to know about a concept/control. but how will we come to know where/when/how to use the concept until we are in a real time project.
4. Does all the companies use WPF & WCF, silverlight and Sharepoint.

Hope I am not bothering the panel too much with the questions. I need guidance and this is going to be a big task as my future depends upon the step I am taking now.


Sainath's Advice on Monday, March 22, 2010 :
Firstly, what you are experiencing is a sense of overwhelm when you see this huge list of technologies. This is natural, for any person, but the problem is that it leads to zero action and paralysis. Scattered attention will give poor results, whereas focussed effort with clear targets will give supreme results. From what you have stated, it is clear that your goal is to enter a good project and gain quality experience. Think logically, what would the current employer or a prospective employer look for in a potential developer for a project?

Whenever we interview potential candidates, we are not looking for the best employee who knows everything. Such candidates do not exist. Usually it is a case of identifying strengths, identifying weaknesses, mapping this to the project requirements,etc. Finally, a call is taken to come to a conclusion whether the candidate has the ability to learn / upgrade based on the demands of the project. If all this is fine - the candidate is offered the job. For example, if I was interviewing you, I would not ask you the definitions of inheritance, encapsulation, etc. Rather, I would throw a banking scenario at you and ask you to identify the classes, inheritance chain,etc. I would be more interested in knowing what part of the programming logic would you place in which tier. In a nutshell, practical application of the concept  is more important than the conceptual text definition. This can only come from real project experience. Check out the link below to gain real project understanding.

To work in a real project, you need to be strong in the foll. areas:

RDBMS - I would recommend you opt for SQL 2008 now.

Visual Studio 2010 (.Net 4.0)  is due to be released in April 2010.At the current rate, Microsoft may release VS 2012 in another 2 years. So if you calculate, you have very less time to upgrade, and it makes sense to target the latest versions, with a little adjustment, you should be able to handle older versions as well.

Once you are  reasonably good at this, you can start targeting individual, specialized technologies one by one.Rome was not built in a day, so be patient, but let learning become part of your daily, deliberate action. Just ensure that your CV undergoes a significant change every 3-6 months. You will eventually get a good project break.

Assuming you are already good at the fundamentals, let's say you target Silverlight as the next technology to be mastered. Have a proper plan in place before commencing the action. Pick up  a reference book on Silverlight - it has 15 chapters on the subject. Make a realistic estimate of  how  many hours of effort are required to study and master it. Assuming that you  need an average of 5 hours per  chapter (this is hypothetical, will vary from person to person), total time needed = 75 hours. Now calculate the number of hours you can devote to this  everyday.Let's assume that from Monday to Friday you can give 1 hour daily and on Saturdays and Sundays 9 hours per day. In a week the total time you  can commit is 23 hrs, which means that you can complete learning Silverlight in 3 weeks - maximum 1 month based on how  disciplined and  consistent you are.Prepare a written schedule of your plan putting in dates and targeted topics. This schedule will help you to discipline yourself.Please check the link below - will give you an idea of how to plan your preparations although the subject being studied is different -  the method/principle is the same.

At this rate,if you are able to learn 4 new tecnologies in a year, it is good enough.

"By the yard it's hard, but inch by inch, anything's a cinch."
    - Brian Tracy

To answer your specific questions,

1. Should I go with the.NET Framework 3.5, as it must be having 2.0 + additional features. (4.0 is still in Beta stage) - go for 3.5 / 4.0
2. Will it be enough if I do certification on .NET 3.5 and not do any projects on it. - No, certification will give you some degree of knowledge but for converting the same knowledge into skill you need to work in real projects.
3. While learning we will come to know about a concept/control. but how will we come to know where/when/how to use the concept until we are in a real time project. -  practical understanding is a must, you need to work on practice projeects
4. Does all the companies use WPF & WCF, silverlight and Sharepoint.- not necessarily, it mainly depends upon what are their needs / requirements.


Sainath Sherigar,

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