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>> No. 14035 Anonymous
17th September 2021
Friday 2:36 pm
14035 IT Career Guidance
I feel lost as to where to go in my career. I don't enjoy what I do and I've amassed what seems to be a quite mismatched skillset that I don't know how to employ.

I currently work as a QA Tester and have done for nearing 3 years. I was late to university as I was very sick for my early 20s, then did a computer science degree and joined a 2 year grad scheme which at the exact end of the scheme and mid pandemic, made every single QA person redundant. I've since joined another company as a tester but frankly its far less interesting/technical work than I was doing and is mind-numbingly boring and simple (almost entirely manual). I knew what I was getting into but needed the pay to survive.

Is there such thing as a proper IT career guidance counsellor?

I think I know the landscape of where I can go test wise quite well. For more interesting and future proofed work it would be to go full force into test automation, automation engineering, a dev-ops type role, or maybe even a developer role. I hate the idea of becoming a manager and I don't think a full time programming role is for me either. But outside of test, I really don't know what I can work towards.

And like I said, my skillset seems pretty all over the shop. In part because I find a lot of things interesting and go and down my own research/play about. In nearly all of these I have the basics down and no more:

Manual test experience and HP ALM/QC , Azure DevOps.
Bash scripting.
Unix system architecture.
Azure DevOps
Gherkin .
Selenium automation.
API testing via SoapUI .
Docker basics.
Mobile Network Architecture and some protocols (SIP)
Packet tracing(wireshark).
I can talk to people like a human.

AWS Cloud Practitioner (a basically useless business person cert)

There are more things, and I genuinely feel like I pick up new things quite well, I'm just basically overwhelmed with how much there is out there, in terms of job titles, technologies, career paths.
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>> No. 14036 Anonymous
17th September 2021
Friday 2:47 pm
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You have some themes there - firstly, QA or tester is an outdated concept and most development teams I know of are getting rid of those roles. The modern vernacular is SDET - it's more towards a developer, uses more automation and scripting, and is far less tick-box, regression testing-type environments - those old fashioned approaches don't really work when you're trying to release software ten times per day. The important part is that we see SDETs as equal engineers to those writing the software, or running the platform.


It's normal to feel overwhelmed with all the career choices and paths - I've done it for over thirty years, you have to accept that you will need to reinvent or learn new skills or approaches about every five, and often throw away some of the ideas and things you've learned in the past.

If you want to see the really stressed people, go and talk to the sysadmins who haven't yet got DevOps skills; many of those roles are rapidly dying - technology eats its own first.
>> No. 14050 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 9:31 pm
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Thanks for your insight. To be honest a DevOps role is something I've had my eye on. Not just for the pay but because as said, my role as a (mostly) manual tester is rote by nature, boring and stagnant. Do you have any advice please for someone with my skillset (or lack thereof) in pursuing a devops career?

It feels incredibly daunting, but on places like reddit I'm seeing people 'go from qa to devops in a year' so it can't be impossible...
>> No. 14051 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 10:10 pm
14051 spacer
I can help with that; my job title is Head of DevOps for a big organisation.

1. Learn to script - python is great. You need to be able to automate almost anything you used to do on a command line. I can recommend educative.io

2. Do cloud stuff in your spare time. Get both the basic AWS and Azure accounts. Learn how to deploy a basic Windows and Linux server - then do it purely via code. You'll want to learn Terraform as it's almost an industry standard now, but Pulumi is also being strongly adopted. AWS is still way better than Azure and used in more companies, but in the beginning that matters less.

3. Learn how to build pipelines and run CI/CD toolchains - again, you can do this in Azure DevOps or AWS CodePipeline.

4. Learn to Docker and Kubernetes.
>> No. 14052 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 10:29 pm
14052 spacer
There's lucky that the other two of you work in incredibly relevant roles.

Thanks a lot for the help, really appreciate it. It feels good to have point 1, mostly, down already. I also have the AWS Cloud Practitioner although that's quite the meme cert I'm aware.

One question; I was told there is no such thing as a 'junior' dev-ops engineer, as the field itself requires a level of knowledge that a typical junior XYZ wouldn't have yet. Is that true? Or are there some forgiving entry level devops roles?
>> No. 14053 Anonymous
19th September 2021
Sunday 6:06 am
14053 spacer
Just a tiny question: what's the diffrerence between sys admin, DevOps and SRE in your mind?
>> No. 14054 Anonymous
19th September 2021
Sunday 6:42 am
14054 spacer
Version 0. System Administration
Version 1. DevOps
Version 2. DevSecOps
Version 3. Site Reliabilty Engineering

I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that SRE is a better practice than DevOps, because it is very well defined - there is an actual book and set of definitions - Google have done a superb job with it. There are huge overlap in the ideas - SRE is an instance of DevOps.

SRE solves some of the problems that people have conceptually when they encounter DevOps ideas for the first time. Most advanced technology organisations who have adopted DevOps principles have seen the issues around information security (and have therefore adopted a more DevSecOps mindset) and are rapidly moving toward SRE, because operationally it is better.

So to answer your question precisely - it's a progession and it's somewhat difficult to skip the stages. If you know nothing about the challenges around development and system administration, then you're unlikely to appreciate DevOps. If you haven't done DevOps, then you're unlikely to appreciate why you want to quickly get to DevSecOps. If you haven't seen any of these challenges in a production environment, then SRE will seem quite academic.

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