There are several large service based companies operating in more than 25 countries, providing good compensation for lateral hires, diversified in all the technologies. So was the one which I had joined recently with the motive of good career growth, getting exposure and learning different domains within the company, good brand and of-course good pay.
I am sure many would agree with the points that I mentioned above.
But let's look at the scenarios which I came across during my tenure in THAT company
1. Routine processes - which are rarely used
A usual problem with CMM level-5 rated companies. Thousands of people certified from an international institute come together to put forth a model ( I would call it a Rule) in order to help the employees to progress in the projects undertaken. But how far it would take us to realize that those very same models are hindering the minds of many to think beyond the boundaries of the framework designed. This is even when people were made to work under a hectic schedule and not given the chance to think beyond it.
2. An openly available knowledge bank but rarely provided access
Training programs, online knowledge banks, discussion forums, libraries are the options that would be offered to anyone who joins such a company coupled with project schedules, preparation of reports, onsite calls during odd hours of the day ( to sync with their timezone) sparing no weekends on few occasions.
3. A highly certified (PMP) manager who always dances to the tunes of the onsite manager
No matter how qualified you are or how highly valued your international certification is, - Its of no use to you while you are speaking to the onsite manager. A manager turns out to be a damager to the team when onsite team provides negative feedback.
4. A clerical job rather than a testers'
More time was spent on changing the english grammer and texts according to the needs of the onsite team rather than coming up with new scenarios. Test cases were expected as a single user flow which just becomes a manual or a demo guide.
"So whats big deal ha !!! ? A model/rule, time constraints to learn, typical manager and a boring job this exists in all large organisations and we should adapt to it ... "
Are you telling me you need to be a cog in a machine to be successful?
I did not want to adapt. I wanted to enact. Enact how such processes, rules, instructions will make me more of a factory worker out of me. Well, I tried. Here's my story.
Me: I understand I am in a project but the work load is low. Will I be able to attend training for a day which would be helpful to me?
Project Manger: No. You are being billed for current project duration, we will lose money if you attend the training during this period.
Me: I think we should not be writing just end to end flows, but also think about new scenarios which would help us uncover more bugs.
Team Lead: Yes I understand that; the onsite team wants it this way and we have been following for an year now. In fact, customers would need these scripts for UAT.
Onsite Manager: While I was giving a demo to client, there were some junk data in the application on test server which has upset the client.
Project Manager (Offshore): We are sorry for what happened, it's a mistake from our side and we apologize for it.
--- There was a team meeting arranged to discuss this incident
Project Manager: We must not be entering junk values in application, What happened is really bad. This is not what is expected from an experienced tester.
Me: Dear PM, the data which was entered in the application was to test the behavior of the application and that too was on a test server. Moroever, demo was given to a client on the test server without prior notification to testers. There was no check done for the data present on the server before the demo. Is this something that can be expected from the onsite manager?
Project Manager: No! They have paid for the server and they have the privilege to get a demo anytime.