Let’s welcome our guest Aishwarya V from India. She will tell us about her journey being a freelance tester.
Hope it will inspire a lot of you who are looking for some advice to start their freelance experience in the testing industry, especially in this critical time when most IT people are working from home.
- Introduce yourself:
I’m Aishwarya V, basically from New Delhi, India, presently residing in Bangalore, India for my education purposes.
I am pursuing my second year engineering in Information Technology.
I have been a freelance tester for 5 years, a Test Team Lead for 3 years and achieved the gold rating in this field last year. I work for various fortune 500 companies and give out usability suggestions for developing their websites.
My hobbies include dancing, singing and reading books.
- Tell us about your experience, background? How did you start your journey as a tester? and what was your experience being a freelancer in this field?
I was in my 10th grade when my sister joined as a freelance tester with many websites. Later, she moved away from it but I picked up the flow and started learning about testing. Although there was no one to guide me, I had to start everything from scratch and learnt all about software testing, automation testing, agile testing, API testing with the help of google and other resources available on the internet.
Being a software tester feels amazing. The happiness when you find a bug or your reported issues get approved is something next level. I have learnt a lot of things in my 5 years of testing journey. Initially, it was tough but I did it 🙂
- Do you recommend Freelance as a full-time position or it could be another source of revenue for testers?
I have lots of friends who are full-time freelancers and earn enough , sometimes even more than what the IT industry could offer as a full time employee.
It totally depends on your skills, your experience and your determination to work in the freelancing field. It isn’t easy but it isn’t tough either 😉 If you are earning enough from your primary job, you can consider freelancing as a side income.
- In case it’s an extra revenue, how testers could manage their time to do both jobs in parallel?
I am a second-year student pursuing my engineering in IT field. I manage my studies as well as my work. I have lots of friends who work full time in companies and work as a freelance tester during their free time. They utilize weekends, holidays to earn an extra income. Instead of spending time on social media, they prefer testing 🙂
- How do you stay motivated while working in a team that you don’t know in person?
I am an extrovert and can initiate a conversation with anyone, anywhere! I can’t deny that yes it feels a little difficult initially to understand a person, especially who is from another region and speaks a different language. But we all should remember that after all, they are human beings and they are testers too and we all are like minded people.
Once we start exchanging our views or knowledge in testing, we become a family!! 🙂
- Being a freelance tester, is it better to stay on the technical axis or management side?
Without technical knowledge, it would be very difficult to excel in this field as the competition is rising day by day. I see thousands of testers join the testing platforms on a daily basis and we can only sustain here if we’ve technical knowledge. At the same time, we can’t ignore our management skills too. I am a QA engineer and I know how difficult it could get if I didn’t have management skills and if you can’t manage a team then technical knowledge is of no use. Hence, I feel that a balance of technical skills and management skills= perfect tester 🙂
- When you are a test manager and you want to work as a freelancer, is it harder than just a QA engineer?
If the freelance companies are recruiting for the test manager position and if you have required knowledge and experience for it, you may apply for the post. The task comparatively is flexible and easier and the role of the project manager here will be no different to the project managers working for a IT company. They’ll have to interact with the customers directly. The official conversation happens in Slack and the meetings are usually held via Skype or Google meet. The customer puts forward his requirements by sharing his monitor screen and explains each and every requirement. The recording is then shared to the managers for future perusal.
- Is the contract with the project or full time with the company? which one do you recommend?
It depends on the projects. The projects are usually launched on a weekly basis after weekly updates received from the customers’ side and we need to test them. There are many projects we get on a daily basis. It totally depends on you whether you want to take up the project or decline it ( if you don’t have time or have prior commitments).
- What advice do you give for both junior or senior testers who want to start their freelance journey?
Initially, it will be very difficult and you’ll earn very little. But once you get a hang of it and spend more time, you’ll start earning. I always say- “If we focus on learning and gain knowledge, earnings will automatically come to you”. Even if you face rejections or if you don’t find a bug in a project, do not give up 🙂 Just give your best in every project!!
There are many websites like:
- Digivante- https://www.digivante.com/
- uTest- https://www.utest.com/
- Testerwork- https://testerwork.com/
- TestIO- https://test.io/
- Crowdsprint- https://crowdsprint.com/
I started my journey as a freelance tester with Digivante (then Bugfinders) and I suggest everyone to start their freelance career with the same 🙂
How do you see your career growth as a freelancer tester?
I am learning something new every day and I know once I complete my graduation I will have the ability to start my own company, mostly a freelance testing company as I want to educate and encourage people about the field. There are lots of dreams to be fulfilled and being a freelance tester will surely have a major impact on my future career which will indirectly help me fulfill my goals 🙂
- How are you being supported?
My family has always supported me to continue my freelance journey.. My mom is the happiest whenever I receive my payment. The happiness on her face when she tells other people about my work cannot be compared to any happiness in this world. My friends have also played a huge role. There have been times where I work under pressure and get demotivated. They are the people who give me the strength to tackle the pressure and work better.
- What’s the coolest thing you’ve done with your earnings?
I support my family and help them with whatever I can. I save money for paying up my university fees and do a bit of charity. Currently, I am saving money for my sister’s wedding scheduled for August this year 🙂
- Any other thing you want to share?
There are many people out there who don’t know about freelance testing or leave the job before they even try. Initially, it is difficult I agree. But once you get experience in this field, no one can stop you from excelling! Prepare a list of goals and work towards it and don’t stop until you achieve it.
At times, people start working overtime which is also not good. You will earn a lot during this time, but in the longer run, it’ll adversely affect your health. Spend time with your family and take frequent breaks. Only accept work and projects if you are ready to work on them. Don’t overburden yourself. Meditate. Breathe. Have confidence and give your best! 🙂
You can DO it!
Thank you so much Aishwarya for the very interesting interview, I’m really pleased to start those interviews with you !
I’m sure it will inspire lots of testers to work as freelancers in the future !