How to become Test Lead - Moving from Tester to Lead

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Moving to Test Lead role - Skills and Technologies 

If you are an experienced tester and looking to move to next level as Lead of testing then you should consider to develop skills and expertise on your part which will qualify you for the next level. Your organization or your manager will expect some of the basic skills required for Lead role.

 

  • Resource management - making sure that all of your team members have sufficient work to cover without overloading them.
  • Mentoring - guiding your team members and helping to improve their skills.
  • Performance Evaluation - assessing how well your team members are doing, rating them and suggesting required hikes.
  • You are a bridge between your management and your team. If there is any heat coming down from management you will have to absorb that and not pass it on to your team. This way your team can get on with their jobs. On the other side your will have to simplify and summarize your testing team's outcomes to your management. Management does not need to know everything, they need a lead who can summarize and convey things in a concise manner.
  • Guide to your Team - When your team member needs help, whom will they approach. You are the first point of contact and you must make sure you are able to answer and give the required resources to your team.
  • Team productivity  -  A good leader will be able to manage the team such that its highly productive. It may mean giving them the required TOOLS for the job, arranging communication channels and optimum communciaiton , test hardware, automation systems, and in some cases a complete dedicated test subnet.Having said this, you dont need to do it all by yourself, but you will have to be the engine which gets these things done

​On a personal level you will need following:

  • Self Organized and planning work.  Assign tasks with clarity , your team member should know exactly what is required to complete the task. 
  • Raise testing standards by experimenting new processes/Adopting new Tools. Taking calculated risks and delivers products meeting quality bar
  • Awareness of Test Automation Framework Design and Development 
  • Sound Technical Skills, Selfless, Volunteers/mentors team in terms of process/sharing best practices
  • Good Listener, Actively involves/drives meaningful discussions and implements best practices
  • Roll up your sleeves and help out whenever you can. This will raise morale, build a mutual respect between you and your team members, keep your skills and domain knowledge sharp, and help your team feel like you will do anything to support them, including getting down in the trenches with them. Not doing this can make you seem disconnected, or not supportive.
  • Seek input and consensus. There is no need to mico manage as long as they give you end result. Offer ideas, discuss their ideas, but ultimately let them own the implementation of getting to that result. Don't be afraid to get involved from a time management perspective, and to point out flaws in a constructive way, but also don't force a solution on them. In the case of different opinions on the team, be the tie-breaker, but be diplomatic and give some logical explanation for your decision.
  • Praise your team. This one seems self explanatory, but is so often overlooked. A simple thank you, or great work, or awesome job can go a long ways towards keeping people happy and motivated.
  • Recognize and promote your team. Do not take credit for what your team does, be humble and give credit by name where credit is due. Your team will love you, and your manager and upper management will love you.

Above points forms the basics of moving into a test lead role, but it applies for any one who wants to move from an individual performer to lead role. Hope these points help.