From Software Testing to Project Management

Filed under Career | Posted by PMStudent

I recently received an email from a member of the pmStudent community and wanted to share the essence of it with you today.? If you have some thoughts to add or other comments, please leave them below!

Situation

Questions

  • by Eleaf via Flickr

    by Eleaf via Flickr

    I understand experience is the most important in PM…but how do I get experience when I’m testing software?

  • Should I do an MBA?
  • How many years of experience is required generally to be a Software Project Manager? And from which background they come from – development/test/doc/sales…..also do u think being in test is a disadvantage?

My Response

What kind of relationship do you have with your project manager and/or other project managers in your organization? You need to be reaching out to them volunteering to help them wherever you can. Help them do things even if you are not really learning directly from the experience…the important thing is that everyone knows you are interested in being a PM and they see you making a concerted effort to learn and make their jobs easier in the process.

People like to mentor too, so play the student card and you’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you. You could put together a list of questions and offer to buy lunch for someone so you can tap into their knowledge and experience. Most people are flattered by this attention.

I don’t necessarily think the MBA is required, unless you really feel it’s critical in your situation. You’ve got some technical background and probably enough of that already for an entry-level software PM.

At this point it’s all about 1) making opportunities for yourself to learn on the job and 2) building your network and reputation so that hiring managers think of you first before they even post a new position.

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