Author Archives: Talented Tester Support
Author Archives: Talented Tester Support
It was a long drive, I finanly got out of my 8 year old car, happy that it got me to the interview on time and in one piece. This was my first interview as a contractor and I had no idea what to expect, let alone how much I am worth.
2 days later, I got a call back saying they like me, and want to over me a 3 month contract. The next question was, "what is your rate?".
In all honesty I had no idea what to say, the agent gave me a typical range, and I decided to say somewhere in the middle. He said fine all to quickly, meaning he was happy because he got me at a rate that was lower than he was expcting.
If I was to do that again, after the years of experience I have now, I would have taken time to research the market and see my market rate. Once I established that, considering I was new to contracting, I would have pitched myself close to that.
Once you are established, you can obvioulsly go higher based on your skills and how closely it matches the role. The reality is, if the company has spent money on interviewing you, and made you an offer, they want to land you as soon as possible. Finding a good candidate is time consuming and costly for them, remember that.
Other things to consider before you make the plunge:
Being an IT contractor means you are self-employed. Have you ever come across the term IR35? If no, then it is high time you know what it is in order to
prosper in this field. Paying taxes is very important. Whether one is employed
or works as self-proprietor.
IR35 was designed to ensure that those working as self-employed do not evade paying taxes. The IR35 applies to limited companies and those who offer their services by the use of broker or middlemen.
The emergence of disguised employment by most of the organization led to the creation of ir35. Disguised employment is where a company employee works on a contract with the company by the use of the middlemen.
As an IT contractor. Knowledge of IR35 is vital as it brings to your mind that you will never evade taxes. By not evading taxes, you have to set your rates having at the back your mind that what you have set will sustain you after the tax-man has gone with his share.
After discussing IR35 brings me to another important question that a lot of new contractors ask, How can l increase my rates?
Increasing your rates as an IT contractor is important to maximising your potential income. Two factors should come into your mind when thinking of how to maximize your potential income.
First, it is important to understand the factors influencing the demand for your services.
Second, what is your personal potential to command a higher rate? This is based on the value you bring to the game.
Let us begin by looking at these factors :
After knowing some of the things to bare at the back of your mind on increasing the rate. Another vital question arises, as an IT contractor. Your work basically is based on contract. No permanent employment.
You may sign a contract with a given company. Start working, in the due working process or after the end of your contract, the company management may be impressed with your work. They may decide to prolong your task. This is what referred to as a contract extension. It entails extending your end date to secure more work.
In my experience I have known some contractors working at companies, on contract, longer than the employees, so it can be good practice to keep the client sweet to secure more work.
Working hard, receiving good recommendations from various people and contract extensions from various companies. is a sign of a positive growth, more cash is flowing into your business.
With the steady inflow of money into your business. There may be a need to employ someone who will help you in the management of your cash.
In my opinion, an accountant is best practise, it will save you a lot of headache and they can help you identify things that you may have overlooked.
Being a freelance or a self-employed person. The question, do contractors get raise? May sound ambiguous. Why? Because you are not permanently employed by someone.
But my answer is yes. But it really is in the form of rate increases, typically negotiated on an extension (see above).
Knowing how much to charge is just one part of the puzzle, understanding how to to structure your business, claim expenses, growing and retain your income are also important parts to master with the right knowledge and experience of contracting.
Once you master what to charge, the next challenge is understating how to negotiate a rate increase.
You may believe that you know about IT contracting and everything related to it. But do you know the 5 ways to negotiate a rate increase as an IT contractor? Don't worry, I've got you covered. We will be discussing that in this article.
As an IT contractor, negotiation is a vital stage in your career. Negotiation depends on several factors like your keenness to do the work, your skills, and experience, the demand as well as the complexity of the work. But whenever you negotiate, you should weigh the opportunity cost and ensure it is fairly higher. At the very least, never negotiate against yourself.
Let's begin the discussion, shall we?
It is never advisable to ask for a raise for the sake of it. It is very important to consider yourself as a client and think about whether it is really worth giving a raise to the contractor. This is our first and indeed most important point. You should have a valid reason for asking for the raise. Because nobody can get a raise without proving they deserve it. It is not that easy. When you are paying a dollar, it needs to be worthy.
So make sure that you deserve this raise before you ask the client for it, because there is a chance that the client will cancel the offer. If you have enough experience and skills to show your client as well as any previous works that you have done, and any good achievements, do not shy off from showing it as it will really count. The negotiation will also affect the competency in the market. Don't just wait for another offer with a higher payment, because that won't happen all the time. So make sure to utilize all the opportunities.
Whatever you do, for any price it is, always ensure to deliver quality work. Never compromise on quality, because that defines who you really are. Therefore, no matter what the payment is, if the quality is good, that will make a good reference for yourself. Always ensure the quality of your work is impeccable.
The more you provide a better outcome, the more the client will value your service. They will eventually become a regular client, then you can ask for a raise, considering the services that you have done so far because they will now be more dependent on you. Though you might have the skills, it might not expressly qualify you for a raise. What is important is to achieve the results. The rule of thumb is to always work for a good reference because that is what going to get you more offers from more clients. Always try to get the best results, no matter what’s at stake.
Often large contracts mean that you might even crossover the roles such that you might be doing what you didn't expect to do. It is often possible that you end up doing things that you didn't offer in the contract. As we know, flexibility is good, but always sure that you get paid for everything that you do.
You don't want to work for free so make a list of what you have done while working on the project. Mention them to the client while submitting the project and ask for the payment for the works done. If possible, ask the details and ensure you see to it that the employer is very specific about the tasks. There is no harm in telling the employer that anything else done other than the mentioned tasks would be considered as extras and should be paid for as such. This will help you in assured payment.
Another angle on this, is just getting on and doing this work, but keeping a note of the extra tasks you are taking on. Then when it comes to negotiation, you can use these extra tasks to justify the rate increase.
For an IT contractor, it is important to choose the right time to negotiate. Choosing the right time to approach the employer is vital.
For instance, you can't ask the employer for a raise during a time of recession or in any other situation where they are running short of money. Similarly, you can't ask for a raise within a few weeks of your recruitment. This is because it is more or less like asking too much without even deserving it.
Remember, there is a time that is required to prove your skills and quality of work, to the employer. So after achieving the set goals and objectives, it is okay to ask for a raise.
It is always better if you have a justification to get the raise and the general convention is that you approach your employer four to six weeks before the ending of the previous contract. This will give you enough time for you to show your works and skills and also get you the time to negotiate before the contract gets renewed.
If you ask for a raise and you happen to get a 'No' from the employer's side, then you will have two option to consider. If they can't provide the raise because they can't afford to pay you a higher amount of increased overheads, you better take that offer and notify them about having a conversation when times are better.
On the other hand, you can just resign from the job stating that it is not good enough for you. But the important thing to remember is that you need to be prepared for the outcome of this decision too.
If you are planning to resign, then you better find an alternate project or work, so that you can turn down the project confidently. You need to work yourself out the solution first as being idle is not good for an IT contractor. Remember that while the alternative job will take care of the rents and payments, securing it might not be easy without the points that we mentioned before.
Before you negotiate, be sure of what you want, what you deserve, and also be ready to walk away if you need to. If not, then don't ask for another chance at negotiation. I would say that handling the scenario without affecting the relationship between you and the employer is most preferred.
Value your employer the most. Don't trouble them in their hardest times. Just make sure to ask for the negotiation at the right time.
The above-discussed points form the golden rules when thinking of the best ways to negotiate a rate increase as an IT contractor. I believe this discussion will help you figure out the problems and confusions that most of you were facing. I hope it has given a clear view of what you required.
Did you enjoy this piece of information? Was this valuable to you? Please let us know your opinions in the comment section below.
In my early days of contracting, I will be honest, I really didn't fully understand expenses. I was booking expensive hotel accommodation, eating hotel breakfast and didn't really grasp that my own company was picking up the bill. After experience in contracting I learned more about this. So my aim is to help you save the headache I had learning, without the years of contract experience, with this article.
So the important question that we are going to discuss is can IT contractors claim expenses? And the short answer for it is yes, IT contractors can claim business expenses. As a matter of fact, it is one of the main benefits of an IT contractor.
Business expenses are the money or costs incurred while doing business and these can be claimed as an expense. You don't have to pay tax on the amount. You will have to pay some money at first for your business, but then your company will reimburse you.
So let us begin with discussing 5 reasons why you should consider software testing contracting as a career, of course, basing our arguments on the possibility of claiming their expenses.
Contractors face difficulty in getting a mortgage when compared to the full-time workers, but of course, you can get a mortgage as an IT contractor. When you walk into a high-street bank for a mortgage, you will more than likely have a sad experience, because they focus more on full-time job workers. Even if you have a large income and solid documentation for that income, you will not be able to get a mortgage from that bank.
But then, some banks are still prepared to give you a mortgage agreement in Principle. The mortgage providers calculate the annual income from the money you get per hour or per day, and with that income, they come to a choice of a contractor. Select the best scheme for you. Some mortgage schemes allow you to overpay while you work and then to use the equity when you are not working.
Just as in the case of a mortgage, it is unlikely for IT contractors to get maternity pay, when compared to normal workers. In fact you may as well assume that will never happen.
While you enjoy the full freedom as freelancers, life takes a twist and turn when you decide to settle and have a family. According to Victoria Phillips, head of employment rights at Thomsons Solicitors, you can get maternity pay only if you are entitled as an employee rather than a contract worker.
Contractors can receive a bonus while staying outside IR35. However, a simple word in the documentation can ruin your IR35 investigation. For example, according to contractorcalculator, if you mention bonus as 'bonus', it is deemed as a term for regular employees.
So a contractor needs to be careful with their paperwork.It is also important to professionally review your IR35 status by experts.
Apart from the terminology, it is important how you accept a contract with an automatic payment of 'bonuses'. Another thing to note is that you can't get bonuses in the period of the contract because it is implied that you are doing work in exchange for the incentive payment. T
Yes, contractors can get redundancy payment. The ruling can be used by IT contractors with fixed-term contracts of four or more years. If the employer fails to renew the contract after four or more years, then the contractor can get redundancy pay. An employee has to be made redundant by the employer, for getting redundancy. Just understand that a fixed term contract is different to the conventional contractor with his own company.
A contractor with his own small company or director of a company can claim himself as redundant but is still not going to work. And if the contractor agrees to the contract with a higher payment, they should agree upon not leaving or resigning to claim the redundancy pay.
These are the conditions to get redundancy pay:
Evidence that the contractors were expected to turn up at work and be provided with work Proof they were only allowed to work for the same employer
The existence of an employee working for the same employer in a comparable job Agency workers are unable to claim redundancy under the regulations
Attending a Christmas party is a potential issue with IR35. There has been well-known test cases that tend to suggest that this simple invitation can be be deemed as an invite to an employee.
Politically, it is good to accept and network at a Christmas do. It makes you feel like part of the team and build a bond with your co-workers. But it may be worth considering paying for this, so it is not seen as a an employee benefit.
Being a contractor is very lucrative, but you have to understand that the negatives are you really don't get any holiday or sick pay, along with other employee benefits. That is the risk vs reward of being a contractor.
A great benefit for contractors is claiming allowable expenses. This is a great way to reduce your tax and cover your expenses.
I had the feeling that everyone should know these best practices. Because there are very few articles or blog posts available on the internet based on this topic.
Did you enjoy this piece of information? Was this valuable to you? Please let me know your opinions in the comment section below.
When I first started contracting back in 2007 as a Test Analyst, I was battling with the thoughts, "Do I have enough experience to do this?". Then I met up with one of my ex colleages in a local chicken shop, we love these chicken shops in the UK, well at least we do.
He was explaining to me how he was planning to by a second hand Porsche in cash from the savings he made from IT contracting. I was gobsmacked! Here I was with just enough to pay for the chicken lunch and he was doing very well.
The thing that really got to me, I worked with him for years as a graduate tester on a permanent salary, and I knew I was just as good as him, if not better. It just made me feel, if he can do it, so can I.
The idea of becoming a contractor is appealing and enthusiastic especially for people who work as employees. However, it takes some steps before you become a professional IT contractor.
Ask yourself if it is the right thing for you. Before you resign from your current employment, research what other contractors in the industry feel about it. Find out if there is a possibility for regrets or there are chances of developing your revenue generation. It is apparent that contractors enjoy financial independence and freedom than what any form of employment can do.
New ventures have their ups and down and you have to develop enough strength to help you overcome them. You’ll be venturing into the business alone, and you must have the capacity to negotiate your way in the competitive industry. To make an informed choice, it is wise if you read and understand the pros and cons of IT contracting.
Get the right skills and materials before you start soliciting for contracts. IT involves technology and different companies and institutions that you will work for need professional data input and output experts. Acquire the best academic qualifications on Information Technology because potential companies hire contractors based on skills.
Just remember, most contracts are charged according to the level of skills required and the demand for such skills, but you must learn the best way to charge as an IT contractor.
IT is valuable in financial, human resource, logistics, business intelligence, and manufacturing industries, to be honest almost any industry these days. These companies need contractors that can help design different applications that will enhance efficiency in their businesses. As such, most of the organizations require IT contractors, to develop programs, install and maintain them.
IT recruiting companies are several, and they all look at the contractor's technical skills before hiring them. However, working closely with different recruitment agencies like oxford international can create greater chances of getting hired. Companies across all industries look for freelance IT contractors in agencies where if they are impressed by your skills they call you for an interview.
As a contractor, the company or people that have hired you look upon you to deliver their projects to their expectation. This gives you a sense of responsibility that drives you into giving your all in the contract.
In all honesty, being a contractor is really not much different to being a permanent worker, you do all the same tasks. The big difference is you don't have the security of long term work and typically get paid substantially more for that risk.
If you are working as an independent contractor with no company you are self-employed. It is mandatory for all companies to offer their employees sick pay when they go on sick leave. However, such a scenario cannot apply to you because you are not their employee.
So, the short answer is no, you will not get sick pay, this is part of the risk of being a contractor, hence the reason you are rewarded for this risk you take by getting a larger rate of pay.
A contractor is independent and does not share his or her financial responsibilities with company that has employed him. Just like you submit your tax returns and plan your contract finances, you are the one who is responsible for your holiday pay. The employer does not care on how you spend your money as long as you deliver the project as per the agreement.
Contractors are not entitled to most of the benefits that other employees get from their employers. Therefore, if you want to go for a vacation, you must do your math right to ensure there is enough money to complete the project and pay for the holiday.
I have worked for many years as an employee and nothing is more enjoyable than job security. However, As an IT contractor, the pay rates are so much more, in my opinion it just makes sense to contract instaed of being permamnent, as long as you feel confident in what you do and feel you can deliver value to your client.
You meet new challenges every day which makes you strong and motivates you towards performing better. You too can become a professional IT contractor if you believe and push yourself.
If you find this article to be interesting and informative, please comment and share it with your friends and colleagues.
So, you want to know all about the ISTQB Foundation level exam right? Luckily for you, you've come to just the right place. This article may be all you need on how to apply for the ISTQB Foundation level exam.
The procedure isn't too difficult. You first get on to the ISTQB website, click on the enrolment tab and you'll be directed to the Login Screen. For 'New Registrations' you'll need to key in your permanent address, personal information, postal address and then finally agree to the conditions and terms provided to you.
You will then be given information containing your User name, Registration number and password. Afterward, you will be required to make a few payments which you will have to do through demand drafts or DDs as they are commonly known. Visit the ISTQB contact link to know where to send the course cost payments.
The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) is basically an internationally operated organisation that does software testing qualification certification.
It was established in 2002 in Edinburgh and is legally registered as a non profit organisation in Belgium. This standardized qualification is an ISTQB Certified Tester that software testers need to undergo in order to obtain certification by the ISTQB.
It is a syllabus based qualification which contains a hierarchy of guidelines and qualifications for the examination and accreditation.
This certification organisation for software testing qualification has managed to issue over five hundred thousand certifications. This Qualifications Board is made up of fifty seven member boards all across the globe and represents about eighty one countries to date.
The Foundation Level exam is designed on a theoretical nature basis and requires the exam taker, hopefully you, to have some knowledge on software development with a slight bias in the software testing field. The Advanced Level exams are much more practical and requires knowledge in specialized areas.
CTFL stands for Certified Tester Foundation Level and its certification training is essential for those of you with interests in the software testing and development industry. The ISTQB accredits this foundation level training which provides its trainees with software testing fundamentals that includes testing management, design techniques as well as testing principles and vocabulary.
This training is usually the first step for those of you that wish to pursue a career in software testing and is meant to measure your proficiency and understanding of software testing techniques, tools and vocabulary. This course is a globally accepted professional certification program that is largely examination based and not an easy one at that.
The foundation level certificate is valid for your whole life, so there is no worries about renewal, regardless of changes to the ISTQB foundation syllabus, once you have this certifcate.
Not to be confused with the partner program. The partner program of the ISTQB has a validity period of one year. People and organisations renewing their partnerships are awarded thirty percent Loyalty Discounts on their Partner fees.
However, partnership levels can be upgraded by individuals or organisations upon request before their one year timeline expires. The only requirement being that you must ensure you're eligible for that upgraded level.
A partner can also terminate their partnership at any time during their validity period upon request. The procedure for this is to contact your Exam provider or Member Board where your program is managed and directly request for your partnership to be cancelled. Simple as that.
The Exam Provider or Member Board involved will then proceed to process your request, get the Partner Program Database and the ISTQB website updated and then finally they will advise the Partner Program Chair of the change and why it has happened. No fees are refunded as a result of the termination.
Software developers and testers basically work hand in hand and testers actually play a vital role.
They receive software builds at various levels of completion and then proceed to put these programs through numerous tests, clearly documenting software response along the way. Documenting is a key component of software testing because it helps software engineers and programmers discover any coding irregularities
Entry level testers with five years experience or less can expect to get paid about around fifty thousand dollars a year, which includes bonuses, overtime pay and tips. Software testers in the middle of their careers, meaning five to ten years experience, can expect an average pay of about sixty eight thousand dollars while those with ten to twenty years experience will be awarded an average salary of about seventy five thousand dollars
And there you have it. All you need to know about this internationally accredited training program and how to apply for the ISTQB Foundation level exam. You will find no better article than this on matters concerning this nature and we hope you thoroughly enjoyed that deep analysis on the topic given herein. We strive for excellence when it comes to information regarding such Certification Testing and the requirements that come along with it.
Not only does this certification provide you with a competitive advantage, it promises higher levels of reliability on the several applications being developed on a constant basis. Also, a consulting company that employs certified staff members can offer high levels of care to their customers which may in turn lead to increased revenue and will undoubtedly improve the organisations brand value. Please feel free to share with us any opinions, suggestions or comments you may have concerning this article. We are here for you.
The contracting sector is evolving at a tremendous rate as more people realize the benefits of versatile working. With the demand of a contingent workforce tremendously increasing, there has never been a better time to become a contractor. But the question on how much experience is needed to become a contractor is something that almost everyone has asked during their initial stages of contracting.
It is apparently considered that an experience of 3 years is suitable in order to become a contractor. Some people say any earlier is risky to become a contractor. But this much information is not enough. In this article, we will consider the most important questions related to contracting and will explain them in a detailed manner.
You must have a targeted approach in order to successfully get a contract. A killer’ contractor CV is probably the most integral step towards finding a good job. Make sure you CV has information relevant to the contract job being applied for. Make your CV short as well as focused and tailored. An estimated 80% contract jobs are given through agencies, so you must market yourself on the job board using specific agencies. Being noticed and standing out is very important if you want a good job.
Follow the contract job applications and chase clients. Experienced contractors believe that if you have landed an interview, you often end up getting the job. That is why during initial negotiations, you should focus on getting the interview and not bargain over rates. For clearing the interview, you should make sure you are prepared, proactive and understand the issue. Be confident, understand the job and try to close the deal. Having reassured the client at interview, follow up with the agency and there! You got a new contract!
Earlier, it used to take weeks to set up a payment mechanism but now it can be done in less than 24 hours by using company facilities and business accounts. The best payment structure depends on your IR35 status. A limited company might not be the best choice for you in case you are inside (caught) by IR35.
If you want to contract for a longer term, then a limiting company will provide you tax advantages and flexibility. On the other hand, you should use a PAYE umbrella company , if you plan to contract for a shorter time. A limited company provides maximum benefits if you have significant benefits that you need to claim. You should not be opting for these companies in case you do not incur and need to claim many contracting expenses.
One among the main factors that makes permanent jobs better than contract jobs is the fact that they provide stability. It is apparently considered that an individual should have at least 3 years of experience before becoming a contractor.
But there is not hard and fast rule. I personally knew a guy who decided to become a contractor with just 4 months of experience. Permanent jobs come along with numerous benefits. Initially, gaining some experience in a permanent job can make you feel more confident and strengthen your move towards being a successful contractor.
If you are a limited company contractor, you are likely to decide how or when you pay yourself. If your contract work is not caught by the IR35, most of the limited company contractors obtain income in the form of dividends. Dividends are beneficial because they are not subject to National Insurance Contributions (NIC) which allows them to save money.
But there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. Dividends can only be paid from company benefits. Also, declaring dividends without sufficient profits is illegal. Corporation tax keeps more dividend information within each threshold. It is important to keep the S447 in mind. According to the tax law section 447, employment related securities tend to target employers using contrived schemes to avoid taxes by paying dividends, rather than paying salary.
There are numerous ways through which you can save money by having a tax efficient setup. Unlike Umbrella Company, a limited company allows effective tax planning through a combination of salary and dividends. You can also claim your business-costs in terms of expenses in order to receive tax relief. In order to save tax, you need to understand IR35. If the contract is caught inside IR35, you can still effectively complete your contract. However, note that there will not be any entitlement as a contractors operating outside the IR35. Understanding how to structure your business is just as important as understanding how much to charge your clients.
It is advisable that you keep up with all government schemes as this might enable you to operate tax-efficiently. You might think that hiring an accountant is something that is not required and can be avoided. But an accountant actually helps in saving your money as well as time and stress. Furthermore, you should avoid any kind of penalties and you should take a share of the profit of your company and keep it as pension.
The upsides to being an IT contractor can be mesmerising, being your own boss is something most people sitting in a cubicle wish for everyday.
Being in charge of my own finances rather than remaining subject to a corporation’s view on their employees as production robots with fixed salaries gave me the independence and liberty to not be part of the never ending concrete jungle.
It can be frightening but moving away from the well known path into IT contracting once done, makes you question why you never did before.
IT contracting is not for everyone though and needs firm resolve and conviction to make it work. Like everything else, it comes with the good, the bad and the ugly. Here are 5 pros and cons of IT contracting to help you make your decision.
Personally, looking back, contracting has been the best decision I made, giving me all the perks a job could never offer and that I was looking for.
The downsides take time to deal with and understand, but once you do it is smooth sailing. Understanding health insurance and putting your money aside are important steps to the learning process.
Negotiating with potential managers is also a learning curve that needs to be tackled with. After you get yourself sorted and settled, the perks out weight the tons by quite a bit.
I personally feel that becoming a successful contractor requires a lot of patience and credibility. It is true that permanent jobs are more secure and stable, but the job of a contractor makes you feel free, wanting to explore. These are some of the key points that I felt like sharing with my voracious readers. As an author, it is a 'must’ for me to deliver the best of knowledge so that my readers can extract maximum information from my articles.
As a reader, how was your experience reading this article? Did you find out boring or was it a 10/10 article? Feel free to share, both your thoughts and the article. Give us your feedback as it helps us to provide specific information and key points that can be of more value to you in future. Comment below about your experience, sharing your impression of this article. You can also share this article with others, so that more people can obtain the benefits of this article.
When it comes to choosing between a permanent IT job and an IT contract, you always prefer permanent because you have job security and you do not have to go for job hunting after the contract expires.
Though people fear that contractual job has certain disadvantages, they miss seeing that it gives you an advantage to work at your own time, flexibility to earn at your own comfort and pays you more than your permanent job.
Risks are present in a permanent job as well, you may get fired if you do not abide by the rules and regulations of the company, do not maintain proper discipline, confidentiality and break the rules. It's just that we have built a perception to see both the jobs at different angles. In this article I will make you aware of “How Risky Are IT Contract Jobs?” and some amazing statistics on how the world is shifting from permanent job to contractual job.
If your thoughts are dwelling between a full-time job and contact job, I would suggest going with the contact job if it gives you a better career opportunity and at least 50% salary hike than your full-time job. According to the study conducted by QUARTZ, 40% of America’s work population will be freelancers by 2020. Contact jobs are preferred more by job seekers as they get to work in their area of interest, it gives them a learning opportunity and there's room for professional growth. Gone are the days when people were under the impression that contract jobs pay less, and are offered at entry-level positions. Though it’s a risk, it’s worth if you are getting a good opportunity to build a professional relationship with your industry. On a bright side, if you perform well when on a contact you might get a full-time employment within the company.
A fixed term contract is valid for a specific period. The start and the end date of the contract are clearly specified and extendable if required and mutually agreed upon by both the parties. It is also very close to a permanent working contract but has a defined end date.
It is a great way to test the skills of an employee before hiring him/her a permanent position in the company. It also benefits the IT company as they get to showcase their employee skills by completing a short-term project in a given time period.
Normal contact does still have an end date, but you will not receive any employee benefits like paid leave, sick pay etc. This is what a traditional contractor is typically known as.
The permanent employee benefits include fixed salary, health insurance, disability insurance and life insurance, retirement plan, vacation and sick day leave policy. You will not be able to enjoy these benefits if you are on a contract. You will have to purchase your own policy (which can be costly) and you will not get paid if you go on a leave. You will not get worker’s compensation benefits if you need one. Though some of the companies have changed their policy and they give insurance benefits to the contractual employees as well. It’s better to clear everything with your employer before you sign the contract.
A contract is bound by legal terms and conditions and if you quit in the middle before the contract expires there can be certain consequences. If the contract clearly states that you will be charged a certain amount if you terminate the contract, you will have to pay the amount to the employer. Some employers have conditions that they have every right to blacklist you from the field you are working in if you leave early. Others will not give you the bonus which you were supposed to get at the end of the contract. In another case, the employer simply has a condition that you will have to serve a one month notice before you leave the company. The terms and conditions vary from company to company, so it is advised that you thoroughly read your contract before opting to quit.
There has always been a confusion in the mind of an employee whether to go for a permanent job or a contractual job. There is no correct answer as it all depends on what kind of package and job you are being offered and whether it is something you are interested to build your career in.
If you are happy with your permanent job, stick to it, but if you are not, contractual jobs have a lot of opportunities for you, learn how to master face to face and telephone interviews for software contract testers and take the plunge. Always remember risk is in both the jobs. It depends how much you are willing to take. It was my responsibility to make you aware of what you can expect from an IT contract job and the risks it has. Now it’s up to you, what you decide. I am sure the cloud of confusion is now cleared.
I would really love to know your thoughts, life experiences or any question you have about the contract job in the comment below.
Do your bit. Share the article and help your friends who might have the same confusion as you.
Happy Job Hunting!
Just like me, most IT employees are fed up with shifting work hours, work related stress, regular meetings with clients and are looking for alternatives. After working as an IT tester in a reputable IT firm for more than 6 years, I was fed up with my lifestyle and wanted some freedom.
I resigned from my job and decided to become a an IT Contractor and now, I am enjoying my life to the fullest. In extreme cases, I work on contract basis and personally, I didn’t experience any difference in IT contract vs. permanent tester employment. Also, the pay will be higher in case of contract employment but you need to adjust with slightly awkward shift timings. According to several surveys, companies also prefer contract employees and the percentage of contract employees in the US workforce is constantly on rise.
Employers need to pay IT employees even if they are on bench without actually taking up any work. Whereas in case of contract IT testers, they will come to office whenever there is work and get paid on completion of the work. Employer and worker relationship will be very minimal in case of contract based employment and this in itself has several advantages.
IT companies are moving towards cost cutting methods and are doing away with employees who are not meeting their standards. In fact, most IT companies are retaining the core team only and sending pink slips to all other employees. They are thinking of completing the jobs with contract employers and that’s the reason why the demand for contract based IT workers is on constant rise where are permanent employees are going to offices in fear.
In general, permanent employees enjoy some sort of job security and because of this, some employees won’t take their jobs seriously and I am sad to admit that some of my colleagues also belong to this category.
On the other hand, contract IT testers are cognizant of the fact they need to be well qualified to impress their employers and get a chance to work. That’s the reason why contract employees are more focused, job-oriented and try different certifications to prove their credentials.
If you are fed up with regularly going to office just like me, you might want to consider moving from permanent to contract employee. However, those who see permanent jobs as an option of regular income source and don’t have confidence in their skills shouldn’t even think of quitting their permanent job. Even after the recent recession, the IT sector is growing at a constant pace and if you are skilled and qualified, and can learn how to ace a telephone interview, you don’t need to worry about securing a contract job.
You may find it difficult for the first few months but once you get used to it, your lifestyle will change beyond your thinkable limits. You will start enjoying your life and you can spend more time with your family and friends. All your stress related disorders will automatically disappear when you move from permanent to contract employment.
Contract-based IT testers will surely have experience with different kinds of software tools and their exposure will be high compared to permanent employees. I, myself learnt several new testing tools after quitting my permanent job and my overall skillset improved a lot. IT companies work on tight deadlines and it is very important to complete the assigned task within the stipulated time.
Obviously, permanent IT testers are not used to working on tight deadlines as most of the things will be pre-planned and all they have to do is work accordingly. If the employer forces them to work on tight deadlines, they will be under immense pressure and there will be more chances of committing mistakes. So, contract employees score more marks here as well.
In case of permanent employees, employers are constrained by several factors like health insurance, maximum work hours limit, extra pay, leaves, etc. However, as for the contract-based employees, most of these worries can be eliminated and the employer need to supervise only on the task assigned to the contract-based IT testers. Obviously, contract based workers cost a bit more than permanent employees but they are 100% worth giving a try, considering the services offered by them.
Per day income of contract based IT testers will be much higher compared to permanent employees. Also, in some cases, they don’t need to regularly go to the office and will enjoy more holidays per year compared to employers who are permanently stuck in offices in the name of job security.
Certified Tester-Foundation Level (CTFL) is a certification given to qualified testers and if an employer wants a CTFL certified IT tester, he needs to pay heavy salaries on monthly basis. Certified IT testers are easy to find and as the competition among the contract based IT testers is very high, they offer competitive services at lower prices. As contract IT employees are generally hired based on the work load, they know their job perfectly well. Their focus will always be on that job. On the other hand, permanent employees need to manage a lot of tasks in the office and their focus will be low on the job even though they are certified and qualified.
Most of the above-mentioned points are my personal opinions and you can agree or disagree with me. However, generally, the one thing that differs in contract vs. permanent IT tester employees is the job security. But even on this one I was not in total agreement as permanent jobs are also not absolutely permanent and the employer can easily give you the axe if the IT tester performance is below par.
I won’t say I am super-skilled but I consider myself as reasonably good and I am earning a lot more than all my friends who are stuck in permanent jobs. I shared my views so that you can also get inspired to do what your heart desires. If you enjoyed reading this article, please share this with all your friends who are struck in offices but still want freedom and peace in life. Don’t forget to share your opinions in the comment section below.
Today I am sharing a video I did on the ISEB Testing Foundation Syllabus, and to make it even easier to digest, I have a transcription of the video below. If you are looking for more specific questions, such as how much does the ISTQB foundation exam cost or how many questions are in the ISTQB foundation exam, then we have them covered throughout this site. Anyway, back to the video:
Hey, welcome back guys, this is Wayne Vassell here, again for Talented Tester, and today I'm going to be tackling one of the questions that have been asked a few times and is, "What exactly is in the ISEB Testing Foundation Syllabus?" For those of you that watch in ISEB ISTQB very much use interchangeably, ISTQB is really the standard that we're following now, but this is the specific questing that has been asked.
The syllabus can be found online. Typically, there is five major headings for the syllabus, which are broken down into many different subsections.
The first section we've got is the fundamentals of testing, and that is effectively why is testing necessary, which is broken down to software systems, context, causes of defects, for example what are the root causes of defects, how the defects happen, a real understanding of defects.
The role of testing in software development, and that's maintenance and operations. Testing and quality, understanding exactly what quality is and understanding how much testing is enough.
Obviously if you studied and prepared for these for this exam, you'll know what some of these headings mean and then you should have an idea of how you're actually going to prepare for the exam.
Other areas as well, what is testing, the seven testing principles, fundamental test process, and that is test planing and control, test analysis and design, implementation and execution, evaluating the exit criteria.
Basically with the exit criteria is understand how do you know when to actually exit from testing. Test closure activities, such as test closure reports et cetera. The phycology of testing and finally code ethics. That is the main bulk of the first top level coverage of fundamentals of testing.
The next section is testing throughout the software life cycle, and that encompasses software development models.
For example the V model, iterative incremental development models, testing with a life cycle model. This doesn't really cover such things as agile. Agile is pretty much a new extension, which is almost treated as a separate certification, so that's not covered here. It also goes into test levels, that's component testing, integration testing, system testing and acceptance testing.
Different test types, testing of functions, a functional testing, testing of nonfunctional software, also knows as nonfunctional testing. Structural testing, testing related to changes, for example retesting and regression testing. Other things that covered in this or the last one to be covered in this is maintenance testing.
Hopefully there should a few key things that stick out for you. In my mind the one that's sticks out most is regression testing and retesting. Obviously that's a pretty critical part of testing and regression is pretty much something that you're gonna need throughout your whole testing career and is something good to master.
The next headline topic is static techniques, and this includes the overall static techniques and the test process, the review process, activities of formal review, roles and responsibilities, types of reviews, success factors for reviews and then finally, static analysis by tools.
The next major heading that we've got is test design techniques, and this basically covers the test development process, categories of test design techniques, specification based or black box techniques, and that's including stuff like equivalence partitioning, boundary value analysis, also known as BV, decision table testing, state transition testing and used case testing.
The next subsection within this area is a structured base or white box techniques, and that's statement testing coverage, decision testing and coverage and other structured based techniques. Experienced based techniques and choosing test techniques.
And then the final major area is test management, and this includes test organization, test organization independence, task of test leader. The test studies are mainly to do with being a test lead, so a lot of these to do with actually managing a project or leading a project. The next subsection is to do with test planing and estimation. That's planing, planing the activities, the entry criteria, defining the exit criteria, which was touched on early on in one of the other sections. Test estimation, knowing ... Or not necessarily know, but estimating how long you plan for each test phase, test strategy and test approach, understanding how to layout the strategy, and this would also include the test strategy document. Other subsections are test progress, monitoring and control, which encompasses test reporting, test control. The next subheading, configuration management and then we have also risk in testing, that's project risk and product risks. The final subsection within this area is incident management.
And sorry, the final one, final subheading area is tool support for testing. These are different types of test tools. It goes into the meaning of purposes of the tool, test tool classification, tool support for management, tool support for static testing, tool support for test specification, tool support test execution and [log in 00:06:32], like defect management tools. Tool support for performance and monitoring, like performance testing and tool support for specific testing needs. It then goes into effective use of tools, the potential benefits and risks, and then it talks about special considerations for some of the tools and then it introducing tools for organization.
These are the key areas that are covered within the syllabus. Obviously within each of these headline topics are very much detailed low level sub areas, which I've basically covered at a high level during this video. The key thing really is making sure that you've prepared for each of these sections, so that when you have your multiple choice questions you're prepared to ace the exam, hopefully on your first attempt.
Now, one of the key ways to make sure that you're fully prepared for the exam and make sure that you have the best chance of success is getting a free exam questions and sample test papers that you can use to help you to succeed.
I've got for you at my website TalentedTester.com/Sample is a way for you can download an absolutely free exam and question sample that you can actually use to help you prepare for your exam to give you the best possible choice at chance of succeeding. Thank you very much for watching this video today and I look forward to you in the next video. Thank you very much.
If you’re interested in a career in software testing, the bottom line is you’re going to need an ISTQB Foundation level-certificate. Whether you test software all day or you’re just getting into the field, the exam is something that will aid you on your journey.
There’s plenty of free resources that can help you prepare and revise your body of knowledge to make sure you’re fully prepared. You can even access sample questions and answers to give yourself a head start.
The cost of the exam can vary but in the UK it costs around £145, and in the US around $250. This is something though you’ll only need to do once if you put the work in now!
The exam usually takes 60 minutes to compete, and has a number of multiple choice questions, so don’t worry it won’t take up too much of your day. The research you do to prepare is up to you, but we recommend you take all the time you can to learn up on the questions you might be asked.
The more time you put in now the easier it will be in the future!
If the exam is not in your first language, you’ll be given an extra fifteen minutes to complete the tasks to make sure you fully understand what’s being asked.
You can learn all about the timing and process of the exam here.
But to give you a brief outline of what to expect, the exams include 40 questions-all multiple choice, which are scored at one point per answer.
The questions are devised to help you with your software testing future, but we recommend getting in as much revision as you can to have the best chance at success!
The pass mark starts at 65%. Given that the questions are all scored on a one point system, which means you’ll need 25+ points to pass the test.
That’s more than half the questions so be prepared and give yourself the best possible chance. The statistics for passing have risen every year so far, you can check out the results here.
As of 2014, almost 75% of people would took the foundation level exam managed to pass on their first try, so the odds are stacked in your favour.
That statistic isn’t just for one country either, that’s the global average! So the majority of people who do take the test, pass, which might help put your mind at ease.
The short answer is, yes you can. You can find an exam provider by using this link. But if you own a business, and you want your employees to benefit from taking the exam in larger numbers, you can use the option of having an in house, or in office, test.
The ITSBQ exam can be done locally as well as online, which offers you the choice that can work best around your lifestyle. The member’s board work internationally as well as locally so if you would prefer to sit the exam in a more traditional setting, there are options available to suit everyone.
Again, the short answer is yes. This makes life all the easier knowing you can print the certificate from home.
Your local ISTBQ member’s board or exam provider will provide you with an email with your certificate attached once you have successfully passed the foundation level.
There are a further two levels of ITSBQ certificates that you can obtain: Advanced level and Expert level, and these can be emailed to you in the same way.
You can also have your certificate posted if you prefer a copy to be directly sent rather than emailed or don’t have easy access to printing facilities.
Once you’ve got the certificate to hand, you’re ready to show it to potential employers, which can offer you a competitive edge against those who have yet to take and pass the exam.
Global exam providers make it easy to obtain an ISTBQ exam in a variety in countries.
Countries that are covered by both the members board and Global exam providers include:
Countries that are covered solely by Global exams providers include:
You can check out the map of each country here.
Remember, many employers now like to see their employees with at least a foundation level certificate in the ITSQB exam, so it’s worth getting your hands on one! The effort you put in now will pay off later, giving you better knowledge of the field and potentially opening up new job opportunities for you in the future.
As the certificate is recognised on a global scale, your employability rating goes up automatically after passing the exam. The certificate can provide you with a strong competitive advantage for the company you work for, or one you aim to work for at a later date. By gaining the qualification, you are more or less promising a higher level of reliability to your employer than a candidate who has not passed the exam.
It has been noted that consulting companies whose team members are all certified with ISTQB offer high levels of service to customers and clients which in turn increases revenue and the value of the brand itself. Not only this, ITSQB has now created a partner programme, which benefits companies who have a larger number of certified testers working in their facility.
Whether you are a business owner, or a worker in the field, there is a long list of benefits that comes with gaining your qualification, and it’s only a small cost for something that could make a huge improvement to your career, and potentially your lifestyle!
What did you think to the article? Was it helpful? Let us know and feel free to share it with any other tech savvy people you may know. Help to spread the word!
I remember when I was back at uni, my most pressured and unproductive sessions were the last minute, unprepared all nighters. In my opinion, being prepared is the best way.
To cut a long story short, you want to know how many questions are in the ISTQB Foundation exam? The Foundation level exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions which carry one point each.
After completing the exam successfully, you will be issued with an ISTQB Foundation Level Certificate which has a worldwide recognition. The major aim of the exam is to verify the your competence and understanding of the detail in the ISTQB foundation syllabus.
To some people, finding out how many questions are in the ISTQB foundation exam has been a serious challenge.
The ISTQB Certified Tester examination has a typical duration of 60 minutes (or 75 for candidates not taking the exam in their local or native language). As stated earlier, the Foundation level exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions which carry one point each.
The pass mark is set at 65% (scoring 26 or more points). As an option, candidates who are not conversant with the syllabus can take a 3-day course to enable become abreast with the Foundation's examination procedures and methods.
A good number of candidates who book the exam my never end up actually taking the exam, due to the lack of preparation. This could be down to not knowing where to find good study material. Most of them spend their time on the internet searching for the best materials to prepare them for the exam.
To be successful in any exam, getting the correct study materials is very important. The internet is inundated with mediocre study material and past questions which promise heaven on earth and at the end of the day are nothing but empty promises with no substance. Getting hold of some reliable study material is key. One of the reasons we done a review on the best ISTQB foundation Test Analyst books.
What Kind of Study Material Can I Get?
The study materials come in three categories as discussed below:
The dates for ISTQB Foundation Level exams are set by the exam providers. These exam providers are a group of bodies who have been licensed by the Member Boards to administer the exam both locally and internationally at their own convenience. Getting the exact date for the ISTQB Foundation exam depends on your location as the dates differ from region to region. It is therefore advisable that you get acquainted with the local ISTQB exam provider in your location to know the exact date for the examination.
Here is an example of some of the exam providers are listed below in no particular order:
In preparing for the exam, you will need as much time as you can be able to afford. I don’t think your success in the exam depends on the amount of time you studied but how well you were able to study.
You will need all the time you can get to prepare for the exam. A lot of people believe one month is enough to prepare for the exam. This may be true for some people, maybe even many people, but I think it all boils down to your personality and schedule.
If you can commit to it and study the syllabus in one week, it’s all good. Just make sure you are prepared for the examination.
The ISTQB foundation certification comes with a number of benefits for you. Here are a few of the top of my head:
The choice is totally yours. You can take a class to learn the ISTQB fundamentals if you have the time but you are not obligated by the board to do so. You can also take the exams directly as long as you are well prepared and study for it.
The aim of making the syllabus publicly available is for you to be ready for the exam when the date arrives. A lot of people prefer to practice on their own but there are also some classes which you can enrol in if you find it hard to concentrate.
The class can last between a few days, but really depends on the organizers and your time schedule.
Taking the ISTQB exam is very simple if you are prepared for it. During the examination, all you need to do is to relax and choose the right answer as many times as possible. Remember the exam lasts for just 60 or 75 minutes as the case may be.
Try to learn some time management skills while preparing for the exam so that it can come in handy when sitting in the exam hall. In your preparation, seek help as often as you can and be committed to your cause. You can lay hands on some past questions and answers to assist you in your preparation. You can also consult with professionals to tap from their pool of knowledge before writing for the exam.
Thanks for reading, your success is my concern. I hope this article was useful to you. Please drop your questions and comments in the comment box and share this article with family and friends.