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The Trials and Tribulations of a Non-Functional Test Consultant

I've been part of the Test Community for nearly 3 years, and I don't know many others who work for large consultancies. I mean, I know these people do exist - I've worked with hundreds of them - but you don't often bump into them at conferences or on Twitter. Now maybe this says more about the kind of company I like to keep, or perhaps, how insular big companies can be sometimes, but it got me thinking. I want to help demystify the work that the big consultancies do - specifically around Non-Functional Test. There seems to be a feeling amongst the Test Community (having been on the receiving end of this discrimination) that the big consultancies don't 'do Test properly', and while I'll admit that I do disagree with the approach they sometimes take, I also want to show people that working for a large consultancy can create some amazing opportunities for personal growth and development.

Through this talk, I'll explain why Non-Functional Test is different to Functional Test from a consultancy perspective (running tests is only half the battle, I spent most of my time justifying my existence as a Non-Functional Tester!). I'll also look at why working for a big consultancy tends to be different to working for smaller companies - huge teams, offshore working, JFDI syndrome - and why these can be good things!

Consultancy was one of the most challenging, enjoyable and exciting roles I've ever done, and I want to show people that Consultants can be 'proper' Testers too.


Key takeaways: 

  • Things to consider before working for a big Consultancy.
  • The importance of truly understanding the business reasons for testing.
  • Why working as a Consultant helped make me a better Tester.