My circumstances dictate that I have to work from home. This complicates my employment chances and I am searching for a career that is flexible. Can software testers work 100% remote? If so, how do I get there from zero experience? I live in England, so I don't know if that complicates things.
Yeah, it is possible. In theory, software engineers (including QA) can work from home.
All we need is a PC terminal, an online chat tool and internet access.
But there are several considerations to take:
- You have zero experience. This will seriously stop you from getting a job. Software professionals around me, who work from home, have all got a number of years working experience under their sleeves. Zero experience = unproved skills and less trust worthy.
- Location, working in a remote location may suggest you are in a different timezone. In software engineering, real time communication is preferred over a 12 hour (more or less) delay.
- Qualification, what academic background do you have? If you have zero experience and zero qualification, your chance of getting a job in IT is next to zero.
In theory, you could:
- Try to get freelance work from the internet, for a cheaper price or even for free. With each job you undertake, if you manage to get a good review from your customer, you can gradually build up your reputation over time.
- Once you earn yourself a good reputation as a freelancer, you will more likely to land more jobs.
I am sorry that is all I can think of.
Try Utest.com https://www.utest.com/ or there is another that I cannot think of off the top of my head. I wouldnt rely on it for my sole income - but you are in England so might get more payable test invites through than me in New Zealand - and its all experience.
You're in a very tough spot. At this point, you have no experience, so there's no way for a potential employer to evaluate your skills/potential. In addition, software development/test benefits a great deal from having developers and testers having frequent interaction, ideally face to face. It would be very difficult for you to gain experience relative to someone who is able to work in person. And it's very hard to learn test skills in isolation; the amount of documentation/instruction available for testing is minuscule compared to development.
Once you have significant experience, and a proven track record, then working from home/remotely is more feasible.
So, honestly, I would suggest thinking about a different career. It would be a lot easier to become a work-from-home developer, assuming you can find a niche you can fill, than a work-from-home tester. Looking at what's available on utest, some of them look sort of scammy, but none of them look like a sustainable career path, and the ones that do seem to offer any decent amount of money require prior experience, sometimes extensive prior experience. A lot of them require living in a specific place, or traveling.
That said, if you really want to pursue this career path, you could look into testing open source projects. If you choose a project that has a substantial number of developers from a company, and can prove your ability to find bugs in said project, you might be able to leverage that into a career, but I wouldn't count on it.
Did you find any project to work on yet?
Yes, it is possible to work 100% remote as a tester. Still, depending on the project, you may need an environment setup, some settings are done on your machine, some dialog with project members. The environment settings and installation can be done easier face to face, and somehow harder remotely. A few days of face to face meeting are very helpful and sometimes necessary, depending on the project and teams involved in the project.
You need to get in touch with many recruiters, I would say that is vital because working remotely is more of a freelancer work rather than permanently employed work. You may offer services for few hours, days, or months to specific companies, or even to other freelancers who need help. As a freelancer, you need "spam" mail with new projects, because, once you finish working on a project, you need to find another one. It is better to passively receive advertise rather than searching specifically, if you have the right recruiters who advertise on your area of activity. Later when you have experience, and build a good profile, you may even become employed and work remotely.
If you rely on starting by using freelancer websites, where you place cheap bids on existing projects, in order to build a profile, (that will work indeed), you will have a very slow start, but, it is a start.