Top Three Tips to Survive in this Recession – Economic Downtime [Part 1]

Recession – Retrospection – Re-skill

This is a guest article from Gunasekaran Veerapillai.

I was very much impressed by the wordings from C K Prahalad, the management guru on facing the current challenges – “Time to be different, not just efficient”. In my experience in this IT world, the current recession is worse than the 9/11 aftermath and this is going to last for some more years before this industry stabilizes.

Top Three Tips to Survive in this Recession - Economic Downtime

When I had been to my family doctor last week, (he is taking care of me for the past 15 years), he casually but emphatically mentioned that IT has created a different world to this younger generation, which is impacting the normal life in countries like India.

There are people who are happy with this recession – pink slips, reduction in IT recruitment, bleak prospects, etc., make them happy with the fact the IT industry is coming to ‘Normalization’. This paper is not for those who are fuming at IT but for those unfortunates who are already into this fascinating world and wondering how to get stabilized here.

Gartner analysis till 2011 is not encouraging for all of us. But the world of outsourcing and offshoring is not going to be affected very much during the coming years. It gives us an opportunity to adjust ourselves to the new environment to survive.

Here are my Top Three Tips to survive in this Recession

#1) Upgrade Your Skills – Make a Strong Profile

When I was young my teachers used to an emphasis on specialized skills. Yes even in our testing world, hitherto specialization was getting much attention and my organization was able to charge differential rates to the clients for a performance architect or automation developer.

Of late, my requirements are coming differently. Clients need a Test Automation Architect, who is good in QTP, LoadRunner, Perl, Unix, SQL, Java, etc., etc., but as things emerge, you should be a Jack of all arts in all Testing Arena.

Unless you are multi-skilled, it is going to be difficult for us to survive in the emerging context. When you are out of a project, take that as a boon period to upgrade your skills. Be in testing released certifications like ISTQB, CSTE, CSQA or tools related certifications like AIS, ASE or domain-related certifications in Insurance, Banking or telecom is going to help you to improve your profile.

#2) Learn to Manage Stress

One more critical skill, which we need to learn, is Stress Management. As we move on, we will get more work-related pressure. I know already several of our colleagues never see the sunlight during the project execution days and this will “Improve” further due to the cost-cutting and operating margin pressure on the IT companies.

All of us know that a young girl committed suicide recently due to the pressure from her managers. We need to learn to live with these pressures in Life. A class on Yoga or meditation will help to stabilize your mind.

#3) Be Always Ready to Face Challenges

Every other day, you can see news of IT firms downsizing employees. This is a hard reality in countries like India where job security is associated with the work-life. It is not the question of you being a performer or non-performer, but the question of available business and required resources.

One should not get de-motivated or depressed by these events in life. In western countries, job-hopping is a regular feature in life cycle but in India, we are yet to get accosted to this. If you happen to face this, take it bravely and face the challenges.

Cross skill will help you during this time. One of my earlier delivery managers in insurance vertical is now CEO in a hospitality company. Life gives you enough opportunity if you are ready to take challenges and use every opportunity to upgrade your skills.

As we grow, not only our skills should grow with us, but also the certifications and membership which will give an enhanced look to your profile. Also, our confidence to face the challenges should also improve.

Long back, I had a supervisor, who will become uneasy, if he did not have any problem to solve. We used to yell at him at that time and now I realize that he is my mentor in facing multi-dimensional issues and problems in life.

This is a right time for all of us to introspect ourselves on the current skills and move forward. Nothing is impossible if you have the determination to WIN.

What is your experience? How do you think Testers can survive in this Recession Period?

Update from Vijay – I have named this article as “Part-1” as I am also compiling a to-do list to Survive the Recession.  You will soon get the Part-2 with in-depth analysis and steps on how Software Testers can minimize the Recession effect.

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89 thoughts on “Top Three Tips to Survive in this Recession – Economic Downtime [Part 1]”

  1. Good one
    Motivational articles are as important as technological particularly in this era when every employee has to pass through stress of work…..thanking u N keep writing this kind of inspirational articles.

  2. hi shirish

    dont worry…sooner or later u well get a nice job….by the time do some certification like ISQTB and QTP …n keep reading interview questions….i am working with a mnc in gurgaon ….also in my company there openings for software testers…

  3. hi shirisha

    dont worry…sooner or later u well get a nice job….by the time do some certification like ISQTB and QTP …n keep reading interview questions….i am working with a mnc in gurgaon ….also in my company there openings for software testers…
    u can mail me at

  4. This is a very nice article which helps motivating us.
    This is indeed a great time to upgrade our skills.

    There are many courses available but dont know which one to opt for.
    like there are QTP,winrunner,silk….

    According to current conditions which course should we opt for??

  5. Hi,

    I would like to know about Microsoft CRM testing, what is the best approach to test it and if it is a Agile process then what should approach and kind of testing it should be. Is automation testing is possible in Microsoft CRM.

  6. HI,
    I Found this website very useful and helpful.I want To know More details about the software Testing as i am new to S/W testing. Kindly Provide me with the Manual And Autamation Websites where i can learn the basic things

  7. Hi,

    I found its really helpful to me and my colleagues. We should take care of all points that you have given to us.

    I have agreed with this article.

    Mehul Fozdar
    QC Analyst

  8. Hi,
    I am Raj.If any one can please help.sorry my english would be erronous please accept this.i am doing B.E(CSE) in final year.what’s the use of ISTQB and QTP.Wheather i required now?please tell me about the ISTQB and what is the eligible for ISTQB certification…..

  9. hi all,
    pls tell me how much emphasis is given to usability testing in websites n wht are the methods used.

  10. Nice article

    Nothing is impossible until we start working on challenge, so think yourself today and compose a brigh carrer.

    My best wishes to every body.

  11. Good article. You have written the same from the Individuals perspective.

    For the companies perspective there is something called Market intelligence/ Business intelligence which is required for saving cost.


  12. Hi,

    I did post gradudation in Mathematics and I have been surviving in this field since 2006. Also I have completed ISTQB foundation level but nowadays many of the organisations are asking for BE / Btech or MCA degree holders alone in software testing. Then what would be the fate of Science and arts degree candidates in this field. Do we need to pursue a part time MCA or MSC IT. Do the Employers are really looking only enginerring students for their testing projects. Please comment.

  13. Really a good article. this is not only activity every tester has to do during recession this is a day to day activity to survive in IT. though this article was publised during 2008 recession still it is worth re-visiting this article to gain confidence to face the tough IT world.

  14. is it true that..if the company wants pick out some people out of the job…the first one who goes out is a tester…if they pick out 10 people out of the job then the majority of people will be from testing..


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