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. 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 of 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. Oflate, 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 recession effect.


#1 kishore

This site really rocks. It publishes article on day to day activities and its really a great analysis done by Gunasekaran.
He is right that its time to enhance your skill and equipped yourself with varieties of arms(tools, certification,etc)


#2 Sameer

“In western countries, job hoping is a regular feature in life cycle but in India we are yet to get accosted to this.”

I strongly disagree with this statement. Being a professional working in Canada, I know that job hopping is not considered a good sign and the HR/Recruiters dont consider this as a good sign when interviewing candidates for open positions at their organizations. This shows that the candidate is unstable or isnt interested. Whereas in India, the attrition rate is high because people switch companies quite so often.

#3 Deepa

Excellent Article

#4 Avikash

This is really a very good article regarding the current scenario of IT……

#5 Naushad Pasha

Good encouraging article.

#6 Manoj Ahuja

It is really an awesome and confidence giving article, i request every one to read very carefully and follow what is in the article, this is my promise i am going to follow this article.If you also wants success do it.

#7 Ashish Singh

Short & Superb!

#8 Suhas

I had been lucky to work with the company where i am working… they got a good backup of domestic market projects so that the recession is not a harm..but still i feel… and i will suggest all my Tester Friends “Knowledge is power”.. try to get ready for more domains and more kind of application this will help you a lot.. keep patience .. everything is gona bloom later…

Thanks Gunasekaran for the great article

#9 its superb

its really wonderful article.

#10 Awais

Not Bad,
These are wonderful tips to raise the ambitions of any person and he could get courage to learn more n more in a right way… so start taking jumps and certifications as well to enhance ur skills and knowledge…
Awais khan
SQA Engineer

#11 Syed Gauhar Abbas

i had MCA and presently working at esoft technologies ltd Lucknow as software test engineer.I don’t have any specialized certification in testing .Please confirm me that testing certification from ISTQB is necessaey for growth in testing .

#12 Mehmood Anjum

Exellent article which will help all fresh as well as experienced..

Thanx Gunasekaran Veerapillai

#13 Pradeep

A very useful and good article , it is not only for testing professionals but also for all people ( in technical and Non – technical) in IT industry.

thanks Gunasekaran Veerapillai

#14 Aman


#15 Goj

This tips are realy useful
Thank you very much sir..
But still I want some help.
I am science grad. done testing diploma from one pvt Intitu 6 months ago but still not getting job… for fresher like me….no one is ready to give the project/job…
Help me…..(give suggetion)

#16 Ankur Hadke

Nice article…..

Really help all for good motivation

#17 RoadRash


Can anyone tell me out of ISTQB or CSTE which is more important.

In my company there is no automation test tool used , but i am very much intersted in learing QTP. So if i learn the QPT tool by mysely will i get a job for QTP.

thanks in advance

#18 Chandra

Nice Article from Gunasekaran. However i have a question based on what he has written. He speaks of upgrading skills in the first place…no doubt its one of the best way to keep yourself on your toes, be it a recession or not. But with respect to a new job search, the prospective companies always look for a working experience in those skills (say, QTP). and if though you are pretty comfortable with the said skills/tools, you will be overlooked as you do not have a working experience. This really leads me to think that if a skill does not earns me what I look for then what the use of spending time in that??? I would certainly like to invite comments on what i said and if anybody thinks differently on what i say…

#19 RoadRash


Even i feel the same, if we learn the tools like QTP we will not be considered for the job in QTP as we lack the experience.. i have seen the jobs offered for QTP it is mostly more than 1 year of experience in QTP…..

#20 RoadRash

I feel that there is something worng with the time of comments displayed on the top of the comments…

Even though i logged it at 7:35 pm it is showing as 2:04 pm

#21 Bhisham kumar

hi all
thanks for informing about this recession in this situation i will improve my skills and tools

Bhisham Kumar

#22 Vidhya

Simply Superb!

Encouraging and tells people what to do next if they had gone in real tough times….

#23 Anusha S.

No doubt this is an excellent article which reveals the importance of upgrading one’s profile in order to go up with career ladder..its common for all the instances..not only the recession time…Statics are showing only 20% of the job cut downs are occurred in IT comparing to Commercial sector. Still we are in safe side..But still, its better to mind, upgrading our professional skills as well as the people skills.

#24 Kavya


Its really motivating article for all IT field people. So this is the time to have vast knowledge on different things.
The Analysis given by Gunasekahran is true as per the current scenario.

Best regards,

#25 Lak

Excellent Article

#26 Sachin

Good Article…really helpful to understand the situation

#27 Kalyani

This is reallya nice article.

#28 Kalyani

This is really a nice article.

#29 Shilpa

Good article,
Now eagarly waiting for Vijay’s recession survival to-do list..

#30 lakshmi


Anyone aware of “QTP certification”.

Can you please provide me your experiences in facing this?

I am residing in Hyderabad. Can you please provide the details of the institutes that provide this certification training?

Thanks in Advance.


#31 Vishal

Hi Vijay,

Recently I had been to an interview and encounted to a new term hard error and soft error.

They have asked me the difference between Hard and soft error.

If u have the ans. pls reply for the thread.


#32 Ngoc Vu

Really useful tips.
In this situation, many many IT companies in the world have difficulties.
Hope you will share many more useful articles.
Ngoc Vu

#33 Peter Benjamin

Hi Guna,

I read your message and suggestion. Its a good advise during this down time of IT…and especially a Motivation & reminders as such where we are and what we are going to be..Etc…Once again. Thanks and Keep up the Good work. You will get good.

Peter Benjamin

#34 Thiygarajan Veluchamy


Thanks, this really nice one …

#35 Nisha

Excellent article

#36 Raj

Hi All,

This is really a very helpful article in motivating a person. In this article it has been asked to upgrade your skills by taking certification exams like QTP Certfication , ISTQB Certfication etc.

But Can anyone provide the names of good testing training institute which helps in preparing for these exams?

#37 Goj

Answer For Raj

Seed infotech is the good inst. which conduct classes for preparation for this exams.
visit to

#38 jai

a very good article.. especially for freshers like me who’ve just been introduced to the world of s/w testing.
keep up the good work!

#39 Rajkumar

I read the article “Top Three Tips to Survive in this Recession – Economic Downtime” by Gunasekaran. This is a motivational article for thousands of Software Testers. As he rightly said, “Unless you are multi skilled, it is going to be difficult for us to survive in the emerging context”, we must be multi-skilled so that we can cope up with the current downtime trends. Thanks, very good article.

#40 Gunasekaran Veerapillai

Multi skilling or enhancing your skills will help you to manage the current crisis. Companies are not in a position to hire different persons for manual testing, automation testing, performance testing etc., When there is a project which requires all these skills, you will be the first choice.

Normally it is difficult to get a break only with trainings in tools and certifications as project experience in critical. If you get a chance to work in a manual testing project, proactively you can automate the applciations using the avaiable tools or freeware tools which will reduce the test execution timelines. We need to improve the productivity to sustain in this crisis

#41 Sam

Can you please name some certification in Health Care Insurance Domain.

#42 Rajshree

Good guidence……Good thoughts……

#43 Rohan

Helpful article … Thanks

#44 Inder P Singh

We can feel that this recession would result in an increase in the client’s expectations from their IT vendors (companies) and in the companies ‘ expectations from their employees. Somehow, we should be able to manage and serve these increased expectations.

#45 Bharati

Excellent article and very useful too. We need to improve the productivity inorder to survive in this industry in this down time. Also multi-skilled has always been a major factor for surviving in indutries.

#46 Rajkiran Kusuma

A very good guidence….Thanks…

#47 Mallikarjun

wat a beautiful article.hats of to GUNASHEKARAN.

#48 Rajiv Rajendran

This site is exceptional and extra-ordinary. I really appreciate the articles posted in this site.

#49 Shirisha

I am in a problem. If anyone can please help. I worked in a small company to start my career. Say for 8 mth. Then got an opportunity with MNC. I went for it. It was a contract position. But as the client asked to ram down we on contracts had to go through layoff. Not all. Some were mapped. We were told this is layoff and not because of performance. How true is it?
I worked there only 3mth. And the total experience is 1yr now. Now I cant see any further. But I plan to do ISTQB and QTP certification. Is there a possibility to get another job sooner or later? Will I have to again start from a small company? Will my 3mth at MNC be questioned? I was told(personally talked to PM and HR) that whenever there is a requirement in future we will be given the opportunity 1st. Was this just for the sake of saying? I was told by my PM, TL to be in contact.
I am depressed and don’t know whom and where to approach… Anyone can please help?


No doubt this is an excellent article which reveals the importance of upgrading one’s profile in order to go up with career ladder..its common for all the instances..not only the recession time…Statics are showing only 20% of the job cut downs are occurred in IT comparing to Commercial sector. Still we are in safe side..But still, its better to mind, upgrading our professional skills as well as the people skills.

#51 Sathesh Ramasamy

nice one to hear at this time….

#52 zankhana

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.

#53 subhranshu

very good article.

#54 AMBY

Nice article…

#55 sandeep

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…

#56 sandeep

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

#57 Darshit


Extremely helpful article…. Very motivational article to techo people in comfort zone….

#58 Amit

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??

#59 Kranthi

This is a very nice article which helps motivating us,Nice one to hear at this time.

#60 Srinath

This is really a very informative article, and we are expecting the part 2 of this,

#61 Sudha

Good article…keep posting such articles in future as well…Thanks…

#62 Tanuja

This Article is really nice

#63 Pritish


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.

#64 sudhakar

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

#65 Mehul Fozdar


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

#66 Dharni

Excellent article and what a nice say “Life gives you enough opportunity if you are ready to take challenges”.

#67 Saravanan

Its a very good article……All kind of IT peoples should go through it and start explore the technical skills.

#68 Raj

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…..

#69 bhavi

Pl.let me know what one should learn first before getting in to the software testing i am commerce graduate i dont have knowledge about computers(reply me on

#70 Yamini

Yupp u should learn well all the concepts & methedologies bfore getting into this field

#71 geeta

A very helpful & excellent article

#72 shruti

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

#73 STE Stuff-Testing Jobs

Great analysis..i’m trying to put up some more helpful tips to survive in this stress market…

#74 Vedavyas

Very nice article and looking forward for the continuatiion

#75 Cool Dude

In my opinion, social networking really makes the difference.
It open the new vistas…

good Luck folks !!

#76 Kiran

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.


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.


#78 Reshma


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.

#79 Venkatesh Ramachandra

Thank you so much for your valuable words.

#80 Sahir

Please reply to the post no:18 by Chandra…

#81 swas


#82 swas


#83 rahil

This site is simply amazing and motivating and help alot in learning

#84 Aarthi

simply superb

#85 mugaz

Informative and Motivating.Super

#86 sarav

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.

#87 Mpumelelo

Thanks guys, this is an awesome article. looking forward to part two.

#88 abhi reddy

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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