My company have recently started calling out some of the different roles that we have to graduate starters. (Historically we recruited people and helped them develop where they wanted – now we’re large enough to call out various starting places – “Dev”, “Test”, “Support”, etc.) I’ve been asked by students at recruitment events, “How do I decide where I want to start?”
So I’ve been thinking about this and come up with a few ideas. I’ll add more ideas/posts as they become clearer in my mind. As a background here, most of this is based on the belief that people do best when they’re learning and developing, and people develop fastest and enjoy work the most when it’s aligned with their fundamental motivations. Given that, a good way to pick a starting point (or indeed a moving point!) is to think about what you enjoy.
Development roles are ultimately about creating a thing. People who are fundamentally driven by building things and get their enjoyment from that created thing (Engineers) tend to do better in a Development role. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to enjoy investigating and understanding things – in fact being able to absorb and understand things is pretty much required to be a good developer, but that’s not where the biggest buzz comes from. If what really drives you is building stuff, try out Dev.
Testing roles are ultimately about understanding a thing. People who are fundamentally driven by understanding things and get their enjoyment from really picking apart and knowing a system (Scientists) tend to do better in a Testing role. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to enjoy making things – in fact being able to build things is pretty much required to be a good tester, but that’s not where the biggest buzz comes from. If what really drives you is understanding stuff, try out Test.
Great idea, or way-off-beam? Please let me know what you think!
 Engineer picture from TF2 (wiki.teamfortress.net)
 Scientist from Pandemic (boardgamegeek.com)