Welcome to Day 4 of 30 Days of Career Growth! Today, we’re asking you to read the article “Navigating A Career Path In Software Testing” by @melthetester. This article discusses various career paths and opportunities for testers in the software development industry. It emphasizes that many testers often stumble into the profession rather than actively choosing it as a career. However, to stay relevant and advance in their careers, testers need to adapt to the changing nature of their role and develop specialized skills.
After reading the article, I would like you to share how you fell into testing by replying to this post. Did you always know that you wanted to be a software tester? Or did you fall into it by accident? And, what do you enjoy most about your job?
I’m excited to hear about your experiences!
Why complete this task?
Gain insights into career paths: Reading the article provides valuable information about the different career paths available in the software testing field. It helps you understand the diverse opportunities and growth prospects within the industry, enabling you to make informed decisions about your own career path.
Understand the evolving role of testers: The article highlights the evolving nature of the testing profession, emphasizing the need for testers to adapt and acquire specialized skills. By understanding these changes, you can stay up-to-date with industry trends and position yourself for career advancement.
Reflect on your personal journey: Sharing how you fell into testing allows you to reflect on your own career path. It gives you an opportunity to think about whether you chose testing intentionally or stumbled upon it by accident. Understanding your own motivations and experiences can help you gain clarity about your career goals and aspirations.
Connect with others: By participating in the task and sharing your story, you can connect with fellow community members who may have similar experiences or different perspectives. Engaging in discussions and learning from others’ journeys can provide valuable insights and broaden your understanding of the software testing profession.
Find enjoyment in your job: Reflecting on what you enjoy most about your job allows you to focus on the positive aspects of your career.
I really loved the fact that the article describes in detail the QA career path in the long run is really insightful
Reflect on your personal journey => I started my career as a QA in 2020 during the Covid outbreak when I got a job offer for a QA role from one of my Senior community members. I started my career in 2016 as a web developer and then worked as a system engineer from 2017-2020 May. When I started to work as a QA I started to enjoy it more than the other 2 roles I have worked on. And in 2019 my mental health went downhill and decided to switch to a role that will stress me less. Working both as a developer and a system engineer put a lot of pressure on my brain and I had to use my cognitive ability a lot which was hampering my health. I had to work after hours a lot cuz when the system is down, my responsibility is to keep the server up and running while working as a developer whenever I use to face any code blockers I use to think about the code’s logic until I get the right solution. As a person who is suffering from Insomnia, those job roles hampered my both mental and physical health.
- I find enjoyment in the QA job more, as there are many soft skills I get to work on. I am a very introverted person but since I started to work as a QA I have been able to overcome my rigidity a bit. I get to interact with end-users directly during UAT, this helps me to understand the perspective of the software as well as the need and comfort of the user. After all the product we get to work on needs end-user satisfaction, if they are not comfortable with it that means there is more to work on it. Its been more than 3 years I am pursuing my career as a QA and I am hoping maybe one-day I will retire as a Principle QA Engineer
When I was “young” age of ~13 I was playing video games and I was so fed up with bugs that I started reporting them in hopes of them getting fixed. At some point I got rewarded (big!) for a very critical bug and ever since that moment, I really started to hunt for bugs. I started humping walls for glitches, started to dive more into the technical aspect of video game testing and security. When I say, I was really into reporting bugs, I mean I was really into reporting bugs. I even had a job offer from Blizzard Entertainment on my 18th birthday, which I wasn’t ready for (because I had to move to Paris/Ireland and Hotel Mommy was still to great + I was still in school). But it got me thinking of doing it as a real job, unfortunately in Belgium, there is basically no such thing. So I took the second best option and went for software testing!
So I went looking for a job as software tester and I nailed my first interview. He asked me why I was the “man cut for the job and how I could prove I was very detailed”.
There was a painting behind the man (nothing expansive but claimed to be painted by X), and I noticed that it looked like a fake because there was a very small white piece which didn’t belong into the painting. It looked like a small section which wasn’t painted. He loved and hated it so much because now he couldn’t un-see it anymore. Turns out I was right and it was a fake and he removed it and it got me my first job as a software tester!
I found the last paragraph intresting.
Now that’s a fascinating origin story @kristof
I started off as a software developer, programming in C++. I’ve always had a passion for creating applications and wanting to design something which is really usable and adds customer value. For so long I thought that I had to be a software developer to do that and to be honest, for a long time it really was that case in a lot of companies.
When a project was terminated early, I was given the opportunity to help out a new test automation team who needed some programming help. It was the best thing I did in my career as I realised why I was frustrated as a developer for so many years, wanting to have more of a say about quality but it falling on deaf ears and feeling like I was just going with the flow.
I met a group of supportive people who all had a common goal, improving the quality of the software that’s produced. My customer focused mindset was valued. I started to learn as much as I could and grow.
When I moved into a senior test engineer role, with a chance to lead a team, I chose to attend my first testing conference, test bash UK. And that REALLY opened my eyes to how much testing has changed and how a new quality engineer role was emerging. I learned as much as I could about this and took on the role myself, being a quality coach, an ambassador, a mentor and so much more.
By taking my passion and using that to grow myself and those around me, I landed a Lead QAE role and I’m talking at an international conference later this year.
So my advice to anyone reading this, don’t wait for opportunity to knock, create the opportunities yourself, grow yourself and make the difference you want to see around you.
Thanks for suggesting the article by @melthetester.It had great insights. While I knew most of them.
I took up the references to read in my free or spare time. It also helped me introspect myself or visualise my steps so far. I will re-read this again and make some notes with specific points because it’s a timeless piece of advice.
To tell you how I fell into testing I have a super quick story to tell you
Fresh from college when I transitioned into the corporate world I was trained for 3 months as a developer and later I was put into a project related to C#.
While the development job was going on I realized I was developing an aversion or frustration towards code as I took longer time than many other people around me. It made me feel like an imposter. Slowly after several days, I quit this role and as I was looking or figuring out what opportunities should I take up to have a decent career I stumbled upon two areas
- As a Tester
I began analyzing both of these in terms of various perspectives like learning, growth, salary, adaptability etc
Finally, I decided to move on to taking up a career in testing .
The other reason I choose this area was that I had a lot of friends who were working as Testers and had suggested me to take it up. This had convinced me plus I had done my own research too.
Then I began training myself by reading and understanding concepts around it and started interviewing for various projects in my organization.
Then I finally got in as a performance tester for one of the projects. Being the first opportunity in a testing role, I had to constantly learn a lot of things. I enjoyed doing it too as there were seniors who guided me on how to do it. However, this project was only for three months.
Later I was put into another project where I had to only test and not do any kind of automation work. There I had put the theory I had leant into practice. After a few months, we were asked to automate too…That’s how I learnt a fair bit of automation and with some amount of external training. And the rest is history
If you ask me was it accidental? Definitely not I would say it’s a way of unfolding my destiny. The only thing I knew was I wanted to do it and I did it with my mind heart and soul.
The reasons I cherish my job as a tester are
- Carve my identity
- Ability to voice out my opinions or speak up in crucial meetings
- Introduce me to good folks forming everlasting relationships
- Learn new things or upskill myself constantly
- Boosts my confidence and made me a better thinker and the person I’m today
- Interact with different teams
- Mentor junior folks
I was never one of those children who knew what they wanted to do in life. As I moved through school and university I was continuously torn between mathematics and art. Two completely opposite subjects. I felt like a human Venn diagram thinking that one career couldn’t possibly cover two such different topics.
After I left university (having eventually chosen to study maths) I was working for a complaint handling company where I was charged with investigating complaints that customers sent it about their mobile phone or internet service. It was the worst job I ever had because of the calls I had to handle. The same company had a small development team tucked away on the ground floor and they were looking for a junior tester. Working in tech had never been a consideration for me but the job description spoke to my inner Venn diagram. They were looking for someone with the ability to analyse and think logically but also the ability to think creatively when thinking of potential test cases of a system.
After taking the job I honestly never looked back. I loved the blend of logical and creative activities that testing required. It had been a long time since I’d worked in a collaborative team and I thrived in the role of ‘tester enabling the team’. Even in my early days as a tester I quickly realised it was special to the rest of the development team. I was everywhere. The system we were enhancing and maintaining was the very system I used as a complaint handler so my domain knowledge was excellent. If someone reported a bug I’d be straight upstairs to ask them exactly what happened. If we got a feature request that didn’t make sense I’d go and talk to the person who requested it.
I re-discovered early on in my testing career that I love to learn. I collect pieces of knowledge like souvenirs and treasure them in (often illustrated) notes. Working in tech and more specifically working in Agile means I am continuously learning as our systems are continuously changing.
@testerfromleic talked about there being three general areas that testers congregate towards.
People - you like working with the team, you are interested in building relationships, facilitation, helping the team develop and improve.
Technical - you love code, you learn to write automated tests or you learn about infrastructure or security.
Business - you like working from a product perspective, understanding the business requirements.
For me it’s the people aspect. Since taking that first job as a tester testing mainly at the end of development I’ve always leaned towards building relationships across teams, getting people involved in my work, getting people talking to each other. I’ve recently landed a job with the ultimate title of Quality Coach and I love @melthetester’s definition of helping the whole team thrive. That’s my mission every day in this job.
How I “Fell” into Testing
In 2020, I decided to finally devote myself to learning to code. I’d been interested in becoming a developer for years but lacked the time, opportunity, and path. Covid made me focus on finding a career that was safe and flexible for my family (working from home was the primary goal).
I completed an intense full-stack BootCamp, but felt burnt out and exhausted afterward. I was no longer certain that coding full-time was for me. Luckily I had time to decide. I completed The Collab Lab, followed by a backend engineering apprenticeship, followed by a coding fellowship that focused on automation. I felt reinvigorated by the testing experience. I realized that this was a great way to marry my old career and skillset to my new technical knowledge. I started applying to SDET and QA roles and landed my current role.
This article was great! I really started to think about how I’d like to grow my skills long-term (over the next 5 years). I enjoyed backend work in BootCamp and I’d like to return there via data management/testing/analysis. I think that the easiest way to start is to beef up my backend testing skillset. I also would like to eventually grow comfortable with SQL.
I generally find my job enjoyable. I like the autonomy it provides. I enjoy learning and researching, which are skills I often need to use in my current role. I work with a supportive team, which is the best part.
I fell into testing by accident.
In the 4th year of my university, I was asked to help a student with some SQL assignments.
I did the tasks, and it turned out that this student had a job as QA Engineer at the bank. So he offered me to try out to get a job.
I read one testing book on Friday, went to an interview on Monday (next week), and then Tuesday was my first official working day as QA Engineer. It was the fall of 2011.
My story is different, I was a Super user of a particular product, and when the development company was advertising for a Tester of the product, I applied. I had no idea of testing, or what I was getting myself into, but I was offered the job, and I took it. That was in 2010, and I am still working as a tester today!
I knew at a young age that I was good at testing software, but I never knew that it was a valid career choice. In school, while studying computer science, my fellow students would approach me to see what they could do better in their programs. Or… they would ask me to test them. I was very good at it.
But I left programming to enter hardware development. I studied hardware development, and got a job making PCBs.
The company where I worked moved to a location which was far away, and I started looking for a new job. To do that, I went to recruiters. A recruiter sent me to a company which makes hardware, and told me that I would be headed to “Department X” to work on “Product A” as a hardware developer. When I got there, they escorted me to an interview at “Department Y” to work with “product B” as an embedded software tester.
I did very well at the interview which I was very unprepared for, and since I had a lot of Networking connections in the company (having done my apprentiship there), they gave me a chance. Since I liked them, I gave them a chance.
More than a decade later, I’m still testing, but no longer in embedded systems.
For me this path is just starting. This is my journey so far:
- customer service
And hopefully: software tester
I discovered testing through a friend of mine, who works as a tester, he instroduced me to
this world, wichI found very interesting. I am currently working as a sofwatre developer and I would like to get into a testing role, so I hope to do so.
I’m another “accidental” tester.
After I finished high school, I did a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology - and graduated shortly after the availability of starter Geologist roles in Australia dried up (due to political issues). After 2 years of mostly unemployment, I returned to college and got teaching credentials, which led to another long stretch of unemployment, a year of teaching that left me with a complete breakdown, clinical depression, and barely functioning.
When I recovered from that, I took a Bachelor’s degree in computer science focusing on programming and software design. And graduated into the post Y2K crash…
I eventually got work as a programmer, and 6 months later the company went bankrupt. Moved to the USA, got married, got work over here as a tester and found I enjoyed it.
I’ve been testing for the last not-quite-20 years and have no desire to move outside of testing. My preference would be to remain primarily in testing, being able to work with both test automation and manual/exploratory testing. Being in a technical lead role for testers would also work.
Hello. This is a very interesting artilce in shared in my LinkedIn account.
My background is front-end developer using mainly the WordPress CMS. In beggining of my career, about 20 years ago, i worked on a company as a quality control tester at Microsoft’s products. Therefore, testing was always on my mind. During the last year i’m turning into QA again consciously what i want to do for the folowing years of my career.
As far as the article is concerned it made me concerned about the roles of QA. Ok, as i menitioned before during the last year i’m turning into QA area through a large course i followed. This coursed, not only Udemy, it evolved intro to QA, Agile techiques, SQL, automation tools e.t.c. Therefore according to this article, should i focus on a specific job role that suits me better to my needs and on what i want to do? or, should i keep develop my manual and automation techniques?
Sure as a QA tester/engineer you should deal with business and developer teams but should you be as much familiar as you can in application’s domain? i.e. a bank sector and all s/w that may be included in? A last question that this article makes me is that, are those careers paths related only to big companies and also to large projects? (i.e. Microsoft, Apple and so on).
This artice i think is a good source for discussion about.
In the mid 1990s, I got a temporary job as Tech Support for a tax product now known as Tax Act. At the end of the support , a few of the temp workers were offered positions as contract QA personnel. I had a journalism degree, but found I had a natural talent for testing. Thus started my 28 year journey as a manual tester, then QA engineer and finally leading a team that transitioned to automated testing.
The journey has met quite a bit of educating engineers and other key stakeholders on the importance of testing and good processes. I have had the pleasure of mentoring many new engineers and testers. Right now my position puts me more in the User Acceptance testing role, but my quest for advocating for Quality has never ended.
I recommend this job for anyone who likes to make a difference, and enjoys the role of advocating for a good customer experience. It has been a wonderful journey.
It’s 2003 and I’m a couple of years into working as a customer service person at a Building Society (like a Bank with a different ownership model). I’m living at my folks place with no career path. Just milling around earning a basic salary wondering what I could really do with that business degree.
I knew I wanted to work with computers yet programming didn’t seem like it was for me. I’m not so good at maths and my head doesn’t think in logic or like an engineer.
“The people building our new customer service system need someone to do some user acceptance testing on our new system. Who would like to do that?” Most of my team shrugs except my hand shoots up. “This is my way in!” I think to myself. “What’s user acceptance testing?” I ask.
Three weeks later and the Test Manager working with the 3rd party supplier asked me if I’d like to officially join the test team as a Test Analyst.
So ~20 years ago, I was working in GAME, explaining to adults why their 9 year old should not be allowed to play GTA.
One quiet day, I got talking to the rep from EA who was checking we were putting the right games in our “Top 10 Games” display. He mentioned that EA were hiring testers not far from there. I managed to get in to the mass interview (I remember there being 50-100 of us doing group exercises, and being whittled down over the day).
The final interview was with a guy named Jay, and our mutual love of Final Fantasy 7 was enough to get me in the door. 1.5 years testing games with EA was enough to make me realise that I was quite good at this, and I jumped out of gaming and in to commercial software. I had planned to go back at a more senior level, but I’m not sure it’s right for me any more. Too much stress and bad hours
If that rep hadn’t given me the heads up he did, I have literally no idea where my life would be right now. More luck than judgement.
My journey to being a full time tester has been long and has many twists and turns. Even though I have a BA in Radio/Television Broadcasting, and an MA in Communications, I still have had many occupations in my life, including (but not limited to): Junior HS Janitor, Insurance Benefits Admin, Manager of a Tobacco Shop, Radio Board Operator/VO Artist, Forklift Operator, Shoe Salesman, College Recruiter, Agriculture Worker, Factory Laborer, Telemarketer, and Retail Loss Prevention (amongst others). In the early 2000’s I was temping in a variety of occupations, and took a job working for Kaplan Online Educational services that lasted for a year and half. It was during that time that I gained my first experience with Software Testing, JIRA, and Subversion. I used that experience to gain a full time position with a business software company startup in downtown Chicago, where I worked for nearly 7 years. Long story short, the company failed to go public, and was absorbed by Salesforce after laying off 90% of their original workforce. After being unemployed for nearly 3 1/2 years, I started working in Retail Loss Prevention, and did that for 3 years before getting back into Software Testing. I now work remotely for a innovative social media marketing company based in the US state of Florida, and haven’t been this happy in a really, really long time. The things I enjoy most about my job relate to the finer details: I have a knack for breaking things, and now I finally get paid to do just that! I also really enjoy the collaborative space I have within my team, and enjoy the process of taking a bug filled mess and turning it into a smooth running functional program for our end users. It is not without its challenges, but at the end of the day, I love my job and think the world of the people that I work with. I appreciate all the support that I have been given to direct me towards my own career growth/career path, and rarely dread anything work related. I’m truly just happy to be here and contributing, and my company seems to feel the same way about me.