Moving from Testing to BA


(PRACHI) #1

I have over 4+ years of experience in testing and I have mainly worked on client requests. Now that the expectations of employers about the output from testers has risen, and also because I am keen, I was thinking about working in a mix role of Tester and Business Analyst. I did work as a BA on freelance basis to see how it works and I could relate fairly well with it. Understanding users requirement, mapping them, feasibility studies, product improvement really interests me. I also know documentation side, agile methodologies but I need fellow testers views on:

  1. Whether such a role exists or does it make sense for someone to row into two boats together?
  2. Whether employers are open to appointing BAs with a testing background?
  3. What are the must have skill sets to be in such a role, if it is advisable?

(Linda) #2

This is an interesting question. About 6 months ago I was moved into a dual role of BA/QA for a mobile app dev team. I was already performing many BA tasks for the team, as there was no dedicated BA assigned. I see myself, and one other BA (who was previously a tester) has having technical skills to be able to challenge/discuss upcoming features in a way that the BAs with no testing experiences are able to.

More recently, I was moved into a BA role for NetSuite dev, though that’s more of a project management role than actual BA. In case you lost track, I have 3 distinct roles BA for mobile dev, BA for NetSuite and QA for mobile. (some days the context shifting is definitely hard!)

In terms of the must have skill sets, I’m not sure I know, but, I will share what I think is important.

Ability to translate user “wants” into concrete requirements for the developer.
Be able to get answers to questions
Facilitate technical/design sessions
Not be afraid to challenge/push back
Critical thinking

Right now my first love is still testing. I’m still pretty new to the BA role, and not sure I will ever love it the way I do testing.
Interested in what others have to say about the topic


(PRACHI) #3

Wow thanks for that reply Linda. Gives me a positive hope that someday I will be able to get into dual role as well! Yes it would be nice to know experiences of people in the industry.


(Robert) #4

I think a lot is going to depend on the specific company and its requirements for BAs. In my last role, I worked as a tester directly to a BA; in fact, I think it was the BA who had been instrumental in getting the company to go down the route of having testers in the first place. The second project we worked on, I worked very closely with the BA in the requirements gathering role, especially in facilitating exchanges between us (as representatives of the IT team) and the wider business. It helped a lot because the dialogues that we had with people from the business established and reinforced our bona fides specifically because of the input I was able to bring to the table with my own business experience, gathered in years of work generally and a few years contracting in IT specifically.

A lot will depend on the criteria the company applies for their BA roles. If you have sufficiently wide business experience, you may find that your company are happy for you to slide into a more BA-oriented role over time. But some companies may be looking for certain things with their BAs - for example, specific sectorial experience or even a qualification (the BA I worked with had graduate qualifications in business studies, and whilst I was there he took and got his MBA [Masters in Business Administration] on a part-time basis).


(PRACHI) #5

I have studied Business and Economics, accounting as well. Completely agree to the point that it depends from one company to the other.
My company looks for people who have experience in their software because of complexity of the software itself. There is no one definitive role, so only option is to go through JD and find it out!!