My current job title is Test Team Leader, I work for a large company and have a team of 5 Senior Test Analysts, 13 Test Analysts and 6 Junior Test Analysts…oh and 1 contracted TA. I report to the “Development & Test Manager”, who has no experience in testing, but acts as that bridge to the rest of IT (Directors and Heads Of). The D&T Manager also has 5 development teams to look after, ranging between 3 and 5 people in each with one Senior Developer in each.
I guess my day to day role is that of a Test Manager, although that being said, I do sometimes question the necessity of my role. The STA group that I oversee consists of some excellent men & women who can handle most of what comes in, and could easily escalate to the D&T Manager.
Previous to this role I was Test Manager for a large global medical company, it was a newly formed function and having me there was perhaps beneficial especially as the new team were not testers by trade.
The more I look around now for different opportunities, it’s very rare that I see the role Test Manager come up in the job searches. Most are looking for Test Lead, or Senior Test Analyst…sometimes different titles like Testing Leader. Could this be a move to reduce the overall salary required to get someone at the ‘head’ of the testing tree…maybe, but then I can be a pessimist sometimes . More likely I would like to think that the resultant shift is due to modern methodologies like DevOps and Agile, where there is no need for a Test Manager (in my opinion).
I am keen to progress my career even now, but to do so I fear that I will need to get “back on the tools”, to be a practitioner rather than a manager. I’m okay with this, so long as I can find the right role (and salary). I do fear the role of Test Manager is on the way out, and I’ll need to evolve or die…who knows, maybe I’ll turn back to my previous experience in development .