What is the most senior testing specialist in your org's job title?

For example, do you have a “Senior Test Manager”, a “Head of Quality”, a “Principal Tester” or something else?

I am looking for titles of specialists - if at some point, you move to generalists, “Software Development Managers” managing “Test Managers” for instance, the answer would be “Test Manager”. I also recognise test managers may well not be the senior testing professional in an org, just picking one title to use as a worked example.

If in doubt I am looking for the most senior test/quality specialist in your org. If you have a Test Manager and a Lead Tester in the same hierarchical, er, rung, feel free to mention both :slight_smile:

Disclaimer to say - I hate job titles and hierarchy in general, but I am required to engage with it sometimes and feel it’s interesting to take the temperature of other organisations in doing so!


Not specifically in our org but I’ve seen like “Test automation architect” – sounds cool, no clue what the requirements are.

Is this something you are looking for? :stuck_out_tongue:


I mean, I’m much more interested in what you do have in your org :wink:


Well I work in consultancy so to be honest, I don’t know for sure. We don’t call ourselves " expert test automator" or “principal/senior tester”. I don’t think we do anything fancy with job titles since for us it’s more about how you deal with stuff compared to what fancy job title you have XD

Interested to see other people’s reactions.


Moving to consultancy company soon, my next role title is like a standard one “testing consultant” and the role can differ it depends on the project needs management, leading a team, tester, test automation architect … as @kristof said.

In my previous company, we have levels/titles like

  • Junior tester
  • confirmed tester
  • advanced tester
  • test team lead
  • test manager

Titles can lead to frustrations some time !


My current org is a consulting company with a matrix organization - with line hierarchy and customer projects in each direction. :arrow_up_down: :arrow_backward: :arrow_forward:

Independent of that is the job bands/levels - and that goes for all job titles in the company (even in HR :smiley: ): Junior, Advanced, Senior, Principal, Subject Matter Expert.
The highest individual contributor/testing specialist is a: Subject Matter Expert (in Test).

All testing specialists refer to a (line) manager, who then refers to a director and then all the way up.


I’ve seen the following, the ones on the top being the most senior:

  • QA/test architect (plans the automation framework, and makes the high-level decisions)
  • QA Lead (a dude/dudette who leads a team of testers)
  • Test Manager (handling test plans, resource allocation, usually found in more old fashioned companies)
  • Test Coordinator (this one is pretty lame, it’s more of a corporate bureaucrat than a real tester)
  • Automation Engineer/SDET (mostly does automation development and maintenance)
  • QA Analyst (mainly does user story validation and a bit of a feature automation)
  • Junior tester (usually gets assigned with repetitive kinds of testing that more senior testers avoid)

Fairly flat structure but currently only 3 titles.

Software Tester/Security specialist
Software Tester/Automation specialist
Software Tester/Quality coach

Its SaaS though so titles change but generally we are all Test leads or QA consultants depending on the language the customer is comfortable with.


Nothing special here, sorry.

Although I did met a “Quality Catalyst” called Hannah yesterday, that was a great title, somehow, that happened on the MOT google chat thingy bit.ly/testerhangout I think it is called.


As a senior QA I find it interesting that the most senior in your organisation is the architect. It’s a great role, but is normally project/programme oriented - so the planning and decisions are about the project in hand, not the QA team in general. Architects are usually incredibly talented test gurus, but would normally be a ‘C’ in the RACI matrix for QA team management, recruitment and overall team strategy.


It was an outsourcing company, but there might have been roles above that one, on the client side, but I don’t know for sure.

We have Principals - so a Principal Test Analyst and a Principal Developer in Test.

The Principal Test Analyst role is a very new role and so I am still trying to settle on exactly what they are wanting from this role as it is very different from the Junior to Senior Test Analyst roles on our product.


‘Head of Software Testing’ for us

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That would only be 1 person then?

Yeah, one person as Head of, then below them 3 managers who look after the 3 different teams we have.

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For us it’s:

  • QA Lead
  • Senior QA Engineer
  • QA Engineer
  • Associate QA Engineer

We have s simple structure with QAs, a test manager (doin the structure part of test plan ing) and then a few senior testers have s role as QA coach, and join the QA manager and test manager in various discussions along with guiding the rest of the QAs.


In my company we try to have a really flat structure, there is really only 3 levels of hierarchy.

(1) top of hierarchy
(3) bottom of hierarchy

We have roles of:
Quality Engineers (3)
SDET (3)
Prinicle Quality Engineers (2)
PET (Platform engineer in test) (3)
Priniciple platform engineer(2)
Performance Engineer (3)
Principle Performance Engineer (2)
Head of Quality (1)

Basically there is 1 Head of Quality, 6 Principles that reporting to HoQ and then around 40 different engineers that report into the principles.

Although knowing we not all on the same level, it certainly feels like we are. Props to the head of quality for creating this culture it’s fantastic.