Career Paths And Testing

When you’re advancing your career in testing it’s easy to get sucked in to the lure of big titles like Test Manager, Programmer Manager etc, especially if your using some of the mainstream “career path” guidance tools. The offer of a test manager role might seem like an attractive offer compared to a “test engineer” or something like that. However, apply caution, in my experience most test managers I’ve known have done little other than manage artifacts (test cases). A role title does not accurately reflect the role.

Use your own judgment when you’re applying for roles with big titles. Someone I know is a Test Manager….of himself (and some test cases).

I know a Director of Test who manages a team of 2 testers (and lots of regression test cases).

I know someone who works for a test manager. This test manager manages a team of 45 testers doing nothing but regression testing. The team keeps growing but the testing is not changing. By all accounts he’s hiring people and getting them to manage a load of test cases. Is this test management – I guess so.

After fulfilling your basic needs like salary, location and any other contextual needs I’d suggest to try to find a job that challenges you, not a job that gives you a so called “career path” title.

Find a job that challenges everything you thought you knew about testing. Find a job that provides you with an environment you’ll thrive in. Try to find a job that is modern and relevant. Try to find a job that let’s you think…and gives you room to breathe.

Try to find a job that blows your socks off. And don’t worry too much about what you’ll be called.

Oh yeah – Did I mention I was hiring for a solid tester who likes a monumental challenge?

Oh yeah – I also write a book called Remaining Relevant about how to find those great jobs, get the skills you need and then rock an interview. You can buy it here on LeanPub