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I am working as a software tester, basically black box using both manual and automation testing approaches. Looking down the lane, I see several career paths ahead of me, but definitely not manual testing since it is not much challenging. I don't want to take the path of being a test manager and handling people on the business side either as I hate both. On the other hand comparing to software developers can I pursue a path that is technically challenging and not monotonous.

Is a test architect equally challenging when compared to a software architect in dev. I know this greatly varies from product based companies and service based companies.

I came upon this idea because I find writing a sorting algorithm is much more exciting than testing it. Since testing it is just giving a set of values and verifying the result - anybody can do that. But writing algorithms not many can do.

It would be great if someone can share valueable insights on this. Someone who has made the job switch because of such a reason.

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As checking that sorting algorithm works correctly is something anyone can do, no-one should need to do it but it should be automated. Testing this kind of things manually is boring and not worth it. Manual testing should be about looking at combinations and patterns, thinking ease-of-use and end user, challenging decisions, exploring... –  Edu Feb 4 '13 at 9:19
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Why don't you find manual testing challenging ? –  Phil Kirkham Feb 4 '13 at 12:45
    
I've just read a chapter on testing whether random number generator is giving random numbers and I don't think this is something everybody could do. What kind of apps have you tested so far? Have you considered white box testing? Have you tried integration testing? Any of them give you interesting insight about the complexity of the application. –  dzieciou Feb 4 '13 at 19:08

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I came upon this idea because I find writing a sorting algorithm is much more exciting than testing it.Since testing it is just giving a set of values and verifying the result.Anybody can do that.But,writing algorithms not many can do.

No, don't seek a test architect's position. If this is truly how you feel, you should strive to be in development, and not part of test at all.

There is very little need for most test architects to write sorting algorithms. (I don't know of any who regularly write sorting algorithms).

And anyone who writes that testing is "just giving a set of values" and "Anybody can do that" should re-think if they really belong in testing. Perhaps it's just because you are new to testing and don't really understand it yet, or perhaps your test team isn't typical, but that's certainly not what my test team does. We do a lot more than just giving a set of values.

This might help: http://www.allthingsquality.com/2012/05/if-you-dont-really-want-career-in.html

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Hi Joe,thanks for your input.I am sorry if I have hurt any people who are in QA roles,that's not my intention.Perhaps my view was very primitive.Maybe my current job role is very bad.Nothing against QA role or tester role,in fact the end goal of both is to deliver great software. –  Madusudanan Feb 4 '13 at 16:35
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Not hurt at all. I just feel bad when I see what I think is a mismatch between an individual and his/her job. I think it's important for people to feel good about their work, and I don't see that in your post. On my QA Team, I want people who feel passionate about quality, and enjoy the challenge and the opportunities their job brings. –  Joe Strazzere Feb 4 '13 at 18:18
    
Realized that my view was very narrow,thanks again. –  Madusudanan Feb 5 '13 at 17:32
    
No worries. Software Testing isn't for everyone. –  Joe Strazzere Feb 5 '13 at 21:45

Alan (Page) post explaining how Microsoft see the role of a test architect

Another post by John Morrison describing how Oracle sees it

If you read the posts above I think you know now that there is no one concrete definition for a test architect.

I am a test architect at a large global company, and find it challenging and exciting but the contents of my job is tailored to my skills and the needs of the branch I work for, so I'm not sure you will be able to learn something useful from it.

I hope you know that there are more things to testing than manual testing, for example someone should have deep understanding of the system under test, work with the developers and architects during the design phase and finally decide how to test it and how to interpret results- this is usually called a senior tester.

BTW when you write " I find writing a sorting algorithm is much more exciting than testing it" I get the feeling that you are not built for testing...

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Thanks for the links and insights,though it is a subjective question.I find it difficult to find my place.I do some times feel that I am not built for testing.Hope ill find my place soon. –  Madusudanan Feb 4 '13 at 8:06

I came upon this idea because I find writing a sorting algorithm is much more exciting than testing it. Since testing it is just giving a set of values and verifying the result - anybody can do that. But writing algorithms not many can do.

That isn't testing. Just taking a set of values and verifying the result? The tester needs to define what values are needed. How do you know the result is correct? Will it always be correct, even with other input? Is it the right solution at all? Can you write the appropriate automated test?

I've only worked as a tester as a short time, completely untrained. And it was long enough to realize that there is a LOT to know and learn; it's more than just coding, more than just math; it's a career direction in itself that can be very impressive.

Oh, and if you're not testing the algorithms you're writing, you're also not doing a good job as a developer. Testing is way above and beyond that. Writing correct algorithms even fewer can do.

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You may like to check this post which looks similar to your question.

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Thanks for the link. –  Madusudanan Feb 4 '13 at 8:01

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