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Many developers work as freelancer, developing a project on request.

Is there a similar career path for SDET? I would like to work in a similar independent way, e.g., by automating tests per project.

If there is something like that, where can I learn more about such career path and related experiences?

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Finding work as a QA contractor is easy. There are tons of those jobs out there. Every time I go to my monthly QA meeting there are more recruiters there than members. – djangofan Aug 1 '13 at 22:21
What are those monthly QA meetings? Who organizes that? Where have you found it? – dzieciou Aug 3 '13 at 7:52
The ASQ (American Society for Quality) has regular meetings throughout the US. there are QA groups on Meetup. LinkedIn has several QA groups (including multiple QA automation groups) - if you find one connecte to a location, they may have actual meetings. Also programming groups (such as Agile) usually have QA professionals in attendance. – John Oglesby Aug 3 '13 at 18:33
Thanks for inspiration. In my city there are no specific QA meetups, but there is plenty of programming groups which ocassionally have QA-related presentations + QA audience with interest in programming. That's a good place to start learning local market. – dzieciou Aug 4 '13 at 20:57
up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is certainly possible, but it might be easier as a contractor, with a company helping you line up projects. I got started in QA working for a company that did this very thing, lining up contracts with clients for test work, then finding Automation or Manual resources to complete the contracts. Some of the projects were short (just a couple of weeks) to some that exceeded 18 months.

I know you're asking about freelance, but it certainly shows that companies are willing to hire automation resources on a project by project basis.

Update: I just did a search on "SDET" and "freelance". Several sites came up, donanza, elance, and freelanced (not linking as I know nothing about any of them). They seem to be sites for freelance developers to find projects, but also contain postings for SDET projects.

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John, having a company that lines up projects for you, have you got possibility to say no for certain project proposals? E.g., because you prefer working with backend projects rather than frontend? How much freedom you had? – dzieciou Aug 3 '13 at 7:59
From my experience, yes. I have only worked with two companies (and the principal personnel were actually the same). Obviously the company wants to satisfy their client, and so want their resources to accept work. But if you have specific preferences, I've found they they will work with you. What area are you in, geographically? – John Oglesby Aug 3 '13 at 18:25
I'm based in Poland (Eastern Europe). Plenty of contracting companies here, also for QA jobs. I will learn more about the projects they offer. Thank you. – dzieciou Aug 4 '13 at 21:01

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