I have been working as QA/Tester for the last 4 years. I know there are a lot of different position titles in testing such as QA, QC, Tester, Quality analyst, Test Manager, Technical analyst and some others.

I have had experience with website testing, software testing and mobile app testing; I do manual as well as automation testing.

My question is, after 4 years of experience if I get a job in a new company what title/position I should tell them to write in my offer and appointment letter?

When I started my career I got position as "Tester" and then I got "QA" from the last 2 different companies one by one.

So please help me to find and set suitable position/title for me in a new company.

  • 1
    Great question! Personally, I started as a functionality tester, then moved from quality assurance, to test analyst, to software tester, to technical test analyst... and they've basically had the same responsibilities. My favourite (so far) is Software Tester, as it's self-explanatory and non-IT folk can pretty much guess what it involves, whereas the others are always followed up with a question like "oh, so what does that involve?" :)
    – trashpanda
    Apr 14 '15 at 8:04
  • @theonlydanever - Awesome comment..thank a lot for more detailed things.. I also like "Software Tester" as title. Apr 14 '15 at 8:16

It all depends.

  • Internal to a company titles don't mean much titles can be easily inflated. I've met people that were Managers and Vice Presidents but they either managed no one, or just a few people. Banks are notorious for this.
  • External to a company titles can set certain expectations with respective customer segments. Titles can also help recruiters and potential employers screen you for appropriate jobs (without actually understanding the nature of what you do and how you did it). This is often where title inflation or title naming becomes important for an individual.
  • Junior, Senior, Lead and Distinguished titles. These titles might refer to your seniority, experience, position or respect within a company. I think larger companies tend to make these distinctions but this might be something you want to know for future placement.

I don't believe there is such a thing as Quality Assurance in software so I never use the term QA. Whenever I get the chance to set my title I always set it to Software Test Engineer or some variation of this. I think it helps set the right expectation of what value I offer and what I can do. You may not.

My suggestion:

Make a title that you like, that you feel comfortable with people calling you or that you think helps people or stakeholders understand what you do. Also search around for what titles are commonly used in your industry and what future job you aspire to. Then work with your new company on something appropriate.

Assuming you're a tester, why not follow the ISTQB division of roles? They're clear, simple and understood by everyone (in the business of testing).

This is simply not true. I've met dozens, maybe even hundreds of people in the testing industry and very few follow the ISTQB division of roles. (In fact I can't think of any person or company that does this.) In fact the division of roles makes very little sense to me because it creates a division around work that I think every tester does (or should do) namely: analysis, review, test design, test execution and automation.

  • Another correction: I never said everyone FOLLOWS the ISTQB roles, I said they are understood and concise. If a professional in the testing industry does not grasp "test analyst" then I would consider that quite odd. Also, how do these roles create divisions? They encompass everything that you just summarized...?
    – FDM
    Apr 6 '15 at 18:28
  • QA will be consider as Quality analyst , right? Apr 7 '15 at 3:29
  • @FDM Neither did I. I believe you are making a very big exaggeration by saying that everyone in the testing industry intuitively understands these titles. Maybe you think everyone should... because you do? But instead of saying /you think/ they're clear simple and understood, you said or implied everyone does understand them. Make sense? Apr 8 '15 at 22:11
  • @HelpingHands - I've never put a title in an offer or acceptance letter but I have asked the hiring manager what title they intend to use and I often suggest something else. It depends on the company if they will take a suggestion or not. Smaller companies will usually let you decide on your title while bigger companies may have set titles. What do you do in your day job / in practice? What do you want to do more of? Apr 8 '15 at 22:16
  • @ChrisKenst - I see... Apr 9 '15 at 2:38

First of all, there's a difference between QA and testing (see the reply here). From what I can gather in your post, you seem to be testing, not assuring quality (but in practice, I reckon this terminology gets mixed up sometimes).

Secondly, the job content is much more important than the title. For example, for new testers, they'd shouldn't mind having "junior tester" on their payslip in their second or third year, as long as they keep learning all kinds of things (writing test plans, first steps in automation, ...). Better so than a title which sounds better while one's not progressing.

Assuming you're a tester, why not follow the ISTQB division of roles? They're clear, simple and every test professional should understand what is meant by them.

Will you be performing test design and analysis reviews, next to test execution? You're a test analyst then. Sometimes you'll also read software tester or software test engineer.

Will you be doing the above, but with automated tests? You're a technical test analyst. If it'll be a balanced mix of both, why not say (technical) test analyst?

You could also be leading a small team (test coordinator, test lead). With 4 years of experience, test manager is a position you're probably not hunting right now.

Additionally, if you insist, you can have them add medior or senior, although it's more something for your resume than for an official job title.

  • Thanks for your detailed answer. I am mostly testing websites and mobile apps? then also I can use title software tester or software test engineer?? OR for that software testing is also required? Apr 6 '15 at 10:02
  • If you prefer that to test analyst, why not. It's a common title, see for example linkedin.com/job/software-test-engineer-jobs - also, a lot of testing is for website and mobile apps nowadays, it makes no difference as long as you're testing correctly.
    – FDM
    Apr 6 '15 at 15:44
  • @HelpingHands You can call yourself whatever you want. If you do a lot of mobile testing, using the term Mobile in your job title might help you down the road to be hired in another or similar position. Apr 6 '15 at 17:28
  • @FrederikDeMets I've never met a person who's company follows the ISTQB division of roles. Have you? Saying such roles are understood by everyone is a very big exaggeration. Someone with no experience could easily be a test manager - if that's the position they were hired for. That's not to say said person would be good or bad. Apr 6 '15 at 17:30
  • 1
    @ChrisKenst I wasn't talking about companies in general, please don't twist my words. By everyone in testing, I mean everyone who is involved in testing on a day-to-day, hands-on basis. That's never a company. And yes, someone without experience can be a test manager, but seeing the OP's career path it didn't sound like a test management position. He just wanted examples of fitting job titles, that's what I suggested.
    – FDM
    Apr 6 '15 at 18:25

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