I know how you feel as I have been in the same boat, though thankfully not for as long as you have.
I had a computer science degree years ago and currently have 2.5 years full-time working experience at a Canadian Bank doing
QA/Performance Testing using tools such as HP Loadrunner and
Performance Center 11.5
Initially, I was applying for QA manual testing position, but they
offered me a performance testing position due to my computer science
background. I accepted the job offer.Time flies and it has been almost
2 and half year now. My salary is still kinda low around 50K canadian
dollar. I believe it's about time for me to move forward. At this
moment, I feel like going to work is a total waste of time.I don't
enjoy my work at all. The only benefit of working at a bank is the
fact that it's a stable 9-5 job. However, everyday from 9-5, it feels
like a total waste of time.
This leads me to believe that overall you're not satisfied with your job. It probably doesn't challenge you and you are bored. This happened very quickly with me when I was doing performance testing with LoadRunner. This is a very bad sign for you and your company.
The fact that after 2 years in the industry and you're only at 50k is a bit shocking. If you switch companies and you know you're stuff, depending on your area, you could likely get a 50% increase in pay. This likely wouldn't satisfy you still though.
Also, I don't really like coding for automation/performance testing.
Unlike normal developer, coding for automation/performance testing is
simply scripting the workflow, which is the most boring(But may not be
the easiest) type of programming. To me, it's not really "creating"
I understand this struggle. I consistently work on creating new tools and building out fixes and taking on dev tasks with my current company. It really helps me in multiple ways. I am one of the best with the software at the company (some devs know it better, not many know the system as a whole as well as I do though).
It also scratches the itch to create something.
Option 1: If I continue in QA path, where should I go? I really don't
want to do performance testing anymore and I don't want to touch the
Loadrunner tool anymore. With 2.5 years of QA Performance Testing
experience, where should I go?
Option 2: Change to a developer job at a Startup/small company. I
wonder what will be my initial salary? Will my 2.5 years QA
performance testing experience become a waste?
Any other suggestions?
Please share your view
My suggestion is simple:
Find a company without a dedicated QA department
If your boss is responsible for the SUT than they will be more open to you doing what you want/need to do in order to get the job done. This leads to you being able to QA, build automation, performance test, development tasks and work on side projects. It will keep you busy and make you extremely valuable to the company and build out your skill-set and resume.
My current company dissolved it's QA department and assigned QA as a responsibility of the Dev managers. This was quite scary but at the end it led to everyone's primary concern being to get the job done. This changed my job from being a mundane controlled environment of knowing my role to being a dynamic position where I could take on any task I could accomplish. I was able to rise quickly through the team and become an invaluable member of the team.