I'm an intermediate-senior developer who got burned out severely with programming last year and I've been exploring possibilities of a career change into Testing/QA (among others such as Technical Writing). I hope this question isn't off topic here. I already asked it on the Programmers site and got directed here by a mod.
Here are some reasons why I think I would be better for QA than Development:
"Meta Knowledge Work" vs "Knowledge Work"
I'm naturally much better at analysing things that already exist (from a step back) than actually being in the thick of them, right at the grindstone and working on them. For example, I'm great at analysing and pulling apart a topic of interest and writing a blog post on it, but I'm terrible at creative writing - where I have to come up with all the content myself.
Blinders on problems in own work
This is a near-universal human problem (which is why writers need editors and developers need independent QA), but I think I have a very bad case of it: I'm simply very bad at stepping back and seeing problems in my own work (ie In terms of development: bad initial pre-checkin testing). Throughout my programming career, I've always had an above average rate of stupid obvious bugs checked into source control. Stepping back and finding issues in my own code is very difficult.
On the flipside, I'm very good at spotting bugs and usability issues in other people's code. For example, I'm often the first to notice some weird change in behaviour when getting latest changes in code when someone else broke something.
This is related to the first point re: "meta" knowledge work. I'm just much better at analysing something from a step back, and that I wasn't in the thick of working on myself.
Problem solving as a challenge
I really don't enjoy the challenge of dealing with fiddly problems (such as obscure, hard to trace bugs) when I have to take direct creative/modifying ownership of them. This comes down to "meta" knowledge work again - I easily get frustrated and impatient (and thus unfocused and unproductive) when I'm right in the thick of something and have to fully deal with it myself. But it doesn't happen when I'm outside and looking in - eg. Analysing a problem that I'll ultimately simply have to document thoroughly and pass on to someone else.
I'd be intellectually dishonest if I didn't admit that part of this is simply wanting to pass the buck instead of being the one ultimately responsible for something. But it works well with my analytical skills, which are much better for stepping back and analysing than getting right into the details and doing.
Tolerance for repetition
This is a somewhat negative point, but I want to cover it anyway, because a lot of developers have the opinion that Testing/QA is boring and repetitive. So I just want to cover this one before it comes up: I have a very high tolerance for repetitive work which might seem relatively boring. And again, due to the "meta" knowledge work thing, I'm great at noticing a slight change in something after seeing it run differently 1,000 times before. But only if it wasn't code that I wrote myself!
Excuse the length but I wanted to cover the points as clearly as possible. I'd especially like to hear from people who've done both QA and Development before, but also general opinions regrading what I sound like as a potential Tester or QA engineer.
P.S. It goes without saying (as a developer with 10 years experience across various jobs) that I've had a lot of contact with Testers/QA and have a pretty good idea of what they do. And I've done some (relatively informal) QA in the past - in roles where there were no dedicated testers and the developers tested each other's work. For what it's worth, I always enjoyed it more than the development itself!
Question: Will the techniques I have learnt as a developer translate well into doing QA?
EDIT: Just added a few clarifications. I think I overstated the point of not wanting responsibility. It's really more that I'm much better as an analyzer than as a direct creator and modifier of things. Basically it comes down to the difference of mindset described in this post. My aptitude and patience for the specific combination of creation, modification and analysis skills involved in development is not very good. But when I'm a step removed and doing virtually pure analysis, then I shine (and enjoy it much more).