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When one person joins a company as a software tester, the basic skills he contains within himself is Manual Testing.

Is it enough for him to sustains for a long period in the company?

If not then what are the branches in his line that he should look into?

In my opion there are two branches.

  1. Automation
  2. Non functional testing (Load testing, Security testing etc.)

I think out of these two Automation should be the first priority to jump into from manual testing, because it is the tool which can be used parallely with manual testing. So if you are into manual testing you can start working on automation side-by-side. But it requires coding skills and companies mainly use it for long projects only.

Whereas Load Testing is a good option too, and for those who lacks in programming languages. As for some small projects were automations is not used in respect of time, but load testing will definately used so the scope for Load testing rises above Automation.

closed as primarily opinion-based by dzieciou, Kate Paulk, IAmMilinPatel, Yu Zhang, Michael Durrant Sep 15 '16 at 0:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Unfortunately, career advice is not within the scope of our site. – corsiKa Sep 15 '16 at 15:21
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There is no rule on how you should move ahead, only how you want to move ahead determines your career.

If you're happy with manual testing and you love the job, you can keep just doing that. It's not all that simple (I wonder how many senior testers can thoroughly explain pairwise testing and its variations). Also, some testers I know have a good work-life balance with fixed hours and like to keep it that way.

Furthermore, why wouldn't you be able to work a long time for a company as a manual tester? Once you're there long enough, you'll be a functional domain and application expert, at which point your value for the company increases tremendously.

If you are interested in technical testing (automated, load, security, ...) you can evolve in that direction.

Other alternatives are going up towards test coordination and test management, or trainer, or project manager, scrum master or product owner even. That's heavily dependant on the company you're working for and what the opportunities are.

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In my opinion there are three branches (that overlap) - Business, Technical and Test Management, you can move to analyst positions, development/technical testing positons (what you mentioned: automation, load, security + ) or you start to manage other testers/plan testing on a bigger scale.

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I agree with FDM answer. You should do what you love.

I would add that as long as you keep learning, being curious at what you do - you are doing it right. Once you get experience with the company product, and maximize your expertise, you have a lot of value.

You can move to customer facing roles (COST, Tech. Support, SE), where you get to see the product you used to test in action and solve customer issues and challenges. You can learn code if you want to become a developer (Automation included). Build your own tools, that helps you in day-to-day stuff and makes your job easier.

I personally know people who started with QA job and became QA Automation Developers, Java Developers, Sales Engineers, QA Managers, Technical Support.

You just need to decide what you want to do, and have a plan what you need to do to get there. Personal advise - don't narrow your options. Be open-minded.

Goodluck

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I would recommend start learning any language like python or java, automation skills are very much important. This will definitely help to grow in software testing career. Also, manual testing is equally important.

You can see most of test engineer job openings need automation skills. Nowadays, most of the startups wants an test engineer who can test and automate the whole feature in V Model (more backed/API automation testing, then UI automation testing and minimal End-to-End testing).

You can start with REST API automation or UI automation with Page object model concept.

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