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I have had many people tell me that I made a big mistake by choosing QA path in IT industry and that I will never get opportunities to grow as compared to developers and database experts.

Please share your thoughts on this question. Thanks.

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    Good question to think about but it is 1 - opinion based so it is not obvious how you're going to pick a correct answer 2 - it is not obvious how this question might help others to solve their issues. – Alexey R. Aug 14 '18 at 19:42
  • How do you know what they think? Do you mean 'they say' ? – Michael Durrant Aug 15 '18 at 12:34
  • What makes you THINK, that you did a mistake??? – Vishal Aggarwal Aug 17 '18 at 0:04
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If you want to earn the most, do what earns the most, probably it is not testing, nor developing.

Pursue what you like to be and enjoy. Some testers become great Directors of Quality, some become great public speakers or authors. Software testings leads to different paths, from quality to more product oriented roles or into hardcore engineering. Personally after nearly ten years of test automation I am becoming an Agile Coach with a passion for quality and technical excellence practices.

I fear roles like DBA or technical writes are more of a niche than QA nowadays. Every developer is expected to become a t-shaped person, including testing, database, cloud-admin and business knowledge.

If you work in an environment where the culture is that QA people are worth less, maybe it is time to change your organisation, after you get that experience with test automation. Roles like Software Developer in Test do possibly pay more than regular developer roles.

I do think that testers that only practise manual testing will die out soon in most modern engineering teams as continuous delivery is on the rise. But people with a passion for quality are a win for any engineering culture. Take some time to research the Modern Testing Principles and become a force to reckoned with!

  • I think passion and joy is the key to do anything extraordinarily well and be well paid for it as a side effect. – Vishal Aggarwal Aug 15 '18 at 11:35
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Generally yes, Quality Assurance folks are paid less and have less prestigious jobs. There are definitely exceptions and usually the key today is to be as technical as possible. I know more than one Quality Engineer who is making $150k+ in the US.

Your question begs me to ask

Justify to whom ?

  • To your family for how much money you earn?
  • To yourself for how much financial independence you have?
  • Yourself for the reward of doing work you enjoy ?
  • When you say "worth it" are you just talking money ?

Many of the best people in testing or development are those that have done 'the other', i.e. an automation engineer who becomes an application engineer or an application engineer who becomes an automation engineer.
You will note my use of the terms 'Application Engineer' and 'Automation Engineer' sounds very similar and have the same initials. This is not by chance - it is one of the small things I do to level up the playing field and reduce the classic '2nd class citizen' issue for folks in the quality space.

As Abdullah says, be distinct about terms. "QA" is generally seen to mean manual testing and is lower paid (though still incredibly value IMHO). Where as "QE" tends to imply automation and is typically much more highly paid.

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    Do you mean "an automation engineer who becomes an application engineer"? – trashpanda Aug 15 '18 at 12:02
  • yes, thx, corrected. – Michael Durrant Aug 15 '18 at 12:22
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Tell them that they are looking at it from the wrong side. True, many QA positions are low skill, low paid or are called "manual testing" as a code name for low level position, other positions are simply entry points into development. But you are not competing against those, you are (hopefully) situated among the top tier of test and quality engineers and there the situation is totally different- there is a severe shortage of good, experienced test/quality Engineers, they can grow to many adjacent areas and have very wide responsibilities and at least according to my experience compensation and "importance to management" is not significantly different then other experienced developers.

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    strongly agree, there is a massive shortage of senior quality engineers even when compared to application engineers ! – Michael Durrant Aug 15 '18 at 13:21
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Actually, I think it depends on the organization that you are working in. Most organizations do not value QA engineer and just think of them as some dumb non-technical people who only want to break the application etc. I somehow agree with you that people say you have made a mistake by choosing QA as your career but it purely depends on you. Obviously, you have to start from manual testing and then move towards automation tools. But if you make yourself a quality expert whether a domain expert or an automation expert, people and organizations will start to value you. Automation is not only the key to increase your value, domain factor is also a big advantage. So don't worry if people are criticising you. If you love being a quality geek then show them by your quality work.

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Software testing services is meant for those who are analytical, have good communication skills (written and verbal) and with some business/technical know-how.

By working as a software tester you can develop knowledge in specific business and customer areas. Also, you get acquainted with numerous technologies and products.

This will also help in developing you professionally and securing better jobs in top software testing companies.

You get involved in software development lifecycle while testing applications. All this is possible without getting involved in version control or devops etc.

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