3 Misconceptions about Testing Career

Last week I was invited to speak to graduating batch of BS Computer Science at FAST Islamabad Campus. This was part of an initiative through which Industry professionals visit students and give them a true picture of real world. On my previous visits, I have talked about different aspects of Software Testing whereas this time I picked up misconceptions.

There is a long list of misconceptions but here were the 3 that I talked about:

  1. Don’t like Coding; Become a Tester.

That’s number one as many in Academia still believe Testing to be a non-coding job. That may have been true in 1990s when the profession of Software Testing was new and the gap was filled by people from other professions who were expert users and became testers. But the latest job market requires more and more testers who can write code to test code.

I shared examples of my employer’s recent hiring for Automation analyst and also shared SDET positions being announced in local market.

  1. Testers are paid less than Programmers.

This may have come in due to earlier practice of Industry to pay less to Testers who were Clickers in some respect. The pay scale of job reflects its complexity and it was fair to pay dumb testers less than Programmers. But again as the recent demand of smart and knowledgeable testers who are in some ways Gray Box Testers, the pay scale need to match that of a Programmer as both roles require intellectual work.

I used the survey data from P@SHA to share Entry level programmer salary vs. that of a Tester which suggests both are in the same league.

  1. Testers don’t grow. All important positions go to Programmers.

With testing becoming central to modern day Apps, testers are growing in multiple directions. There are testers who grow to run the entire testing department of the organizations. There are testers who grow to lead Engineering departments. And there are testers who become Testing experts in Performance testing or Automation or some other domain.

I used the Speakers list from our PSQC’17 that was held last month to give examples from each category. That really helped because local examples work more than any thing and I realized that holding a Software Quality Conference is helpful in many ways.

In the end there were many questions around the above myths and the realities involved. One question was aimed towards bitter relationship between Testers and Programmers for which I answered that this behavior needs to go and we need friendship between them to be able to deliver Quality Software.

What else you would like to add to this list of misconceptions?


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4 responses to “3 Misconceptions about Testing Career”

  1. Qamar Tarar says :

    Here are some more misconception:

    1). Programmers think that they are also good testers but that is totally wrong.
    2). Companies instead of having a lot of serious Quality issues still think that Tester is burden and not so important.
    3). Cause of Failiure of many Projects is lack of proper Testing but projectmanangement is until now failed to realise it and think some other reasons for the Project failure.


  2. Ala Karim says :

    Very nice article (Y) agreed totally


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