Is Software Tester’s Job Really a Low-profile Job?

Software Tester’s Job – Is it really as low-profile as it is believed to be?

Sometimes, the decision to become a Software Tester is not a deliberate one for some of us, especially at the beginning of our careers.

Though the desire to be a successful IT professional is strong, we assume that the term ‘IT professional’ is synonymous with ‘Developer’. While being a developer is great and has immense potential, it should not be concluded that being a tester means the exact opposite. 

_Low-profile Job

When a testing opportunity presents itself, there are many doubts in our minds and we often wonder whether it’s the right career move or not.

Myths About Software Tester’s Job

These are some of the Myths that may be in the minds of beginner-level IT professionals:

Myth #1: No application of Engineering knowledge
Myth #2: Limited scope for learning
Myth #3: Credit not given to the testers for the final software product
Myth #4: Pay for developers is higher than for testers

None of which are true. Let me explain why:

Myth #1: No Application Of Engineering Knowledge

  • Many times, we (Computer Science graduates especially) feel a sense of disappointment if the first assignment in our first job is a testing project. This is because the curriculum of Software Engineering does not include the Software Testing discipline. So we are unprepared to perceive that topics other than development, DB or network have anything to contribute to software production. It is natural to feel slightly cheated.
  • However, though it is not typical or required of testers to have an in-depth understanding of programming languages, this trend is changing and testers with programming skills are highly valued. We can find that out for ourselves if we persist for a little longer while trying to learn all there is to know about the QA field. This is one of the places where “Our patience will be rewarded”.
  • It is also interesting that we testers are paid to disbelieve in a product. Nothing malicious of course. Our intent is to find problem areas before the users do – which can be achieved only when we know the intricacies of the software product to the maximum extent. If this is not an application of knowledge, then what is?
  • The next step to uncovering shortcomings with software is to delve a little deeper. Root Cause Analysis – this means we not only report an issue, but we also analyze the issue by applying the knowledge gathered from our experiences and figure out the possible reason for the issue. This is the value-add we testers should aim to achieve.

Myth #2: Limited Scope For Learning

  • Testing is not a haphazard activity. It needs a lot of planning, strategizing, understanding of technology, time management and also the not-so-obvious aspects like understanding the software’s ease of use, market relevance, performance, etc. The uniqueness is that a tester gets to have a 360-degree view of the software from all angles – thus Domain Knowledge expertise, expertise on best practices in the software development process and technical know-how are some of the additional areas we will have a good grip on.
  • Continuous learning is the key to success in any field. It is true of testing too. We could choose to move forward towards performance, Automation, Security, Database or any other testing methods that are so much more technical in nature. Or we grow in our careers as Business Analysts, Technical Writers, sometimes Project Managers, etc. because of our process application, management expertise and business orientation.
  • A major part of our job description is to collaborate with the other project teams, present/facilitate various meetings and to create process documents/reports, etc. This is a wonderful opportunity to practice communication skills, in the form of writing and presenting information in an effective manner.

Myth #3: Tester Gets No Credit For The Final Software Product

  • Quite the contrary, the testing team’s opinion of whether a product goes live or not is final. We get to play God in this case. :)
  • We also have a unique opportunity to suggest changes/improvements to make the product better. This is because, according to us– “A missing requirement/enhancement is also a defect”.
  • As a matter of fact, there is no prejudice in the industry against any team that contributes positively to a software product. Our efforts do not go unnoticed and to think that they would is simply inaccurate.

Myth #4: Developers Are Paid More Than Testers

  • Not true – pay rates are equivalent.
  • All entry-level professionals are paid the same (irrespective of what discipline they belong to).
  • Moving further along in your career, the pay depends on factors like – your previous pay, your experience in the relevant field, the new position’s expectations, the financial situation of the new employer, the current market demand, etc.; not on the branch of IT that you work in.

Note: Not to forget that ambition and aptitude are critical drivers. Some of us want to excel in certain fields and have set certain goals for ourselves. If those goals happen to fall outside of the Software Testing field, then so be it. We wish you the best in your pursuit.

We hope that the above myth-busters will reassure those of us who have been plunged into the testing field accidentally or unavoidably that this is certainly not a dead-end but a fork in the path towards a bright future. In fact, this might be one of those accidents to be thankful for.

In the comments, let us know how many of you are accidental testers and how you like the QA field now. Do you agree with our list and explanations?

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90 thoughts on “Is Software Tester’s Job Really a Low-profile Job?”

  1. I have to disagree with what you said in numbers 3 and 4. Most the developers at my company ignore what I have to say when it comes to if a project passes or not. They would rather have the customer them them something is broken, than have a co-worker. Also, after being a software tester for almost 5 years and am still paid about half of what a developer intern is paid and about a quarter of what a starting fresh from college grad makes. I find it interesting that others in this field have comparable salaries to their developer counterparts.

    • I agree strongly, where I come from it’s almost like a tester gets paid half of what a developer gets with same amount of experience.

    • I disagree with your argument. Most of the time testers are well paid if word pressure/difficulty and stress are compared with developer’s task. Work of developers also require stressful longer hours of work even on week-ends. And it is the developer who spends sleepless night to fix code when production app breaks because it was missed during testing.
      Tester with skills of writing automation codes are generally well paid. Testing difficulties differ project to project a lot as per the project’s plan and urgency. You should also understand that a developer of certain project can test part/all of project relatively faster than a tester, without missing edge cases.
      Nowadays, many companies give full responsibilities to developers which results in faster feature shipment(because developers can test much faster) and higher code ownership among developers.

      If you still think developers get paid more, believe me, they deserve much more.

    • Hello Jesse,

      I totally disagree with you.

      For 4, I don’t believe testers are less paid than a developer and neither do you need to do automation to get well paid as equivalent as a developer. Two factors here are:
      – You and
      – You

      How important have you positioned your skill ?
      How well have you sold your skill?
      What do you think is fine for you to earn?

      A lot of times, it’s either a case of a lazy tester wanting to earn more or a tester not asking for me before of this mindset we have that “a developer should earn more than me as a tester”. It’s all about you and your mindset. I worked in a company for 4 years and just at a restaurant one day, I realize I was earning even double of the developers.

      It’s a matter of, is this money okay for you or not, if it’s not you leave it and work with the company that can pay you well.

      And there is nothing like “there is no job” or “someone else will take the job”, one there is job and someone will take the job you thought you were not capable of and yes you are not meant to be in every company, people with lesser mindset will take it and you will get something better.

      Everyone in the team does late night work to deliver not just a developer and to clear the air, no developer can do the work of a tester. Testing is an activities not just an action of test execution and neither will a developer do all the kind of test you do as a tester.
      Those were lies you were told by companies just because they don’t want to pay you.
      If they can do all or part of the test, then they shouldn’t need you in the first place.

      Back to number 3, I disagree with you again and I partially disagree with the writer too cause for one, there is no God of a product other than the business owner. But your verdicts or concerns are highly important.

      First you don’t have any business communicating such matters with developers.

      If at the time of going live there are concerns you have as regards the product, Draft a report and share with the product owners and let them make the decision of going live or not.

      The issue is Testers like playing behind the scene and it helps no one. Absolutely no one. Be opened, and transparent and let everyone see it. Make it an open book and let the PO decide.

      So to say you don’t have a say, it’s not valid
      To think you meet with developer when there is an issue is invalid when you can draft a bug report and ask for fixes and if they don’t, draft a report. Yes, you have a huge say but you don’t have the final say.

  2. Hello Vijay ,

    Yes I too was a forced tester , your article is really very helpful , you have cleared all these myths that I am having in my mind from last 1.7 years (total testing exp.) .

    I have one query too , I am working in networking domain as a manual tester . I want to switch my job in automation testing . Can u suggest me which tool will be helpful for continuing my carrier in Automation Testing while being in same Networking domain.

    Thanks in Advance. Kindly reply to my query.

    • Hello Vijay,
      As per my knowledge and present market trend i suggest to learn and adopt RPA robotic process automation (uipath)
      as Automation tool. It is new tool can automate Desktop, Web, Mobile and Citric (Image, Remote )applications also.
      Selenium now every body knows in the JOb market there are huge demand. But, new tool Huge demand with less completion is RPA UiPath.

      Gopu Chinnappa Reddy

  3. hi,
    i have one year exp in development but due to some reason i have moved to manual testing .can anyone tel me whether my decision is correct and let me continue in manual testing.

  4. In SDLC, cost is for output product. Most effort is born for developing it. Retaining the quality adheres to 20% of total production. So from economics and business point of view, testing is lesser margin in the whole budget for the project.

  5. Thanks for this article. I am too an accidentally tester, but after reading ur article i am sure about my self that i will be best one in IT profession :)

  6. Myself is Mohammed Imran, I am working as a windows vmware administrator since 6 years, as I was in Riyadh because of that I got a call from a well known company in pune and they asked me to join a testing professional as level 1 and they will give me training as well, conducted telephonic interview for Arabic language then conducted F2F verification round and Arabic reading round, I do have an offer in hand as windows vmwar administrator L2 and an offer in hand as a tester L1 level but for testing I am getting 1 L extra amount as compare to windows vmware offer,it is because client is Arab and they wanted some one who understand Arabic.My question is shall I move to testing or stay on same windows vmware admin. And, is there any chances to get job in gulf countries with good package as a tester.I am new in testing but company said they will provide me training, actually they want me to understand what customer wanted and what company is doing and explain each other.Please advice me shall I join as a tester or not.Thanks in Advanced.

  7. I am sorry I dont agree with this.Being a QA is really a low profile Job when you work under manager who doe snot have QA background So it really depends where you land in a job

  8. Abe chutye poster, development is anytime better than testing. Testing can be done even by an SSC. Development can be done only by thorough IT graduates. Whoever posted this is a manager – useless, attention grabbing person. Asshole! Testing requires thenga programming language, especially manual testing; and even automation isn’t that difficult in testing. You just need to run the scripts, not code them.

    • Yes, probably a “manager” who knows squat about actual software development. Those who can’t code “manage” or test in the IT industry. So many non-technical managers in our testing department who only make ppt presentations.

    • I completely agree with you. I find most manual testers working only 2-3 hours on day basis. Though, automation testers write/copy scripts which enables them to press a button and stroll entire day around office. And the end of work hour, both types of testers worul copy the noticed/generated result, attach to the email, send it to manager and happily packup.
      And they compare their salaries with developers :D.

  9. The best way to show testing is considered as low profile
    is in onsite departments, testers are always ignored and developers given preference to on sites

  10. Hii..
    Awesome post really..
    I hv done my manual Testing Course..i also want to do job in Testing..but still not get…please help me to get a job in same…i am fresher..


  11. I work as tester for a huge and internationally-known IT company. All the myths are true. Stop romanticizing testing. Technical growth is slow and most people don’t know how to code. As an aspiring developer, testing is disappointing.

  12. hi, thanks for clear my dout. im very passionate for Qa, want t my career in Qa, but now im SEO Analyst , can i change my Field?

  13. Guys, never struck in testing field.Most importantly if you love programming, son not choose Testing as a career. There is no such dummy job than will not get the appreciation at all. All credits wiil always go to development teams.

    I am working as a test engineer since 2 years. I accidentally get into testing. Every moment in the office I feel very frastated.Every one will blame the testers. If the product fine credit goes to development teams. ..but if the product fail every body will blame the testers, like product is not properly tested, usability is not fine, not user friendly.Performance is not good and other lot of Is and browser comparability issues

    In the product development process , the management will not take the testing teams advice’s and views. But simply they will blame at the end.and some times even they fire the testers.

    And testers also ill treated in the offices by the developers.

    Most importantly if you have the constructed oriented thoughts , never ever join in the Testing Field. If you so you will feel like disaster in everyday..

    If your thoughts ate destructive, then it will be quiet okay.

    Finally its your life . and your career. Be careful while choosing your path. Otherwise your every sec you will feel frastated like me…

  14. Okay ooh wow!!!! More reads like this please!!!….i enjoy testing…but i thought i was ready to give it up…next year will be eight years being a junior tester…but i must say….with the team leader i have now he has pushed me and helped me a lot at the same time. If anyone knows of other opportunities i would love to explore more in the diverse testing fields out there…i used to test satellite dishes…in my teenage years…i knew then i would enjoy this part of myself:-)

  15. LoL!!! i have warned on this site few years back, all my warnings have come true:

    1. Testing does not have any job market now, companies hire and fire
    2. Clients bill less for testing hence salaries are low. also the fact is that every dick and tom came into testing, as there is more supply salary and demand for testers reduced
    3. There are no huge outsourcing deals these days like few years back.
    4. Though companies get some projects they execute by hiring cheapest of cheap resources
    5. Testing may give a job but not career, by the time you marry and have kids you will be out of job
    6. In current market, if you are lucky Testing will give not more than 10 years career [dev give for 20 years]
    7. Being in testing your work lot and program a lot in test automation : There are Technologies/jobs that pay you great at half of your efforts in testing
    8. 70% of employees that companies layedoff in 2016, 2017 and 2018 are from Testing!!!

    Hence my suggestion: After a great R&D in IT industry i found the following items [MY PERSONAL VIEW]
    1. If you are STRONG in programming work in core technologies C, C++, JAVA/J2EE, Hadoop stack, SCALA ….
    2. If you GOOD in programming work in propitiatory technologies: .NET, …
    4. if you are DECENT in programming and have good business acumen work on : SAP business suite and ABAP, MS Dynamics, Oracle EBS [Many benefited through this, many settled in EUROPE ]
    5. If you are NOT good in programming, work as Functional consultant or BA in SAP, MS Dynamics, Oracle EBS, Sales force or work in BI – Tableau, SAP BO..etc

    Also, i suggest testing web sites not to mislead students – they may get a job but after few years they will be out of job

    From an UNFORTUNATE TESTER (15 years exp)

  16. i got the job in testing profile.i m 2018 passed i want development then what should i do..about joing that compny which is actually the start up compny only.plz suggest me as soon as possible..

  17. Hi,

    I am working as a UI developer for the past 6.5 years having 8 years as IT experience. where 1.5 years I was on leave. I am planning to move to testing (automation testing). Is it a good move in my career path. I am interested in testing.


  18. No doubt you must have been surrounded with really low skilled testers or rather manual testers indeed. just like you said Automation testers copy the scripts, dude in order to copy scripts one needs to code one ofcourse! And do u agree that the entire scripts that u have coded till date were not at all referred from one and only google baba? and were creation of urs mighty mind? Automation scripts can be run only if they are well coded and robust enough to be reused time and again, that is what automation is about. The regression test suite which can be run on every deployment and whose actual job is to save time rather than testing it manually, just like in development the already built components can be used/copied for similar applications.
    There is a lot of myth in IT industry under dev that they being the God, but in actual in testing there is equal scope of learning and development unless a tester is not a manual tester.
    A good automation tester is no diff than a developer. Not your fault as u never got a chance to work with the real automation testers

  19. I joined a MNC recently after my graduation. I am now automatically allocated to a testing project. I really love to work in the development domain. So what should I do to get working in a development project after my testing project ends


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