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. 

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.

software testing job myths

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, 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 #3Tester 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 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?


78 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.

  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.

  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.

  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..

    (preranapatil001@yahoo.com)

  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 testing.you 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:-)

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