Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who whants to test forever...

Today I heard from a coleague of mine that she is going to head off to development. She went to studying Flex technology and had showed not a bad result on the exam. So, most likely I will be in need to find a replacement shortly.

I never liked hiring testers who are about to become developers one day, who approach testing as starting point for the future career in development. On my personal experience, it didn't work too well. Despite I knew some brilliant minds who were equaly successful in testing and in development afetrwards, such things are rather exceptions. (Though there is a chance that a good tester make a good developer too. In contrary, I never saw a bad developer to become a good tester. I appologize if I hurt anyone by last statement though)

Testing and development are adjucent knowledge areas. But they are different. The skills needed for being a good tester are different from those, needed for a developer. If testers think in categories how to break things, developers mostly focus on getting them work. Satisfaction that we get in result come from very different sources. Few of us can feel well both ways. The majority are restricted to just one way of getting satisfied.

Aside from the different qualitties and knowledge needed for testing and development, a person who choses testing as the starting point most probably looses her time, getting wrong experience. Days in testing will be a plus in development, no doubt. It will surely help writing code with fewer defects. But it's the waste of time that could be spent on gaining purely development experience to fill in the resume. So, those who start from testing with aim to move to development do not waste your time! Just go right to development. No compromises!

Not to say what a waste of time of people who invested in teaching wannabe developer it is. It is a huge additional cost for the company. The company usually gets less than it pays for bringing such a developer up.

Anyway, now I am in the situation when I can only react. There is no possibility to change the circumstances because I cannot make that person think that her goal and inner desire are false. Partially because I know that she is sincere in her intentions.


  1. Hi Vladimir,

    The topic of this post was giving some impressions other than what is written in the main content area.

    Its indeed a good read but don't you think that its our (testers') responsibility to project & prove TESTING as a good field to work in. Why do people make such decisions? Probably because of something else that drives them or they don't see testing as a thing to fulfill their dreams...growth, money etc ????

    There is nothing wrong in your colleague switching from one LOB to another LOB (Line of Business). But as you mentioned correctly,"The skills needed for being a good tester are different from those, needed for a developer."

  2. You are right that we have no need to prove testing worthiness. The post above is a message to those of us who choose the wrong path at the very start. I warn people not to waste their time in testing if what they need is development.