Choosing a suitable career - QA or Development

By lathadotnet lathadotnet Points: 120 | Level: Starter | Status: [Member]
Posted on: 9/11/2011 2:01:48 PM | Views: 3352 | Points: 30
Hi, I am an MCA graduate.I have worked as a developer in dot net 2.0 and 3.0.(c#,ASP.NET),java script, XML for 4 years.After that,I have taken break from my job, because of some personal problems.It has been 2.5 years since I left my last job and I want to start my career now.In view of my long career plans,I want to take a wise decision in choosing a suitable job for me.How good are the chances for me to try as a developer or a tester.I am not clear in the development strategies followed for a developer and a tester, to grow successfully.
My career aspirations are:
1.To maintain a comfortable and successful work life as well as personal life.
2. To be at the management levels of a company.
As per my knowledge,If I choose a career in software development, I have to develop skills in many advanced technologies(, web services, soa, wcf, wpf,mvc, mvp..etc ) to be competent in the market.If I choose a career in testing, I have to be proficient in one or two testing tools(qtp,qc).
Please help me.

Sainath's Advice on Saturday, September 24, 2011 :

Your approach towards maintaining a proper balance between career and personal life is a correct one.

If you choose a development path, but of course you will need to be proficient in all the technologies  you have mentioned. Also, the pace of progress of is very fast in the development side, so knowledge becomes obsolete very fast as well. But there is an advantage as well, which very few people realize. Your ability and willingness to upgrade continuously ensures that it is that much more difficult to replace you i.e. you will never be short of employment opportunities. At the same time, it demands commitment and occasionally may also mean throwing your life out of balance.

The testing path is not limited to only being proficient in tools like QTP. If you plan to rise higher in the testing path, then your focus needs to change to becoming proficient in Quality Assurance in general. This means that you will need to be proficient in various areas, some of the areas are mentioned below:

  • Manual testing
  • Automation testing which involves tools like QTP
  • Performance testing which involves using tools like Loadrunner, Silk Performer
  • Penetration testing - a separate specialized area which involves checking how secure an application is. At this point it is a complex and niche area
  • Methodologies like Six Sigma
  • General project management methodologies like PMP, Prince2

Please check out the below link - these provide more information in the area of performance testing.

Based on past trends, one can say that the degree of "technological churn" is lower in QA rather than development. One can also hope to have better balance in life as in general you are dealing with lesser unknowns and follow a more predictable path.

At the same time, the downside is that someone else can also do it much more easily. What this means that it is not uncommon to observe now that software development is done in a country and QA is done in another country, I have observed this trend, although in it's very early stages, in outsourcing.

I can suggest only 1 thing - please make a choice weighing your areas of strength, whether it is suited for development or QA and do not expect everything to follow a predictable pattern for the next 20 years. The most successful people are going to be the ones who spot trends early and make the necessary adjustments.

Sainath S,

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