AMA: the future of QA roles

Lroy asks…

How, according to you, is the future of QA roles going to look like. I currently work as a QA in a matured agile team where the devs are responsible enough to practice TDD and write automated tests while I pair with them. I pair with them on test strategy, performance testing, a bit of security testing. It is definitely an interesting shift to see how QA was perceived to how it is now. I understand that it is not like this in every company. But how do you see this role pan to to be? Thanks PS: Thank you for taking time to do AMA, it is really interesting to read your responses. I have enjoyed reading your blog for couple of years now.

My response…

I believe what you’re describing is definitely where most places are heading for very good reasons: working in this highly collaborative manner allows us to release high quality software in a rapid yet sustainable way.

As I described recently, I see a general trend away from separate test analyst and test engineer roles into a combination of both, which is exactly what you’ve described.

But the one thing I believe we’re missing in this move to having highly skilled testers, like yourself, working closely with matured agile teams, is the focus on testing our end-to-end user journeys. This is because often agile teams will be focused on a single product, or a defined area of user functionality, and not across the entire system, so this ‘end-to-end’ focus can seem lost.

This is where I think it’s great to supplement testers like yourself with a small group of core testers who are responsible for this end-to-end view of testing, including automated e2e tests, but only if you find you’re missing this coverage with your current situation. I would describe my current team I work with at Automattic as filling this gap.

So to answer your original question: the future of QA roles look just like your current role, so, in other words, you’re living in the future 😎

krishan asks…

How can be testing as a career be as fulfilling as being developer , both technically as well as economically .(what path to follow in testing)

My response…

As I explained above, my vision of the future tester is a combination of the technical and exploratory testing which should be fulfilling technically (as you’re exposed to automated tests) and financially (as you contribute value people will want you around).

I don’t believe a career in testing should be any less fulfilling (technically nor financially) as a career as a software developer, if anything it should be more fulfilling as you have more variety in your career.

If you’ve got passion and are good at what you do, then you can make any role fulfilling.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.