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Moving Away from Your Software Testing Career

I know this sounds shocking, but occasionally software testers seek to branch out their careers in different directions.  In cases like these the burning question always boils down to the nature and appropriateness of the various career alternatives available.  With this in mind, what follows are some good options for software testers.

  1. Software developer: Ok, this is an obvious one because testers tend to gain exposure to, and knowledge of, the development side of the equation simply by virtue of performing their regular jobs.
  2. Actuary: An actuary helps people protect themselves from financial risk, much like a software tester helps protect organizations from product risks.  Both professions involve identifying all possible unpleasant outcomes in order to diminish the risk associated with them.
  3. Architect: Similar to reverse engineering, the ability to dive deep into something as complex as software helps your mind start to see ways in which other things can be put together.  The term “if you can break it, you can fix it” comes into play here.
  4. Journalist: Like an investigative reporter, software testers must ask uncomfortable questions, delve into complicated and multi-faceted issues, and ultimately communicate them in layman’s terms.
  5. Private investigator: Finding hidden defects is like detective work.  It requires intuition, patience, logical thinking, analytical skills, and persistence.  It also requires a natural desire to “right the wrongs.”  Thus, the same traits that make for a good software tester also make for a good detective. 
  6. Professor: One key attribute of most testers is that they love to communicate what they learn, so a teaching profession seems like a natural fit.  This could be in the form of a university professor, vocational teacher, or certification trainer (for example, ISEB Intermediate of ISTQB Advanced certifications).

In conclusion, if you are looking to try something different, do some research on the necessary skills, pros, and cons of each career alternative listed above.  Then you can decide which one, if any, would be a good fit for you going forward.

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