The discussion reminded me of possible ways for a tester to take his or her career to the next level. There are a few things that can be done.
Staying the Course and Improving Your Skills
The first is to continue to do what you know well and aim at becoming as good as possible. Most of the testers take this road and choose to learn mostly about manual, back box testing.
One image that comes to mind for the tester that pursues this road is the small fish in a big bowl. Since the bowl is big, there are many other fish around, and the competition for space and food is high. For testers that do just manual testing, there is a high level of competition for new jobs, the rates are not that high (due to the size of the market) and the demand is up and down.
Taking the Less Popular Path
Another option for career advancement is to work on testing types that are less popular, like performance testing or test automation.
Coming from manual testing and moving to performance testing or test automation implies usually a long time for training and becoming proficient. But after that, the tester can access a niche in the market that is less populated, with steady demand, often with roles that cannot be filled and that pay much more than manual testing.
These types of testers look like the big fish in the small bowls.
The Combination Approach
The last option for career development is a combination of the first two. These fish are very rare to find.
Alex Siminiuc is a uTest Community member and has also been testing software applications since 2005…and enjoys it a lot. He lives in Vancouver, BC, and blogs occasionally at test-able.blogspot.ca.