There's chairs in a row and a sign that points to becoming a tester vs all other careers.
Post by Oct 30, 2023 11:09:39 AM · 3 min read

Make the Most of Your Career Change into Software Testing

If you ask the internet, “Why are so many testers career changers?” you might find your way to a blog that says, “Try software testing. It probably can’t be worse than what you’re doing now.” Wow. 

Why become a software tester?

The argument for becoming a software tester includes the following:

  1. You enjoy breaking things.
  2. You want to work remotely.
  3. You’re game for a starting salary of $40-$60k (or more, depending on your market) with six-figure opportunities for experienced testers who can write and maintain test automation scripts and testing suites.
  4. You don’t need a testing degree (because it doesn’t exist) or specific certifications.
  5. You’d be joining a growing industry.

This list makes testers sound so mercenary. Are you? Maybe some of you are, yet I know that most of you are in it to win it! You want your product to be stellar! 

Who opts to pursue testing?

Isn’t it interesting that so many software testers are, in fact, career changers? Who are you? In interviewing my colleagues here at Testaify about their experiences with testers, they pointed to a few tracks that turn a person into a tester: 

  1. It’s a former customer who knows the product inside and out and is tired of requesting fixes; you want to help you improve your product right now!
  2. It’s a trusted person from another department, like sales, HR, or accounting, whose opinion is valued. If someone says, “Hey, what do you think about this?” too often, they may create a lateral opportunity for you into testing.
  3. A programmer discovers they don't code well enough for production but wants to use their training in non-production code.
  4. A software engineer is fed up with their organization’s existing testing, which they see as wholly inadequate, and decides to improve it. 

That’s not an exhaustive origin list, but it’s enlightening: people become testers because it’s the easiest thing to do to reach product or personal goals. Does that mean testing is easy? Unfortunately no. 

Testing is harder than it looks.

Testing is one of the more challenging careers, partly due to its lack of a development path. Check any university curriculum for Software Testing, and you’ll quickly notice that there isn’t a BS in Software Testing at any accredited program anywhere in the world. Search results assume you meant “software engineering.” One university says, “The first step to becoming a software tester is to earn a degree in software engineering or a related field, such as information technology or mathematics.” 

The mathematics suggestion is a good one. Why? Because software testing methodologies are complex agents of torture. Just kidding, sort of. But to master the many testing methodologies, like Pairwise testing (Orthogonal arrays), or to create tests that address functions, relations, propositional logic, or probabilities, some assembly is required, if you know what I mean. You’d need a machine in your head (besides your brain) to help you navigate the higher-level skills required to achieve comprehensive functional testing! 

So, imagine I’m a marketing professional (TADA!) who decides to switch careers. I understand the product very well, and I love it. I want it to be all that it can be. I have a degree in Medieval History and an MBA (true), but I’ve never coded a day in my life (also true). I’m good with software, though, so I get my hands on a no-code tool to help me test. The problem is that I can’t test into all the dark corners of the app because I just don’t know the testing methodologies to do it.

One Quora user said, “The good automated tests are often pretty difficult to write, but often the companies are not looking for the particularly good tests.” Yay! I can still be successful! I’ll probably even do some good for my company’s app, which is excellent because my company tracks ‘incremental’ and ‘piecemeal’ improvements since ‘great leaps forward’ are a pipedream. In this scenario, I need a genie in a bottle. I have a vision but need more help to achieve it. 

Genie? Superhero? Yes, please!

See, just because the average software tester is a career changer doesn’t mean they don’t want to achieve superhero-level powers! The tester who cares and knows the most, who collaborates with development, product, and sales (you know who I’m talking about: the tester everyone goes to when they need a legit product update) is who we would call a System Thinker. This person deserves that genie in a bottle. 

Like testing degrees, genies in a bottle don’t exist. We need something better, something purpose-built to SOLVE testing. Something that enables a System Thinker to master comprehensive functional testing without having to achieve an advanced math degree or master domain analysis testing, decision table testing, or more... an AI that can discover your product, design your tests, generate its own test data, execute tests, and report on findings would be nice. Actually, it's more than nice. It would be a profound, career-changing experience – AGAIN! 

That’s what we’re doing at Testaify. If you’re going to test, test right! Test through all the primary methodologies, test comprehensively, test continuously, and make AI do all your testing for you! Testaify will soon revolutionize software testing forever, giving testers the means to finally do the testing they’ve dreamed of doing. Career change or not, testing is the last stop between your product and your user. Give your users what they want: a quality experience that exceeds expectations. And give your career a boost. You’ll look dashing in a cape! 

About the Author

Lisa Fatolitis is Testaify's marketing director and loves to be on the forefront of the AI revolution. Let's change testing forever! Lisa Fatolitis, Testaify's marketing director, is excited to be with this team on the front lines of the AI revolution. She has an MBA with a marketing emphasis and a BA in Medieval History, two cats, and loves designing marketing programs that unite products with the people who need them. Lisa is a certified product owner. 

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