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Career path from Tester to Developer

Mayu Mayooresan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 37

I have a query related to my career path. First of all I need to tell you that I'm a drop out from Kelaniya university. I couldn't complete the degree (I partially complected B.Sc Management and Information Technology). Later joined BCS and now finished all subjects doing final project.

Meanwhile I manged to find a place at a reputed company and last 2 years I've been working as a QA Engineer in the company(Software Tester in other words). My problem starts here.

I feel no passion towards QA job. Its all to do with Excel, I'm thinking of a change to Dev track. but in the other hand I'm 27 years old and if I change my track i'll spoil my 2 and half year of experience.

After finishing my professional project in BCS, it'll b equivalent to a degree and I can go for masters in Computer Science or IT. currently I'm following tution class for SCJP. And I guess i'm doing better than most of the students. Planning to take the exam by May.

Do you think I'm taking right decisions?? Its bothers me a lot whether changing the track and dumping my 2 and half years of experience and my age all comes together.

please be kind enough to advice me.

Thanks a lot in advance for your time.
Joe Harry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 26, 2006
Posts: 9243
    
    1

Experience that you have gained from your QA role will definitely help you towards your career in application development. It might be a good option for you to look for an opening in your current organization. Getting SCJP certified is definitely a good move.


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chris webster
Bartender

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1479
    
  11

Mayu Mayooresan wrote:Its bothers me a lot whether changing the track and dumping my 2 and half years of experience and my age all comes together.


Well, it sounds to me like you have a lot of selling points:

  • You are not "dumping" your experience, because you can sell it as a positive i.e. you already have several years' experience in the IT industry, and working as a tester may help you to be a better developer ("game-keeper turned poacher"?).
  • Smart employers really value practical experience, because it teaches you the stuff nobody can learn in college, and you have an advantage over a fresh computer science graduate right there.
  • "BCS" - do you mean the British Computer Society exams? If so, then your qualification is definitely a strong selling point, as is the fact that you have presumably been pursuing this in your own time while working full time.
  • "Changing track": This is a good thing - you will have to change track many times in your career in IT, because the industry is changing all the time.
  • Getting SCJP is a good start, although as Joe says, it would also be a good idea to see if your current employer can offer you the chance to get some practical development experience. They already know you and may welcome a developer who understands the importance of QA.
  • A general Master's degree in IT may not be the best route into a development role, especially if you can get a developer job without it. An MSc is often more useful for getting some specialist skills in a particular area, so you might want to think about which areas interest you. There are lots of people with degrees in general IT/computer science, but not so many with specialist skills in e.g. bio-informatics, GIS, forensic IT, data mining etc.

  • So it looks like you can offer a potential employer your professional experience, flexibility and commitment to your own professional development - pretty good going for somebody who's only 27.

    Good luck!


    No more Blub for me, thank you, Vicar.
    Mayu Mayooresan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 37

    Joe Harry wrote:Experience that you have gained from your QA role will definitely help you towards your career in application development. It might be a good option for you to look for an opening in your current organization. Getting SCJP certified is definitely a good move.


    Thanks Joe, Those words are really encouraging me a lot.
    Mayu Mayooresan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 37

    chris webster wrote:
    Mayu Mayooresan wrote:Its bothers me a lot whether changing the track and dumping my 2 and half years of experience and my age all comes together.


    Well, it sounds to me like you have a lot of selling points:

  • You are not "dumping" your experience, because you can sell it as a positive i.e. you already have several years' experience in the IT industry, and working as a tester may help you to be a better developer ("game-keeper turned poacher"?).
  • Smart employers really value practical experience, because it teaches you the stuff nobody can learn in college, and you have an advantage over a fresh computer science graduate right there.
  • "BCS" - do you mean the British Computer Society exams? If so, then your qualification is definitely a strong selling point, as is the fact that you have presumably been pursuing this in your own time while working full time.
  • "Changing track": This is a good thing - you will have to change track many times in your career in IT, because the industry is changing all the time.
  • Getting SCJP is a good start, although as Joe says, it would also be a good idea to see if your current employer can offer you the chance to get some practical development experience. They already know you and may welcome a developer who understands the importance of QA.
  • A general Master's degree in IT may not be the best route into a development role, especially if you can get a developer job without it. An MSc is often more useful for getting some specialist skills in a particular area, so you might want to think about which areas interest you. There are lots of people with degrees in general IT/computer science, but not so many with specialist skills in e.g. bio-informatics, GIS, forensic IT, data mining etc.

  • So it looks like you can offer a potential employer your professional experience, flexibility and commitment to your own professional development - pretty good going for somebody who's only 27.

    Good luck!


    Wow Chris, Thanks a lot. I didn't expect such an ellaborative answer from the forum. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate your time.

    Yes, it is British Computer Society exams I'm talking about. We have the biggest BCS community in Sri Lanka outside UK.

    I went to 2 interviews yesterday and both the employers are ok with my skills and they did value my testing experience. But they threw a question why do you wanna change the track?? My answer was, I need more challenging work and I feel I'm more passionate towards development than testing. I'm due for my second interview coming week. I'll do update you when all things get settled for me.

    Thanks again chris. Thanks a lot for your time.

    Sumit Bisht
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 02, 2008
    Posts: 329

    QA is definitely a huge plus for someone looking to go into development. You can leverage your QA experience in development. If you are passionate & have good skill set, then getting a development job shouldn't be much problematic as many developers do not appreciate testing & quality.
    Good Luck!
    Mayu Mayooresan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 37

    Finally I manage to make my way into Development arena. Thanks to all for your encouraging words.

    Both SCJP and BCS did help me to acheive this goal. To my surprise, my new employer offered me more salary than what I got in my tester job after 3 years . Thats a double BINGO!

    Now i'm a android developer. Thanks guys thanks a lot. I wouldn't have done this without your words and courage.

    Jeanne Boyarsky
    internet detective
    Marshal

    Joined: May 26, 2003
    Posts: 29287
        
    140

    That's great! Thanks for posting about your success!


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    sivaganesh sivakumar
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 2
    Hi,

    I have 3 years experience in testing and currently working on my first android app. wanted to know career oppurtunity in android dev. please share your views.

    thanks,
    siva
    Mayu Mayooresan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Mar 12, 2011
    Posts: 37

    sivaganesh sivakumar wrote:Hi,

    I have 3 years experience in testing and currently working on my first android app. wanted to know career oppurtunity in android dev. please share your views.

    thanks,
    siva


    Hi Siva,
    Android oppertunities are booming now. You can clearly see that in the job offering sites. Learn the concepts of Java and also learn how to use java docs. You can definitly can become an Android dev. Afterall I became an Android dev after 3 years of testing job.

    Good luck.
    sivaganesh sivakumar
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Jul 23, 2011
    Posts: 2
    Thanks for your encouraging words Mayu.
    SiD Gupta
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Mar 03, 2010
    Posts: 1
    Mayu Mayooresan wrote:Finally I manage to make my way into Development arena. Thanks to all for your encouraging words.

    Both SCJP and BCS did help me to acheive this goal. To my surprise, my new employer offered me more salary than what I got in my tester job after 3 years . Thats a double BINGO!

    Now i'm a android developer. Thanks guys thanks a lot. I wouldn't have done this without your words and courage.



    Hi Mayu/chris webster,

    I am going through the same problem. I have been working in QA for the last 2 yrs. There is no job satisfaction and I'd like to work in java development (or even android!!) Java development has always been my piece of interest (During my college days, I loved java so much that I had even developed a Bluetooth-hotspot mobile application!!)

    History: Two years ago, I took up this testing job because after graduating I was stuck at home because due to recession there was no java-development job in the market. I almost wasted 8 mths before taking up this testing job and now this job has become more of a "salary" thing.

    Here, I'd like to take an advice to whether to quit this testing job and take up a development job or to quit this testing job to pursue MS in US. I am 24yrs of age and I hope M.S. in US will cover up this "testing mess" I am in.

    Please advice.

    Regards,
    Siddharth Gupta
     
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