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Is it bad to take a QA job?

 
Thomas Kennedy
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I've been working in Java for a while but now we have to switch our back end to .Net. That process will take 2-3 years and will be very painful, and I would rather stay in Java and keep improving in that. Now most of the Java jobs around here are such that I'm not quite qualified for: they're heavily concentrated in one sector and they all want the same skill profile, a profile that I don't quite meet. It's impossible to plug the gaps in my current job, so if I want another, non-remote Java development job I'm going to have to move out of state. So I was looking around on my employer's list of open jobs and I see some remote Java QA jobs. So I could work from home doing QA stuff in the context of Spring, JUnit and Maven, all things I don't know much about (we don't use those in this account).

I would not want a remote developer job. I really need f2f contact with other Java people to learn as fast as possible.

My employer doesn't have any other accounts in this area, so my options are:

1. stay with my employer but move to another state and do Java
2. stay here for a while longer and do remote Java Junit/Maven/etc QA for a year, then leave my employer for another job here

So on the one hand this QA job would let me plug some holes -- Maven especially -- in my background with minimum bother, holes I can't plug in my current job. On the other hand, it's QA work, not development, and I don't want to leave the development role.

Is it bad to take a QA job after doing development in the same field?
 
Bear Bibeault
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Thomas Kennedy wrote:Is it bad to take a QA job after doing development in the same field?


Asked liked that, I'd say no, if that's what you want to do.

But I don't think that's the question you really meant to ask, which is "Will I have a hard time transitioning back to a development position after working in a QA position?"

To that question I'd have to say, based on what I've seen in various companies, the answer would be yes, it'd be harder to get a developer position while working in a QA role.

I've seen a few QA people successfully make the transition, but it's an uphill battle to convince a company that you can make the transition. In my estimation, your previous development experience will only be a minor mitigating factor.

I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.
 
Thomas Kennedy
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That's my thinking also. It would be a temporary welcome change of pace and I'd learn some new things but in the long run it would be a blunder. I will have to look outside, or take another job with my current employer in another state. Happily, I'm free to do either one.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Best wishes and good luck!
 
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