A Tester'S Dreams
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A tester's dreams

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QA Tools developer
I stumbled into a quality assurance career 8 years ago, and spent most of the time since trying to find a way to get out of it.

There seem to be two natural career paths out of testing, one towards development and the other towards business analysis. But, the more experience as a tester you get, the more difficult it is to move in either direction. You get "pigeonholed" as a tester, and the only eventual way out seems to be management, and that's more politics and patience.

Recently I've started to accept my role. I found I'm good at it. And I like to break things. I've gotten more analytical as I've worked, and more technical as well. So that I feel I could be comfortable developing the software I test, or designing it. But I'd rather break it.

But what I really want to do is design and create tools that make testing better. Its a dream I've had for a while. First, because I wanted tool tools to make my job better. Next, because the tools that were available were expensive and kludgy. Now, because I have definite ideas and would love to see them bloom.

There's been an explosion of open source automation tools in the last few years. Combined with the popularity of Agile and other lightweight development processes, it is very exciting.

Where outsourcing was once seen as a step to offload repetitive tasks from large corporations, now the global network and the open source spirit allows collaboration between individuals and small companies. The playing field is leveling.