I recently joined a software development team to test out the applications they develop. I like development, but I genuinely enjoy testing, and to be perfectly honest I don't like their development environment, so I have zero interest in digging into it. (Should note that I'm new to the team, not the organization, so I've known and worked with these folks a lot.)

Most everybody seems fine with this...but there is one person who is baffled I don't want to join in on the development. He has multiple times tried to bolster my confidence by basically saying I am totally qualified to develop, and I shouldn't have to take on work beneath me since that's the boring stuff. (Sorry I'm paraphrasing a few weeks worth of conversation.)

While I appreciate his confidence, I know I'm qualified, and as I mentioned before, I like this work. In my opinion, good testing is just a different kind of problem-solving (not "beneath me"), and not a lot of developers want to do it (like this guy; hence his confusion).

This isn't the worst problem in the world to have, but it got me wondering: is there a way to convince somebody I like my job, even when they think it's a terrible job?

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    "different strokes for different folks". Tell him that you are not him – Mawg says reinstate Monica Oct 26 '18 at 6:34
  • I actually like both(but hate system-related tasks), and can perfectly understand you. We all have different tastes – gazzz0x2z Oct 26 '18 at 8:35

From my experience (different field but manager tried to convince me to join his team):

I know I'm qualified to do that, that's why you want me to join. The thing is that I'm not only good in doing X I'm also great in doing Y and to be frank Y give me much more enjoyment in doing it. And that enjoyment is something that can't be turned into money.

Don't try to explain why X is as good as Y or why it's not so bad (because that can be argued with), just say what's your personal preference (because you can't argue with that).

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Your colleague has, most likely, a shallow understanding of what testing is and how it can help his team. Show him this guy's page: http://www.satisfice.com/blog/ He may understand that testing is a bit more than he thought. Maybe he will become a tester himself.

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Hey buddy, thanks for your encouragement, but I know I'm qualified already. I like my testing job because X, Y, and Z, and I don't think it's beneath me. I'm not interested in pursuing a development role at the moment, thanks for the vote of confidence though, I appreciate it!

Or something to that effect. It's doesn't need to be more complicated than that :-)

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  • While I think your answer should 100% be the right and is probably right for others, it didn't work for me (hence the few weeks back and forth). Still, please take the upvote. :) – FelixVelariusBos Oct 28 '18 at 3:50

Any competent developer in a corporate environment would realize that Testing is a completely different skillset, and has challenges, opportunities and a career path that is totally different from development. If this developer doesn't realize that, I'd refer him to the previous sentence and ask him to look up the word 'competent'.

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'I like testing'... rinse and repeat.

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    without an explanation, this answer may become useless in case if someone else posts an opposite opinion. For example, if someone posts a claim like "Don't just say 'I like testing'", how would this answer help reader to pick of two opposing opinions? Consider editing it into a better shape, to meet How to Answer guidelines – gnat Oct 26 '18 at 6:14

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