tl;dr since this one might be too long. Don't enjoy my current role in the job and I'm wondering if I should approach a senior team member for advice.

Hi everyone,

I started working last June in a software company, and I was hired by their university recruitment process while I was in grad school. I felt their hiring process was unusual from most software companies as I was only interviewed on-campus and they gave me an offer quite quickly. No on-site or interviews with the team I would work with or anything. However at the time, I was working on my thesis and had absolutely no time to look for another job. So once this offer came around I accepted it and sort of it put it in the back of my head as I was focused on completing my defense on time.

Fast forward to June and I only find out my team 2 weeks before joining. I thought I was supposed to be joining the development team (as was indicated to me before), but instead I was put on the QA team. I get along well with my manager and when we were initially just talking about my background, he said that he felt I would be better off in development and I agreed. At the time he said we would work towards it. This was back in June, and while he has himself brought it up in the past, so far nothing seems to be coming of it. He's been super busy apparently and we haven't talked about this in a few months now.

I really enjoy programming and problem solving. I don't enjoy my current role at all, I feel like the longer I stay away from programming the worse it is for me and it's really bothering me now. I've done my best to keep practicing on the side, and I am still continuing my research with my advisor as well. There's a senior member on my team who is pretty cool, and I was wondering if I could ask his professional opinion on this. Do you guys think that would be a good idea? Any advice would be helpful.

Thank you

  • 1
    What's stopping you from bringing it up with your manager again? – Caleb Mar 12 '15 at 3:08
  • Nothing really. Like Wesley answered, I'm going to do it and see how things go. – muddy Mar 12 '15 at 12:27

This is a very lousy practice that has been creeping in and out of the development world for some time.

Someone, somewhere decides that all their testers should have development backgrounds, so they hire developer candidates and "temporarily" assign them to QA.

I don't know that your organization is a culprit, but your story has all the hallmarks of it.

It is really terrible practice, as it breeds instant resentment (as you're experiencing) from the recruits, and it disrespects testers who are skilled at that job. It takes a different mindset to test than it does to develop.

And yes, you are right to worry. The longer you stay, the more you will be "typecast" as a tester, and not a developer. Right now, you can still claim, "I was hired to do development, but they tried to make me a tester." You stay much longer, and you'll give the impression of tacitly accepting that you're a tester, not a developer.

You need to push your manager hard on this: "I was hired to do development. Nine months in, and I've done nothing but testing. What's going on, here?" Don't ask for advice from those within the organization. This is where you stand up for yourself, or give in and accept what they're doing.

You're in a bad spot. They're may not be a good way out. Make sure you cultivate options.

I would say you made a mistake in allowing the situation to go on this long.

Some (OK, many) will disagree, but you've got to decide if this is important to you, and make your stand. No one is going to look out for you. You have to look out for yourself.

  • Thank you very much. I agree that I did make a mistake in letting this go on till now. I know I want to do development because I don't really enjoying being a QA engineer. My worry now is that when I apply for a new position somewhere and they see I've been doing nothing but test these past few months. I will hopefully have a publication under my belt soon, and I'm still coding on the side, so I'm hoping that works in my favor. – muddy Mar 12 '15 at 12:24
  • 2
    @muddy, the sooner you get out the better if this is not what you want to do. You may have to take a less than perfect dev job to get out, but real dev experience is going to serve you better in the long-run for your career goals. – HLGEM Mar 12 '15 at 13:34
  • You're right. I'm going to speak to my manager this afternoon and see what happens. I have also started looking for other opportunities. I hope things work out. Thank you. – muddy Mar 12 '15 at 14:50

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