I'm a software developer. Recently, my boss has told me my upcoming project assignment will be doing manual quality assurance on a web site some colleagues are building.
I feel that spending 6 months doing this instead of coding is both a waste of expensive developer time and detrimental to my career. When I spoke with my boss about my concerns he said he was sorry but they didn't have anyone else to do it. Originally, I was going to be writing coded unit tests for the project but now it's been downgraded to just manual testing. I feel so devalued by my organization.
How can I get out of this situation without leaving my job? Does anyone have a creative solution I can pitch to my boss?
I've been a software developer about 6 years prior to getting this assignment, and two years in a junior position at another job before that. We have no QA department, usually relying on our business clients to do testing (these are in-house apps). There are three guys and me. It's an MVC project, which is new technology to all of us. The others were involved in phase I of the project though and I wasn't.
Right now I'm thinking I'll try suggesting someone else do the manual part of the testing with some guidance from me, or failing that ask to rotate duties. And try automating part of it. I'm also going to update my resume and networking activities, just in case.
Ok, So here is my update with what I've done. It's taken me a little while to put the pieces together. The project team has decided to go ahead with coded ui testing (using Visual Studio 2012 tools) so at least I'll be learning something and taking the painful edge off of the repetition. We had to sell my boss on this approach, but all my team members backed me up. Additionally some recent conversations with managers about how work is assigned in the group have helped me realize that the root problem is not fixable. There isn't enough good work to go around and that isn't likely to change. So, I am also looking at other jobs out there. I wish I could mark several of the answers given as the answer because so many of you gave great ideas and I feel like I've incorporated several into my "solution" and into my thinking. Thank you Stack Exchange Community.