I have some experience in software QA. I recently accepted a junior software QA role to develop test automation code for a big international company. I have to maintain and just run test automation code for one app which might not have any new features in the future. This is bad for my career because I won't be creating new tests and new test automation code.

But, the worse thing is that due to business needs (which I checked), they put me into manual testing of apps. I understand that an employer can put me into any kind of QA work and I think that my contract said something like "responsibilities include but not limited to...". But, I am not happy about this. I don't want to do the current work and instead, focus only on developing test cases and automating them. Manual testing is fine only as long as its unavoidable and necessary.

How do I approach my manager about this ? Should I wait for a while and see if things improve or should I request that I join another project ?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Richard U, Chris E, mcknz, Thalantas Jan 26 '17 at 12:45

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    I would start looking for other jobs while still doing the work assigned to me.... – Teacher KSHuang Jan 25 '17 at 7:41
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    @TeacherKSHuang - Well, that thought crossed my mind. Looking for more ideas. – 29A Jan 25 '17 at 7:45
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    Why can't you automate the manual testing? – Brandin Jan 25 '17 at 9:09
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    Could this be an opportunity to influence the culture at your new company towards a stronger focus on automated testing? You're new there, but if there's a chance you could sway your superiors into changing the way they do things that could make you look like a pretty valuable employee with big ideas. Or it could backfire and make you look like an annoyance. Either way really. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Jan 25 '17 at 15:46
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    Did they say anything about the duration of this assignment? "Business needs" sounds like it could be 'we have this temporary problem over here", as opposed to forever. – Monica Cellio Jan 25 '17 at 16:45

How do I approach my manager about this ? Should I wait for a while and see if things improve or should I request that I join another project ?

Ask yourself what you want to gain from such a conversation. You say they re-assigned you because of a "business need". In that case, even if you complain to your manager, they'll probably leave you in that position, because it's a business need. All that ends up doing is make you look bad.

You should evaluate for yourself if you'd be happy with your current situation, and for how long you're willing to wait for them to improve. If you reach that threshold, leave for a new job.

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    "All that ends up doing is make you look bad" That would depend on how you approach it. While you don't want to come over as whining, it is quite legitimate to discuss a change in your work situation. You may or may not get what you want, but it's okay to ask. – sleske Jan 25 '17 at 13:25
  • @sleske You're assuming a reasonable boss. I wouldn't. – Magisch Jan 25 '17 at 13:26
  • Fair enough. Of course, an unreasonable boss may well be impossible to please anyway. Of course, OP should take into account what they know about their boss before approaching them. – sleske Jan 25 '17 at 13:27
  • Complaining loudly and to a wide audience would make you look bad. Discussing concerns with your manager does not make you look bad. – Kirk Broadhurst Jan 25 '17 at 17:59

But, the worse thing is that due to business needs, they put me into manual testing of apps.

This is the line that grabs me. The company needs your skills to help them with a need right now. It’s not right for you but it is right for the business and, at the end of the day, that’s what’s important to them.

I think that my contract said something like "responsibilities include but not limited to...".

The company I work for has three locations. My contract says that my place of work is location A but this may change due to the needs of the business or, if I was to take this literally, I could be in for a 240 mile daily round trip to work if they decide to relocate me. It’s unlikely to happen but it’s in my contract and I signed it, same as you did.

So what can you do? Find another job would be the quickest answer but you would have to ask yourself why you’re so keen to leave so quickly. If it’s just this one task you‘ve been asked to do then get over it, and quickly because every job you’re going to have throughout your life has tasks you won’t want to do and you’ll find yourself changing jobs every few months.

If it’s the company culture or something else then that’s different but first you need to identify why you’re so keen to ditch this company so quickly.

You could try talking to your supervisor, explaining that you’re doing the manual testing but it’s not what you’ve been hired for and as soon as an appropriate task comes up, you’d like to do it. It almost certainly won’t make a bit of difference. Your supervisor wants to get this task done and he’s chosen you for it but if you really feel you need to, then talk.


A test suite is not just automated test suites, tests need to be analyzed in depth and documented. Take it as a training for better test analysis, you will learn to document an acceptance protocol.

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