The case for a career in software quality assurance
Glassdoor just released its 50 Best Jobs In America 2017 list, and (rightly so) QA Manager ranked number 22. At Tricentis, this ranking doesn’t surprise us. In fact, we see a lot of potential for this role to become even more coveted in the coming years.
So now that the cat’s out of the bag, what do you need to know about why becoming a QA Manager is such a great opportunity?
6 Reasons to Become a QA Manager
1) Its role is growing ever more important
Software is everywhere, and with the rise of the Internet of Things, it will only continue to permeate every aspect of our lives. So what happens when something goes wrong with the software on which we now depend? It might sound dramatic, but if you can’t access or use something as intended, it can seem to throw off your whole day.
And in some cases (consider the healthcare market), the types of data stored in applications, as well as the critical nature of the applications themselves (e.g. electronic health records), mean that life or death really can hinge on software working properly.
Alongside our growing dependence on software, the cost of delivering poor quality software is rising. And as a result, companies need better quality assurance than ever. Enter the QA Manager, who becomes particularly important in this new, software-driven world.
2) Its role is expanding
As DevOps takes hold, more and more companies are moving to a continuous testing model. This means that testing no longer happens all at once in an isolated step at the end of the delivery process, but instead occurs in smaller pieces throughout the entire delivery process.
This change means that QA teams need to interact with software as well as analysts, developers, etc. more often and in more ways, which expands the role (and visibility) of the QA Manager. It also involves QA leaders more tightly in the company strategy than before.
Additionally, in this environment, the QA Manager becomes something of a consultant for the entire development team, taking on the position of testing expert. This expertise makes QA Managers well-respected, trusted, and sought after — and who among us doesn’t want that?
3) It’s at the center of the action
Given the rapid pace of change in technology and its growing importance in our everyday lives, it seems that everyone wants to have the latest and greatest technology. But what exactly is the latest and greatest technology?
A QA Manager sits right in the center of all the innovation action, reviewing, and testing technology before it hits the hands of users. And today, a technical job makes for a very desirable career path.
4) It’s varied and flexible
A QA Manager is not the type of job where you do the same thing hour after hour or day after day. Between testing different software in different ways from different perspectives and the ever-changing nature of the software development field and testing itself, QA Managers do not have to worry about too much repetition. And this variation represents a departure from the more traditional QA Manager, who was typically responsible for managing repetitive, manual testing.
Quality assurance also provides flexibility in that it’s not necessarily something that needs to be done in a particular place. That means that, depending on the company, QA Managers may have flexibility to work remotely, whether it’s to forgo the hassle of commuting, move to a new city, travel or anything else, all while doing their same jobs.
5) It’s in a high growth field
Again, technology has become increasingly critical to our everyday lives, and this importance will only continue to grow. For software testers, this environment creates several growth opportunities and a fertile job market (CNN Money cited the 10-year job growth for QA Managers at 15% in its 2015 Best Jobs in America report).
And as software becomes more deeply intertwined into every aspect of our lives, the industries in which QA Manager jobs become available will also increase, further expanding the horizon of opportunities.
Plus, someone who is knowledgeable about modern automation technologies and other DevOps tools is hard to find, so building up that skillset will make for a prosperous career.
6) It regularly tops job happiness lists
Time and again QA Manager and related QA roles have topped lists for job happiness over the past decade (aside from the recent Glassdoor survey, it also made CNN Money’s 2015 Best Jobs list and the CareerBliss happiest jobs list in 2012 and 2014).
QA roles regularly place highly on these lists due to:
- Feeling of value and clear contribution to company efforts, as companies will not move software into production without any testing
- Earning potential (CNN places the median salary in the six figures as of 2015)
- Work culture, including level of interaction with colleagues and general freedom and flexibility
- Growth opportunities (as stated above, QA specifically and software development more generally, are high growth fields, which creates a plethora of options for QA Managers to advance their careers)
QA Manager is the Job of the Future
There’s no doubt about it: QA Manager is the job of the future. As ensuring software quality becomes increasingly important and more deeply intertwined with the entire software development process, QA Managers will become even more sought after. And from this role’s growing value to organizations to its widespread opportunities, flexibility and consistent happiness, it’s definitely a career path that warrants a second look.
Is a career in software quality assurance right for you? Learn more about the field through our resources.