or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › QA vs Producer role
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

QA vs Producer role

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I hope there are some techy people on this forum that can help me. I have a big dilemma. I am currently working for a very cool tech company and am in the position where i can potentially have a career path change.

A few year prior i was working in the banking industry and was a manager for 5 years. I took an opportunity to go to a tech company where i was no longer a manager but was performing a single task that was related to my banking career. I soon found a fond appreciation for technology and computer science. I then switched my major to Information Systems to pursue a career closer to software development, production or engineering.

Currently i am in a position where i may be able to choose a QA role that is very technical or a Production role which is very similar to project management and not technical.

So here goes my question: Which career path will land me 6 figures the fastest and provide job security?

PS: I have heard that QA is usually a dead end, as in its hard to move up to software engineer, am i wrong?
post #2 of 10
Project management. Become a real good PM and you'll be sought after. IMO, from my experience seeing others, specializing in one technical path is dangerous. Your choices later in the future are limited. Especially QA, you're only learning specifics of a system which if that system ever goes out of favor in the future, your entire work experience and advantage goes down the drain. Stick with gaining broad but applicable business skills for those skills are always sought after no matter what job you go for.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for insight
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartxtai View Post
Project management. Become a real good PM and you'll be sought after. IMO, from my experience seeing others, specializing in one technical path is dangerous. Your choices later in the future are limited. Especially QA, you're only learning specifics of a system which if that system ever goes out of favor in the future, your entire work experience and advantage goes down the drain. Stick with gaining broad but applicable business skills for those skills are always sought after no matter what job you go for.

Thing is this QA role is fairly technical, there is lots of unix/sql involved, in addition there is possibility to maintain code, i dont think there is chance to write new code, but the system i am using is built in house from scratch, and is developed quiet often, its in 3rd stage/version i think currently...
basically this is not qa for a corporation that has one system they use until they have to get rid of it, its for a company that constantly maintains it
post #5 of 10
It doesn't really matter how technical is. You may get paid a technical salary, but QA is one of those jobs where you get pigeon holed as a QA person. It's a thankless but stable job. No matter how good you are at it... you probably will only get ahead if you kickass at (You guessed it) management whether its people or project. Even if you are brilliant guy that can design and automate a brilliant QA process/pipeline solo. People will bring you in for problems and forget you. QA is also one of those areas along with HR that get downsized reasonably early on because you can always sacrifice quality/stability when times are tough. It's this reason those that can create are generally valued more depending on situation/job title. Also there are some weird politics with QA at times where you will uncover issues that engineers don't want to deal with and try and ignore and you may not have leverage to get them to not do that. You can tell your manager and they may also gloss over it. Until things blow up and then it's "Why didn't you catch this sooner???" And even if you show them documentation supporting the fact that you did and you did due diligence.. you are still going to be blamed irrationally even if its merely a baseless impression. Scapegoats for shizzle unless for whatever reason your team or your manager is sensible and has clout. (Not something you should count on). Anyway just what I've observed from friends/family/at my company. I'm not QA never have been so maybe I'm smoking ze crack. Also if you have a passion for it somehow, as some people do, then go for it.
post #6 of 10
agreed. i'm in the service area and what they do is make you work more for less in the quality field.
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnedk View Post
Thing is this QA role is fairly technical, there is lots of unix/sql involved, in addition there is possibility to maintain code, i dont think there is chance to write new code, but the system i am using is built in house from scratch, and is developed quiet often, its in 3rd stage/version i think currently...
basically this is not qa for a corporation that has one system they use until they have to get rid of it, its for a company that constantly maintains it

If you're looking for career growth opportunities in the future, the PM track definitely leaves more open for the future. There is something to be said for doing what you enjoy, and it sounds as though you may be leaning towards the QA position for that reason, but be sure you're not going into it expecting something that's not feasible.

Also, I would agree with the other posters, once you get into the QA field, it is difficult to get out.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
currently it looks like i will have to make the best of my new QA role, im there to learn and back to my office to QA a different system and then i will push the architect/director to mentor me for a developer role
post #9 of 10
So you took the QA role already? I do QA and like others said, I also feel like you get pigeon holed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraxis View Post
It doesn't really matter how technical is. You may get paid a technical salary, but QA is one of those jobs where you get pigeon holed as a QA person. It's a thankless but stable job. No matter how good you are at it... you probably will only get ahead if you kickass at (You guessed it) management whether its people or project. Even if you are brilliant guy that can design and automate a brilliant QA process/pipeline solo. People will bring you in for problems and forget you. QA is also one of those areas along with HR that get downsized reasonably early on because you can always sacrifice quality/stability when times are tough. It's this reason those that can create are generally valued more depending on situation/job title.

Also there are some weird politics with QA at times where you will uncover issues that engineers don't want to deal with and try and ignore and you may not have leverage to get them to not do that. You can tell your manager and they may also gloss over it. Until things blow up and then it's "Why didn't you catch this sooner???" And even if you show them documentation supporting the fact that you did and you did due diligence.. you are still going to be blamed irrationally even if its merely a baseless impression. Scapegoats for shizzle unless for whatever reason your team or your manager is sensible and has clout. (Not something you should count on).

Anyway just what I've observed from friends/family/at my company. I'm not QA never have been so maybe I'm smoking ze crack. Also if you have a passion for it somehow, as some people do, then go for it.


I think you summed it up pretty well man. All the developers at my office get the awards/recognition. No one notices QA until someone files a bug on our product, then we have to go through rounds of meetings with the various managers (product managers, engineering managers, QA managers) explaining why we didn't catch it. It sucks. Our QA department is really understaffed too so all of us have a lot of responsibilities. At least my manager is great and protects us (as best she can) when this happens. She makes us file every single bug we find, no matter how minor just to protect ourselves.

Plus in QA, you will repeat the same tests over and over again year after year with not many new changes. This gets boring and makes me lazy at times. I'm trying to switch over to the business side. I will probably have to get an MBA for this.
post #10 of 10
I manage a software testing team at a large media company. One of my guys switched over to a developer role earlier this year, and he has been a great hire for that team. He was up to speed on our technology before he started developing for our core products and understands the business in a way an experienced developer from outside would not for the first year of work. It worked out quite well here. We are a manual testing focused shop. He didn't have the dev skills to be hired off the street for a job here, but I put him to work with a mix of manual testing and writing scripts and unit tests that were beneficial to QA and gained him some skills. He wasn't driven by the same expectations to deliver products that a starting developer would. I realize things don't work this way everywhere, but I've seen people move from QA to dev at a couple different companies. I did it myself about 8 years ago. I chose QA eventually for my career. It fits me better. I would set getting hired as a developer as long term goal and let people know you'd like to eventually move over after you've settled in your new job. Get in good with the developers. Ask to get the same training they do from your boss. Agree with Abraxis and Timbaland - getting respect in QA is a constant effort. It is often a thankless and overlooked role.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Business, Careers & Education
Styleforum › Forums › Culture › Business, Careers & Education › QA vs Producer role