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There are some moments in our lives that introduce a fresh path, and everything is different since then. It’s not like one chapter leading into the next, more like book one leading to its sequel. It feels familiar, but one story closes and another continues.

In my professional life, it was when I transitioned from a developer to a tester.

It was the summer of 2019 when I left my first job. I was a developer of embedded software and I had stayed with that company for 9 years. I was looking, of course, for software developer jobs, related to web applications. Consoles and Vim were enjoyable, but I wanted to try something new. Then, I came upon a job posting looking for a Senior Software Quality Analyst for Cambridge University Press. It talked about creating test cases, doing analysis of requirements, dealing with the other members of the Scrum Team, and automating. It had a long list of responsibilities, but my general feeling back then was that I could do some of it. I was involved in creating test matrices. I even had created traceability documents between the requirements and matrices I created. It would be interesting to have a different perspective on software development.

Yeah, maybe I could be a QA.

I submitted my CV and moved on. I couldn’t remember how many days or weeks had passed until they called me, but it happened! My present manager interviewed me back then, and I was given the job offer. After a few days, I responded in the affirmative, and more than 2 years later, I am still a part of Cambridge University Press as a QA.

What’s interesting to us human beings is that we always learn more in retrospect. We can always anticipate what’s coming, but it’s only in looking back that we have the chance to look through the cracks and understand what really happened

Looking back to my past two years as a QA, what I can definitely say is that I’ve never truly left my developer life behind. I always believe that coding is more of a way of thinking and problem solving, rather than mastering the programming languages themselves. I remember this interesting clip from Like actual languages, one thought can be translated to another, but the essence remains the same – to communicate and send our message across. With my work as a QA, it’s putting that problem-solving mindset in a different course. Instead of writing and building code, I’m using that skill to break the system down, reverse engineer what was happening, and probably break the application through the process.

We should find a job that is not entirely matching our current skills, but something where our current skills would be allowed to grow.

I am also fortunate to be in a team where I am encouraged to actually code and keep my technical skills sharp. During my work as a developer for embedded software, it’s mostly C and C++. In my work as a QA, I’ve learned about Javascript. And it was my first time being face-to-face with that programming language. Again, as I mentioned earlier, it’s using what I already know and translating it to a slightly different aesthetic.

What’s helpful in looking for a new job is finding how our current skills intersect with a new one. Just as it is said for recruiters that one should not recruit because of what one is, but what he could be, it should be the same for job lookers.

We should find a job that is not entirely matching our current skills, but something where our current skills would be allowed to grow.

I believe I will never settle on being labeled as only a developer or a tester. I would juggle between the two hats or even wear them both at the same time. When I was thinking of what I want to do with my website, I know I won’t just talk about testing and I won’t just talk about writing code. They’re both me!

So I embraced it and share my stories, both written and tested.

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