Switching from QA (or any another technical role) to SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) can be a bit challenging but only because your skill set needs to grow. But with a genuine passion for software development it could be a breeze for you. You might even enjoy this learning streak and this process of transition.
Now within your heart if you feel an exhilarating passion towards this field, willing to do something significant that brings about change then nothing can stop you from achieving a smorgasbord of skills and tactics that takes to be a great SDET
The only big challenge you will face is your mind. Because if you have been working as a QA or tester or even if you are just starting out, your limitation about others perception of your current role will pull you back.
When you have been in a particular role people tend to limit you to that area even if you have been growing your skills behind the stage.
So you might feel easier to start as software engineer in a new company than transitioning in the same place. This way you eliminate all doubt but if you have the capability to overcome the bias with a support of a good company then I say go for it!
Patience and Commitment are non-negotiable components
Yes, at first patience always sounds annoying even to the person who has a natural habit of it. But Patience is the key that will help you develop the required skills for your ideal role and will help through the time as others’ perception of you change. Being committed to your career path and a need for change can help you sustain and thrive in the longer run.
Evolve yourself into the software development role such as take on small coding tasks, learn programming languages, just be in front line with anything related to this field (while of course paying attention to the current role at hand) this way other people around you will be able to notice your newly developed abilities and you can gradually make the transition into your new role.
Be Clear and Direct
Build up the necessary skills for your ideal role and be straightforward and clear about your goal to your company or boss. This will help you reach your desired position. Making this move would clear two paths for you – First, either your company will give you an opening and check up on your newly acquired skills and move your transition along OR, (well this may or may not happen) they would not be interested to see you in a new and better role. But don’t worry, the second scenario gives you the opportunity to look for organizations which actually need your talents and appreciate you!
Before taking any step, make sure you have polished your skills enough to showcase them
If you are having this conversation with your boss, asking for a list of requirements or must-haves for the new job role will give you a clear picture.
Build up the necessary skills
Not dwelling into real work and details makes your goals float like castles on a cloud. You have to do the work to see the success you wish to see! But the requirements for this role can make things confusing
“Should I learn programming language? Which one and how?”
“How important is automation?”
“Where should I start?”
Don’t worry, all your concerns are absolutely valid and we want to make things easier for you, that’s why we have designed the perfect course Certified SDET Foundation helps you to build a strong base.
And if you have already been adding to your skill set then Certified SDET Professional will be just right for you. We have a range of SDET courses designed for different levels of skills.
In some of our articles we have specified a SDET’s skills, you can read it here Skills required to become SDET
Knock on the doors (and windows) in front of you
You cannot wait for opportunity to come swooping in like an uninvited guest even if you have prepared yourself to a pro level. You have to get up and at least look around and ask.
Within your company you can ask for simple but programming level assignments. There is so much to do and tasks are always piling up, you could make things easier. The programming team might’ve been tired with redundant tasks and will be happy to pass them to you.
There might be some initial resistance but consistency opens up new paths!
Focus on your main job first
If you are currently not working as a QA or tester in a company then this is not an issue. But if you are, some work environments will not like that you are paying attention to programming and coding during the time which is dedicated for your current role.
Take time out of your fixed hours to take up small coding tasks. Remember you have made a commitment to your current job first!
Initially you may need to come in early and go out late to complete these extra projects to gain experience.
Challenge your comfort zone
This transition will require you to challenge your comfort zone in every area. You would have to learn new and often detailed knowledge. You would require balancing two different aspects of the software development cycle stepping into this role. You might even need to balance your current job role along with this extra pile. And most importantly you need to be flexible, with your time and with going out of the way to take up new tasks for this transition.
It is all new and it is okay to miss your step and wobble ahead sometimes but the important thing is that you are moving forward!
Use automation to bridge the gap
Using automation will be an easier way to put yourself in the development side. Convincing your boss to let you do test automation might be easier than asking to be on the development team as developer with no experience.
In fact you will enjoy automation and it gives you the perfect real programming experience while creating a gain for your company!
There are bridge opportunities to software development from many other technical roles
For example, Linux administrators can become tool developers or easily move into DevOps positions where their Linux administration skills, scripting, and programming skills benefit to automate tasks and build tools that assist everyone.
It is all about finding these bridges and using them for your benefit.
If you want to start with learning automation we have the right course for you here
Keep your spirits high! Match them with your passion for this field and the goals for your career path. Even though you might face initial resistance from others, only you can bring the change you want others’ bias doesn’t matter.
Be in tune with your passion. Just keep moving forward. Keep learning. There are great opportunities for you, march ahead!
All the best!