Why is software testing considered less "prestigious" than software engineering?

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    I am curious about this but I don’t want to offend every tester on TEST Huddle! Do you think than testing is considered less prestigious that engineering? What would be the reasons for this?


    I think it is a remnant from the era when there were no actual testers so everyone tested their own code (because it’s easy… right?… … … riiiiiight!). I’ve heard stories about people who were told to focus on test back then because their coding skills was considered lacking. I would not be surprised if seeing testing as inferior to engineering is a left over from that.


    “Tester”, “Coder”, “Programmer” all these role titles ring of a stature in the product development pecking order that is less prestigious than “Software Engineer”, “Systems Engineer”, “Electrical Engineer”, “Mechanical Engineer”, “Test Engineer”. Why? Pretty clear I suggest. Add “Architect” or “Manager” to a domain’s role name, where do these titles appear to rank in the pecking order?

    Is your definition of the role “Tester” different than mine? What might be the difference between the roles of “Tester” and “Test Engineer” or “Test Architect” for that matter? What are the roles defined by the ISTQB? Are role titles colloquial?

    Does a “Tester” possess the requisite skills and competencies in those skills to specify a project’s “Test Strategy”, a “Test Approach” or “Test Plan?” Oh, does a “Tester” know what is in a “Test Plan” and can they author one?” Does a “Tester” appreciate the different requirements and design objectives a “Test Case” must satisfy in the different test related product life cycle processes (i.e., integration, system test, verification/acceptance test, validation)?

    And yes, based on my personal experience, there are organizations where “testers” simply execute test procedures because that is the limit of their personal skill set and competencies in those skills. Those who can, do; those who can’t, Test. Sad, but true. These same organization have product quality issues as well, in my personal experience. My personal experience is not necessarily a universal truth.


    Those who can, do; those who can’t, Test.

    I don’t agree with this. There are testers who have failed as developers but to generalise this for everyone is not fair. Everyone has their own reasons for becoming a tester.


    I don’t agree either, but I’m sure there are places where the old eras of test case factories still exists (and yet still have quality issues indeed Geoff).

    With books from both Microsoft and Google on how they test and how they use testing roles like Software Development Engineers in Test (SDET) and “Software engineer in Test” engineers are testers, and testers are engineers. .. in those contexts..


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