Career advice: temporary tester?

Hey all, I was wondering if you could share some insight in my current situation.

After changing careers and following a Java course, I was lucky to land a job as a developer. During the 7 or so months working I have learnt a lot as the job turned out to be more full-stack DevOps.
Unfortunately, when the time came to revise my contract, the company did not want to renew the contract as they were looking for someone with more experience.
They did however offer me a job as a tester. In this role the focus would be on the business side and there would be little coding, but I would be given the chance to set up automatic testing and a continuous-delivery pipeline.

Now I am wondering what would be wise to do. Testing is an area where I as a developer could improve in, and I think experience with continuous delivery would be good for my curriculum vitae.
However, I’m not sure if continuing to develop my coding skills isn’t more important at this moment, and I would be better off with a new developer job rather than a tester job.
It might also be an option to do the testing job part-time, which leaves some time to improve my coding skills on the side.

What do you think? Be a tester for a while (I’m thinking about half a year, year tops) for experience, or find a new job as a developer and improve my coding? If the tester job seems good, should I do it full- or part-time?
Thanks in advance! If there’s more info needed, let me know.


Considering your experience level, I would recommend taking the role as a tester. You will still learn a lot and in a years time be in a stronger position to get that dev role.

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What do YOU REALLY want?

This interview with your manager, the reasons they gave are very important. Do you agree with the motivation of their decision? Or not?

It is possible that you did not reach their standards after 7 months. And it is possible that their standards are sky high. In the Netherlands there are few companies that only contract the best of the best. This does not mean you suck!
Another motivation is that you as a person does not fit in their team.

So, think again. Do you really want to become a developer? YES? Leave that company.

You have now 7 months of experience. You should be able to find another occupation. But again, be honest to your self and think about their motivation. It is possible you have problems to implement simple algorithm’s, unfortunately algorithm’s are a big deal in this profession. Be honest and think about this.

You must consider your age. If you are a young person, do not hesitate to take risks. Go were you want to be. When you choose to stay in an environment that does not suite you but it will pay the bills, than it will become difficult. You become sad and unsure. Of course there are situations that make it difficult, e.g. having kids. BUT…Java developers are still hot.

I think being a tester will be good for you. One reason not mentioned yet is Test Driven Development (TDD) which is big right now.
This is actually writing tests with code that you put your program through. Testing will give you a sense of how and what tests need writing as a tester job tends to be a human version of this process.
Therefore I think it will help you as a developer long term.

Thanks for the feedback all.
What I really want is to be a developer. I just don’t know whether a break in coding to focus on testing would be good or bad for my career as a developer.

So far I’m a bit in favour of taking the testing job (well, starting the negotiations). Because I will develop my coding skills anyways, I think this would be a good opportunity to broaden my experience. Automated Testing and Continuous Delivery are gaining in popularity and it would give me hands-on experience with those. From a tester’s perspective, but I could use that experience to develop better tests as a developer or even help set-up automated testing in other companies.

Would you recommend full-time or part-time testing if I were to choose this path?

I wouldn’t say I agree with, but I can understand the company’s decision to not renew the contract. I have made some mistakes, and although I think I showed good attitude correcting those mistakes, they did harm the company.
Financially, I can afford it to wait for the next developer job.

Edit: I’m not tied to the company by the way. It’s all about whether the tester job would help me in the long run or not.