How do I switch career from dev to QA?

Posted on : by : Jimmy Dean

Have you ever thought about making a career shift from dev to QA? Do you find yourself more interested in testing and quality assurance than development? Or perhaps you view this switch as an opportunity for professional growth and diversification of your skill set?

Several industry experts and professional surveys suggest that many software developers consider a shift towards Quality Assurance (QA). This trend is highlighted in the ‘Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2020’ and in ‘Indeed’s Labor Market Reports’. Such interest could stem from wanting a fresh perspective on software development, gaining a holistic understanding of the product lifecycle, or the demand for skilled QA professionals in the ever-evolving tech industry. However, making such a career switch is not without its challenges. It often involves acquiring new skills, adapting to different roles and responsibilities, and even dealing with potential income changes.

In this article, you will learn about effective strategies to navigate your way through this career transition. From understanding the role of a QA professional, grasifying essential QA skills, case studies of successful transitions, to tips for acing QA interviews, this comprehensive guide provides a step-by-step plan to facilitate your blossom into a successful QA professional.

Furthermore, we will delve deeper into how to effectively leverage your developer skills in the QA domain, ways to cope with distinct challenges during the transition, and top career advice from successful professionals who have made the switch. Buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey.

How do I switch career from dev to QA?

Definitions and Insights: Shifting Career from Developers to QA

Developers, also known as programmers, are the technical brains who create and write the code/software application. Their main role revolves around designing, implementing, and testing software.

Quality Assurance (QA) pertains to a systematic set of activities aimed to ensure that the company is providing the best possible product or service to the customers. In the context of software development, QA involves various testing methods to ensure the software developed is of the highest quality.

Switching from a developer to a QA professional denotes altering your career path to move from a role focused on creating software to a role that ensures its quality.

Flipping the Script: From Dev to QA

Making the Decision: Identifying Your New Direction

If you’re considering a transition from development to Quality Assurance (QA), you’ve likely already identified certain aspects of QA that appeal to you. Perhaps it’s the process-oriented nature of the role, the opportunity to interact with different cross-functional teams, or the strategic influence a QA professional can have on a product’s lifecycle. Before taking the plunge, it’s crucial to appreciate not only your motivations, but also how your existing skills can translate into your new role.

Developers often understand the process of software creation intrically, making them uniquely equipped to troubleshoot issues, recognize potential problems, and propose solutions. To fortify this structural understanding, gaining knowledge on verification and validation processes, testing methodologies, QA tools, and defect tracking systems can be beneficial.

Incorporating New Skills: Embracing a Different Mindset

Your transition requires more than just technical knowledge; it involves adopting a new mindset. A good QA engineer needs to think divergently, considering potential pitfalls before they occur. For a developer accustomed to creation, this shift might be challenging but rewarding.

While getting certified in testing is not mandatory, it can help build your credibility and provide a systematic education in QA fundamentals. Certification programs like ISTQB and CSTE offer comprehensive understanding of QA practices.

  1. ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board): Recognized globally, ISTQB certification courses are designed to provide knowledge across various testing concepts and techniques.
  2. CSTE (Certified Software Tester): This computer profession-based certification emphasizes understanding and execution of software test and evaluation principles.

Testing the Waters: Bridging the Gap

Once you’ve gained the necessary knowledge and brushed up on your skills, it’s time to start practically implementing them. Look for opportunities within your current company to transfer to a QA role, or if relocating is on your mind, start applying to QA roles in other companies.

In the beginning, it’s often beneficial to work closely with the development team. Leveraging this proximity allows for better understanding of the design and implementation, which aids in creating effective testing strategies. Remember, the purpose of a QA engineer isn’t just to find bugs, but also to understand how different parts of the system interact and how users will employ the software.

Making your move to QA isn’t just about career progression. It’s an opportunity to impact a product’s development from a more strategic perspective and contribute to delivering an excellent user experience. Your development background equips you with many of the skills needed to excel in this role. With some supplemental education and a slight mindset tweak, your transition to QA may open doors to new opportunities for professional growth.

Unpacking the Transition: Essential Skill Sets for a Successful Leap from Dev to QA

Is Your Mindset Ready for the Transition?

Ponder on this – Are you truly ready to transition from a developer to a QA engineer? The answer to this originates from the difference between the mindset of a developer and a quality analyst. A developer creates, designs, and solves problems directly related to software development. They enjoy the satisfaction that comes from watching their ideas come to life. On the other hand, QA engineers are the final filter before software gets into the hands of the user. They are responsible for identifying any faults or bugs in the software and ensuring that it is free from defects before it hits the market. This means that the excitement of creation that a developer revels in shifts to a more observational, critical, and meticulous approach needed for QA.

Mastering the Challenges of a Whole New Arena

Embarking on a career transformation from a developer into QA isn’t a stroll in the park. One of the main hurdles lies in the technical aspect, as QA involves a broad range of testing such as automation, manual, performance, and security testing, which demands learning new tools. A second challenge caters to the critical analysis and observation skills rather than problem-solving. As a QA, it’s paramount to examine the product scrupulously, considering all potential scenarios where things could go wrong, and ensuring all critical paths are tested and tried for quality. Lastly, another challenge is the ability to communicate and contribute to a team. Unlike developers who spend a considerable amount of time working independently, QA professionals need to collaborate with different individuals, sharing their findings and working towards improvements.

Exemplifying Successful Transitions into QA

There are numerous cases of developers making a successful transition into QA, and these are often associated with certain common trends. Firstly, successful transitioners often don’t rush into the process. They gradually immerse themselves into the world of QA, starting with learning the basics and then delving into complex strategies as they develop. Another common trait links to curiosity. Account of Jason Arbon, a former developer at Microsoft and Google who turned into a QA, echoes that his curiosity led him to question how things could be tested differently, sparking his journey into QA. Lastly, successful QA transitioners make the process an ongoing learning journey. They continuously level up by staying current with new testing frameworks and tools, thereby enhancing their skillset and staying relevant in the evolving tech world.

Rethink Your Career: The Alluring Prospects of Switching from Dev to QA

Is Transitioning from Developer to QA Engineer a Good Move?

A curious mind might question if it would indeed be beneficial for a software developer to transition into the role of a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer. In this fast-paced, ever-evolving technology environment, the answer is increasingly becoming a resounding yes. QA is no longer simply about finding bugs and testing software. QA engineers now play a key role in the development team, ensuring that the product meets the desired quality standards and the user requirements right from the inception to the delivery. They have a say in each phase of the software development life cycle and essentially, they decide whether a product is ready for release or not. Therefore, with a greater role comes greater responsibility, and undoubtedly, a higher appreciation in the organization.

Understanding the Challenges Ahead

Transitioning into a new role is simultaneously exciting and challenging, perhaps more so for a software development engineer. The challenges are manifold. On one hand, you need to quickly get accustomed to a completely new role that demands a different skill set, a different mindset, and a different way of looking at the product. On the other hand, you need to unlearn some of the methods you have been employing as a developer that may not necessarily apply in your new role. You’ll have less hands-on coding requirements and you’ll be spending more of your time coordinating with various segments of the team to ensure that the product performs exactly like it is supposed to. But for those with a knack for efficient problem-solving and a desire for product improvement, this role can act as a rewarding twist in their career paths.

Learning from Industry Best Practices

A quick glance at some successful career shifts in the industry can help guide your journey from development to QA. An imperative factor for this transition is a strong understanding of the end-to-end product life cycle. As a developer, ensuring that features works as coded is often the end goal. But as a QA engineer, you’ll need to understand the product as a whole, keeping the end-user perspective in mind. Another enriching practice is to take an active role in discussions throughout the project, not just in your specific area of expertise. Your unique developer insight is valuable in these discussions and can elevate the overall quality expectation of the project. Lastly, it would be beneficial to invest time in learning industry-standard methods for QA testing. Having a well-rounded skill set will make you stand out in your new role and enhance your contributions to the team. Transition doesn’t need to be intimidating, and with the right mindset, a strategic plan, and a desire to learn, the switch from developer to QA can prove to be fulfilling.


Have you considered how different your daily tasks and responsibilities will be when transitioning from development to quality assurance? The systematic approach of problem-solving will still be prevalent, albeit in a different shade. As a QA professional, you will need to nurture the knack of identifying problems before they occur and devise ways to prevent them. You will be shifting gears from creating to ensuring the smooth functionality of software applications. The change could be markedly drastic but equally rewarding in terms of personal growth and job satisfaction.

Stay tuned to our blog where we aim to break new grounds in giving our audience comprehensive and valuable insights. We have an array of topics that span the breadth and depth of the tech-world. Expect enthralling discussions, enlightening tutorials, interviews with industry leaders, and much more. We assure you that sticking around will be well worth your while.

Do not forget: we are here to make the transition smoother for you. As you prepare to embark on this new journey from development to quality assurance, let us be your guide. Keep an eye out for upcoming articles that will delve deeper into the nuances and subtleties of quality assurance. We are excited about what lies ahead and can’t wait to share our upcoming content with you. With each piece, you will be better equipped and informed to make the switch successfully. Happy reading and all the best ahead!


Q1: What skills are required to switch from development to QA?

A: To make a successful transition from development to quality assurance, it would be helpful to have a keen eye for detail, problem-solving skills, and an understanding of quality standards and user requirements. Strong communication and teamwork skills would be advantageous as you will work closely with other departments.

Q2: Do I need any specific training to move into QA from development?

A: While a specific training program may not be necessary, understanding the testing methodologies and lifecycle, as well as familiarizing yourself with relevant testing tools, can be beneficial. In addition, participating in related webinars, workshops, or online courses could further enhance your skill set.

Q3: Will my experience as a developer help in my QA career?

A: Yes, your experience in development can be quite beneficial in a QA role. This is because such experience can assist in comprehending application functionality, identifying potential problem areas, and communicating effectively with the development team.

Q4: What is the role of a QA specialist?

A: QA specialists are responsible for ensuring that a product is reliable, functional, and user-friendly by conducting thorough testing. They work closely with development teams to identify and rectify any issues or defects prior to product release.

Q5: What kind of jobs can I expect to find after transitioning to QA?

A: After transitioning to QA, you can expect to find roles such as QA Analyst, QA Engineer, Test Engineer, or QA Lead depending on your experience and skills. These jobs might require you to perform system testing, acceptance testing, regression testing, and other testing methods to ensure the product’s quality.