Why we don't see a 20 year experinced tester in india?

       Now I have more than 7 years of experience in software testing, at a critical junction in my career to think what next? Normally we (or only me) build our career by looking at successful people around us from the same domain. We look forward to our role models to follow.

           So when I look around I hardly find people still love to be a individual contributor in software testing by choice. The usual career path is like test engineer - Senior Test Engineer(Test Lead) - Test Manager. Some Organizations, mostly product based, have the designations like Principal QA or even Senior Principal QA or Test Architect. But that works as a place holder for people eligible for Test Manager or Test Manager in waiting.

              May be my assessment is wrong, but I don't see people aspire to be a test specialist through out their career especially in India. More over sometimes organizations don't consider, people want to be in individual contributor role for a longer period of time, worth for their compensation package. But this is not the case outside India particularly US, where IT sector is more mature I feel. The same can be true for even individually contributing developer. Individual contributors hardly get the respect they deserve.

        So this phenomena  opens up many thoughts in my mind. In our society the leader gets more credit than the worker. He is the face and talking point in any discussion. The silent workers hardly get recognized. In the people's mind set also, everyone feels managers are well paid and recognized.

              In our professional life also, many people don't choose to work full time and report to someone else. They want to reach that position as soon possible. Because most of us feel, the manager's role is quite easy, less responsibility, less work but more salary and benefits. In our personal life, we plan to earn more and get promotion as soon as possible by hook or crook, reach that level, then start our married life. After that the professional career becomes just a routine affair. So we don't have to struggle anymore.

              So from another angle we don't find a quality experienced tester role model from our newbie testers. Unlike in US I find many experienced people from diverse background are still doing hands on testing. I find lots of thoughtful testers and consultants coming out from US. They contribute immensely to the testing community in terms white papers, new tools, techniques. Just compare the quality of testing conferences and contributors in US to India. I hardly see Indian contributors in open source tool forums.

           But being optimistic, I see slowly things are changing. People are contributing to the testing community  through blogs, magazines, developing and circulating tools. I hope we see more passionate testers get their due respect and recognition so they can invest more in R & D than just doing their daily job.

                  Hope organizations think beyond getting best value out of their experienced testers and allow for their professional development and the art of software testing. We get more credit for following our passion than earning more money. Hope people respect individual contributors than the managers. Hope we see more qualitative consultants from India than just outsourcing agents. Hope we will have enough role models in Software Testing  like James Bach , Michael Bolton, Cem Kaner  to follow from India. Hope our IT market will mature enough to accommodate people from diverse background to enter into IT. 



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