Sparta's Media Hub

Life as a Tester: Career progression in tech

In part four of our, ‘Life as a Tester’ series, Dan Webb and Jacob Stoneman discuss the career prospects of an Automation Tester, the perception of the varying roles in the industry and, the learning opportunities available. Read below to find out more...

DW: In terms of continuing to learn as an Automation Tester, what does it look like? What would you recommend to other Spartans?

JS: I learned a huge amount in my first few months – you have to, to understand what’s going on! I use AWS a lot in my day-to-day and it’s commonly used in the industry, so upskilling in that certification suite is useful.

DW: At Sparta, we have many more people applying to our pure dev roles than SDET. I think automation testing’s a great career – I’m biased because it was my career – but have you got any thoughts on how we change people’s perception on what a testing role looks like?

JS: One of the things I realised very quickly is that I may not be in a dev role, but I am a developer! I’m developing software every day - it’s software that tests other software. If you’re aiming for an engineering role because you want to be a dev, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t go into test automation.

DW: At some point in my career, I decided I didn’t want the words ‘quality’ or ‘test’ in my job title, because I thought that in some people’s eyes it painted me as a less credible engineer. Frankly, I felt just as capable as any other ‘engineer’, I just had a real specialism in that I really cared about quality. Do you think the words ‘quality’ and ‘test’ have a bad reputation? We bunch engineers together whether they’re doing node or Java or C#, so why are testers separated from the rest of ‘developers’ as a specialism?

JS: That’s a good point. I consider myself an engineer, and I don’t see my specialism in test automation as a bad thing.

DW: So now you’re a year in, where do you think you’re heading? What are your ambitions? Where do you see yourself in a few years’ time?

JS: I think a lot of people’s answer to this question is that they want to be in a management role, which isn’t necessarily where I want to be. The enjoyment of the job for me is in the engineering side of it and I want to be doing that as much as I can. If I can gain more knowledge on the wider testing industry and become be someone that could be dropped into any project because I have the skills, that’s what I’m aiming for.


Click here to find out more about Sparta's Test Engineering roles.

2023 Equal Tech Report: How neurodiverse professionals bring in-demand perspectives to tech

Play Video