The following is an excerpt from a LinkedIn post I added recently. Click through to read the entire article!
On July 4th, as we celebrate our Independence Day, I will be celebrating my 2 month anniversary of a significant career shift. On Friday May 1st I was a Principal QA Architect working for a 3.5 billion dollar a year staffing and services company. I made my own hours, worked from my home in Philadelphia 90% of the time and made a healthy salary. I was a consultant and worked primarily on my own projects, and while I had managed small teams, I had never really been directly responsible for one. I had been in this industry for 10 years and had created a solid reputation. On Monday May 4th, all of that changed. On that day I switched career paths completely and joined the Ecommerce Development group at Under Armour as a Software Development Manager – a position in which I had minimal direct professional experience. I took this position in Baltimore with no real plan to move – 90 minutes from Philadelphia. Incidentally, I turned down an offer to be the Director of North American QA Operations (a fancy title indeed) for a competing company as well. Before I tell you anything else, I should tell, it was the best professional decision of my life, albeit a bit scary.
The world of QA had been good to me. I came to it through a company called QA Associates in 2004, fresh out of school with a Computer Engineering degree. With the help of a dedicated manager who I now consider a dear friend, I found my stride. I worked my way from Tester to Engineer to Architect. Beyond the tactical exercise of testing and the tools associated with that activity, I understood how to derive and apply the strategic goals of a testing organization. My job for the last 5 years had been to design testing organizations, often from the ground up – from people to tools to processes – and implement them in companies all over the US. And with humility I can tell you that I was one of the best at my job.