The Shrinking Number of Test Manager Roles: An Evolving Landscape or a Cause for Concern?

3 minutes

In recent times, the tech industry has witnessed a noticeable decline in Test Manager positi...

In recent times, the tech industry has witnessed a noticeable decline in Test Manager positions across the North West area. This trend has sparked speculation and concern among some professionals in the field, what is happening? How has this happened? And what does the future look like?

To unravel the underlying causes of this phenomenon, allow us to whip out our crystal ball 🔮 & delve into some of our theories on the changing dynamics of software development and testing.


** The Rise of Integrated QA: A Paradigm Shift**


One prominent factor we believe could be contributing to the diminishing demand for Test Managers is the growing adoption of integrated QA practices. Today, QA professionals are increasingly integrated into development squads, working closely with engineers throughout the software development lifecycle.

This shift has blurred the traditional boundaries between testing and development, resulting in a more collaborative and hands-on approach to quality assurance that to some squads has reduced the need for dedicated Test Managers


**Direct Reporting to Engineering Managers**

As integrated QA becomes more prevalent, QA professionals are reporting directly to Engineering Managers rather than through the conventional reporting channels.

Traditionally, QA teams operated separately from development teams, often reporting to a Test Manager or QA Manager who acted as a liaison between QA and engineering. However, as software development processes have become more iterative and collaborative, the need for this intermediary role has diminished.

This change has empowered QA teams, granting them greater autonomy and decision-making authority. Consequently, the need for dedicated Test Managers to act as intermediaries has decreased.



**A Convergence of Roles**

With the advent of integrated QA, traditional QA roles have evolved to encompass both testing execution and strategic planning. QA professionals are now more involved in defining testing strategies, collaborating with engineers on test design, and contributing to overall software quality. This convergence of responsibilities has led to a situation where QA professionals are essentially performing two jobs in one.


**The Future of Test Managers: Adaptation and Evolution**

Despite the decline in dedicated Test Manager roles, it's not all doom and gloom. This change has sparked innovation, encouraging the emergence of hybrid roles and collaborative leadership models. The fusion of testing and engineering expertise has fostered a unique synergy, enhancing the overall efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

While the role of Test Managers may be changing, these are just our hypotheses on what may be happening in the industry. Regardless of the reason in the reduction in testing manager roles, one thing remains certain - the need for specialized expertise in software testing remains essential. As the industry continues to adapt, Test Managers can evolve their skills and embrace new technologies and methodologies. To remain relevant, Test Managers can consider specialising in areas such as:


* Test automation and performance testing

* Agile testing and DevOps integration

* Test strategy and architecture design




The declining number of Test Manager roles is a reflection of the changing landscape of software development and testing. However, it does not signal the demise of testing expertise. Rather, it highlights the evolving nature of the profession and the need for Test Managers to adapt and embrace new paradigms. By embracing innovation, specializing in emerging areas, and fostering collaboration with engineering teams, Test Managers can continue to play a vital role in ensuring the quality and reliability of software products.

What are your thoughts on this evolving scenario? Join the conversation and share your insights. Let's continue exploring this fascinating topic together!

*Image by Werner Moser from Pixabay*