I know the sessions are over, but I didn't have time to post about this one over at the conference, and I think it might be of interest to many of you out there.
If you think all testers (particularly Software Engineers in Test) do is sit in an office “playing” with programs to make them fail, and not development at all; if you think that Software Engineer in Test is an inferior position for those who did not make it as Software Engineer, you are in fact in sync with most people, but you are wrong. It is not an inferior or a superior position, it is just different. And it does involve development -and many more challenging, rewarding, and fun tasks.
I once heard (can't recall the source, sorry) that even if you are sure you want to be a Software Engineer -or you are already, you should give Software Engineer in Test a try because it gives you a broader perspective and makes you a much better Software Engineer, and who knows, you might find it more satisfying. There have been people switching from Software Engineer to Software Engineer in Test and vice versa. It is all about finding where your likes are. But it is worth exploring or at least learning more about it.
There are many opportunities for those interested in starting a career as a Software Engineer in Test. You can read my post about the panel discussion “Exciting Career They Don’t Tell You about at School: Software Engineer in Test “, by technical women leaders in Test from leading software companies. They talked about career paths, challenges and opportunities as Software Engineer in Test. You can also read the ghc wiki entry, or check the resources recommended by the panelists: The art of Software testing, and Sticky Minds.