Apologies in advance if this turns out to be a long read. I’m 28 years old and I have been working in IT as a QA engineer for the past 6 years. I’m a university dropout, have no computer science degree.
I started as a manual tester of mobile games, then moved to banking and now I’m working for Amazon, so you could say I’ve done reasonably well. A decent chunk of my responsibilities now include automation (Java + Selenium), however, I still feel like I am somehow going for the easy route and I could be doing better. I also feel like I’m going to hit the ceiling fairly soon in terms of earnings.
My understanding of Java was fairly basic, enough to write tests but not much else. I’m reasonably skilled in Java+Selenium, enough to use the framework someone else has written and add new UI tests.
I’m doing a Java course now to be more advanced and I’m happy with the progress.
The more I learn, the more I am overwhelmed by how much I would have to catch up with to switch roles - either to an SDE or an SDET. It’s not just Java. You have to know lots of other things, algorithms, databases Git, Jenkins, build automation tools (Maven, Gradle), CI/CD, development patterns, HTTP,… And probably thousands of others I’m forgetting. What about maths? Mine is at high school level.
I’m overwhelmed and kind of losing motivation. You don’t have to be exceptional with all of this to be a QAE, but no one will let me cut corners in a development job. At times I feel like I lost my window a few years ago and should have done this by now. What do you guys think? Anyone else who was in a similar spot and managed to pull through?