One of my larger projects at work right now revolves around the growth paths for senior testers. The career path for testers at Microsoft is a bit different than some other companies in that testers can attain promotions, salaries and awards equal to any other engineering discipline. Part of what I'm working on is coming up with better analysis and descriptions of what "super senior" testers do (I am waaay over simplifying here, but I can answer questions on the other pieces if you're interested).
I've talked personally with 100's of testers at MS, and in small groups (classrooms or lectures) to probably a thousand more. As you can imagine, this (in addition to my other projects) is keeping me busy. In fact, a few weeks ago I was talking to a test team about senior tester roles and 'G' asked "when are you going to blog again?" I guess when one of my loyal 23.5 readers asks, I respond...just slowly.
For terminology sake, let's call the role "senior". You may refer to a high level tester as senior, professional, expert, highly paid, or whatever-word-you-want-to-use. For this brief post, I'll use senior.
The roles that a senior tester can fill vary a bit, but I was thinking about the attributes that all senior testers have.
I'll admit that one of the first things I thought of was to leverage some of the points I see as controversial in Bach's Expert Tester presentation, but other than disagreements on what the most important points are, I think it's pretty close. That said, let me boil this down to a few bullet points.
I'll stop there, but there probably many other attributes shared by senior testers, and dozens of other specialized attributes. Feel free to chime in with some of the obvious things I've missed.