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I have quite the opposite problem. I have been working in one or another of the list-o-non-programming-jobs for a decade and a half. Truth be known, I'd rather write code. I worry that I've been 'on the bench' so long that I won't be able to perform if I were asked to. I've done build engineering (ClearCase), and yes, it is hard. The problem with that is, once you've gotten it, that's all you'll do because nobody else wants to do it. I've escaped from that a few years ago because all the new projects have leads that want to do some version of "agile," that makes the build guy much less important. Still, I have people coming over to have me explain some ClearCase thing that has them absolutely baffled. I've done testing. As a matter of fact, I'm doing testing now. I'd rather beat my head against the wall over a DR that has been passed around from developer to developer, most of whom are better than I am, for five years. I actually fixed one of those with a single line of code (turned out to be a memory leak that has gone unnoticed for a long time) and it gave me a huge rush. I wish I could believe that the industry values good testers like you say they should, but I'm unconvinced. I've been brought up to believe that support people are expendable, and I don't want to be that. But maybe I should write up a resume on that basis and see who bites and possibly prove myself wrong, but I'd much rather be writing code.
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Aug 26, 2013