i've been working in QA for the last 8 years in various roles of engineer, sr engineer, lead. It has been a wonderfull and learning experience. Now if i want to shift into an other role different from QA what are the options one has, so that one can take the rich experience from QA and make an impact/difference to the customer/product in the new/different role?
As you're changing your role it'd be less risky to stay in a domain you master.
It can be business analyst, developer, project manager, team leader...
You've got to know what you like and what you can do...
I agree with Laurent. You have to know what you like to do and pick the IT job that matches what you like.
Do you want to develop? Writing test tools is an excellent way to get development experience while seeing if you like doing that type of thing.
A product manager with QA experience.....I'm drooling just thinking about it....8-) Attention to detail and knowledge of the development process required in QA will probably help you as a product manager.
I actually know developers that shifted to marketing. Try to do it in the company you are at. They would be more likely to let you try something new if they like you.
Testing is not an art (that is unless your definition of art includes breaking other "art").
depends if you enjoy technical challenges or communication/interpersonal challenges. If both go for Sales or System Integration team (that would actually give you both). If you enjoy communication and interpersonal challenges go for project management.
Or if you're on a totally different wavelength than most everyone, enjoy turning your house into the IT hub of your neighborhood, define 'clothes shopping' as raiding the company closet where all the branded clothes are kept and aren't bashful about telling your friends how psyched you are the new r2d2 dual quintuple xeon octo-core processor with cp3o RAM will be soon released....well, you're probably R&D material. haha. just joking of course.....
in all seriousness though it's definitely possible to move into a variety of departments. First started in R&D where I spent a year (didn't like it) then spent a few years in QA, then moved to product management, after a few years in PM decided to make a proposal for a project mgmt group and ended up building that dept from the ground up and after a few years of that decided to come back to QA which is what I really love to do. I've been lucky to have such great training opportunities over the years.
Reserve a few months every so often and preview retirement throughout your career. You won't regret that a 35 year career was reduced to 34 years to take vacations measured in months in order to remember what a stress and care-free life is all about.
Books and hard work will get you anywhere you want to go.