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New Post 3/20/2009 4:31 AM
User is offline Tshego
21 posts
9th Level Poster

I want to move back to BA 
Hi All, I need to write a letter to my employers informing them how unhappy I am in my current position as a Tester. I joined the company in the capacity of Business Analyst but my responsibilities seem to have shifted. What should I focus on in constructing this letter so that they understand quite clearly that my progress is hampered by the shift in responsibilities and that being a tester is demoralizing/demotivating me, without alienating anyone. The company is a really great one to work for and I wouldn't like to be left with no alternative but to leave. Please help. Thx, TP
New Post 3/20/2009 8:50 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: I want to move back to BA 
Modified By Craig Brown  on 3/20/2009 10:50:46 PM)

What I would like to know is What s it about testing you don't like?"

Let me run you through a few points;

  • As a tester you are they eyes & ears of the business stakeholers - you are the person is keeps the dev team honest and focused on what is important
  • All the best people I have worked with have, at one stage or another, worked in testing - it drives a sharp focus on quality into all your future work
  • Testing is an end to end process and in smart organisaions includes QA on requirements (Check out the V model for an example.)

So, why is testing such a bad thing?


You'll have your answers, and if you can put them up here, that's a first step towards the letter you want to write.

New Post 3/21/2009 4:07 PM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: I want to move back to BA 

Hi TP,

I would hesitate to frame your letter negatively ("I don't like testing"), especially in these economic times.  Think about what you're trying to accomplish (work as a Business Analyst) from a positive point of view.

I would start by coming up with a list of reason why you make a good Business Analyst and then explain how being a BA drives you to perform your duties well.  You can use your past experiences from when you started at the company as a BA to demonstrate how your added value to the organization when you were in that role.

I would close off the letter by saying something along the lines of "while I feel I am competent in my QA role, I believe that I achieve my best personal results as a BA and am instrinsically motivated in such a capacity.  I am excited to be able to return to this area and hope that we can discuss upcoming opportunities that will allow me to fulfill this role."

The implication that you are not as motivated/happy with being a QA clearly hangs out there but you don't need to specifically come out and say it that way to get your point across.  I've typically seen this type of diplomacy go over well in organizations, although in some organizational cultures you need to be more blunt.

In the end do what you think is needed to get the point across without appearing to simply complain about the situation.  Offer alternatives, options, etc. that will bridge you between your current situation and your optimal one (e.g. offer to be a BA part-time while finishing up your current testing duties, etc.).

One last note - I've found that some companies believe that BA and QA are the same disciplines - if you think this is the case then indicate some of the differences in your letter.  This will help them understand your frame of reference.

New Post 3/22/2009 4:43 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster

Re: I want to move back to BA 

Tsegop Matie,


Testing is not that BAD! I’m doing a testing role at the moment. Now I have done the rounds in IT, and working in the boiler room again is exciting. Testing also provides one with a good perspective on how systems are built and what mistakes are made; but mostly what mistakes can be avoided. There is this notion that testing is at the bottom of the IT food chain; it isn’t!


Persevere and you’ll reap the benefits! I believe you’ll be a much better Analyst and Designer, and an even better Enterprise Architect! Do you know Utzon? Who, I hear you say. Well cast your eye over a picture of Sydney Australia and you’re bound to see one of the world’s most iconic buildings the Sydney Opera House. The Architect, Utzon won an award for the building design but it was extremely difficult to test the design let alone build the thing. When you look at the building you marvel at the aesthetics but there are a group of people who knows that the building would not have seen the light of day, had it not been for designer and testers! As an architect deep down I still think it’s a terrific building and Three Cheers to the late Mr Utzon (Oi, Oi, Oi)!


My point! Sometimes as analysts and architects we state requirements that cannot be built or tested. Here is an obvious un-testable performance requirement: The system shall process an infinite-loop in eight second. We’ve all seen requirements like these that cannot be built nor be tested. And, this is where your testing experience comes in!


So, endure and learn as much as you can from a vital part of our IT industry! Perhaps your company can enlighten you about the prospects and career advancements for Test Analyst. About a year ago now, I gave a Testing Strategy course to Test Analyst and Managers of our two larger universities. What astounded young Test Analysts more was the career path available to them. They were oblivious to their prospects! I cited a friend’s career from humble Test Analyst to a Test Director on a Large Project commanding around $1500 per DAY (Not bad money I reckon)


Lastly, your company knows that you are a valuable BA, but the present economic climate precludes them from currently employing you in that capacity, so they’ve retained you and moved you to testing as a retention strategy to keep you employed and to hang onto a vital resource. During a downturn in the market, astute companies make these critical manoeuvres to safe guard their valuable employees.  


You can resign and hope to get another opportunity. If you have not been through a down turn in the market, speak to a few people who have had time on the bench. I’ve been through a few recessions and down turns and time on the bench is not pleasant at all. I’ve watched my fair share of mid-day movies. So, a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush! (phew, I never thought I’ll sound like my father).Use your analysis skills and analyse the Testing Domain and exploit opportunities; there are bound to be many! It appears that the company you work for is safe guarding you. So my friend, before you want to move on check out the opportunities.



Warm regards,



PS. Apologies for not having had the time to write a shorter letter (Paraphrasing Blaise Pascal)


New Post 3/23/2009 11:34 PM
User is offline Tshego
21 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: I want to move back to BA 



Thank you guys for your responses and they seem intrinsically valid.  I guess the reason why I’m so apprehensive is due to the fact that I haven’t developed myself to the level of competency I’d like to be at as a BA.


@Craig – There’s nothing wrong with Testing, it’s just that at this time I would’ve preferred to solidify my analysis competencies.

@larimar – I have indeed taken heed of your suggestions and implemented them accordingly.

@kmajoos – point taken.

My gripe in essence, is my frustration at not making sufficient progress at what I want to be doing which is Business Analysis.  Testing on the other hand is largely towards the end of the lifecycle process.

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