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Programmer or tester – we help you choose a profession

There are several ways to build a career in IT. You can learn a programming language and framework and then expand your knowledge in parallel with your work. You can learn manual testing and eventually master automation or learn to develop into a team leader. So where should you start?

In this article, we’ll compare two of the most popular jobs in IT: Frontend Developer (Programmer) and QA Engineer (Tester). Get ready: there will be many examples, facts, and figures.


What do you need to know?

A newbie Front End Developer should know HTML and CSS, JavaScript, and at least one framework or library like React. Should be proficient in the version control system (Git). Should understand the basics of adaptive design and understand the interface of Figma.

English skills at the intermediate level and above are essential for working with foreign clients. It’s important not only to speak but also to write. The reason for this is that commands in programming languages often contain words in English. JavaScript is easier to learn if you know English.

A beginner tester needs to know different testing methods, learn how to use a bug-tracking system like Jira or Trello, and be able to create bug reports. It’s necessary to understand the development lifecycle (SDLC). Understand the client-server architecture and work with developer tools (DevTools).

Additionally, you must be able to speak at least intermediate-level English for projects with foreign clients. And written English is essential for reports and correspondence with colleagues from other countries.

What do you have to do?

Programmers and testers have a common goal – a quality product. But their methods are different. One creates the other durability tests.

The Front End Developer designs the interfaces of programs and applications and creates web pages according to prefabricated design layouts. He works on the part of the web page that the user sees.

  • Obtains and analyzes the site layout in Figma.
  • Examines the terms of reference (what should work and how).
  • Divides the layout into logical blocks and create a website framework in HTML.
  • Makes use of CSS to finalize the framework.
  • Adds effects and animations using JavaScript.
  • Offers users an interface that adapts to different devices.
  • Fixes bugs and pass the site to the tester.

VS Code – a developer working environment


The programmer solves more complex, non-standard technical problems. Ideally, the programmer accepts challenges and likes to create. Ultimately, this is a very responsible job because his code affects the product’s final appearance.

The tester tests the work of websites, programs, and applications. A tester looks for errors and describes them. The tester ensures that everything works properly and looks good.

  • Examines the terms of reference (what should work and how).
  • Determines the testing methodology and method.
  • Obtains or compiles a test plan and test cases.
  • Methodically checks the site for each requirement.
  • Tests the software code of the site, if necessary.
  • Prepares a report and delivers it to the developer.




Checklist for testing the site


A novice tester doesn’t write code, so he doesn’t have to be a techie. He must be able to think critically, ask questions, and understandably describe problems. For this, a tester needs concentration, diligence, and attention to detail. A good tester is a perfectionist.

How long does it take to study

Learning Front End by yourself isn’t easy. If you study 2-3 hours a day, it’ll take you 12-18 months to learn JavaScript alone. You’ll need books, videos, and iron discipline. To progress faster, you should find a mentor – a friend or colleague with development experience who can give you advice and support.

In 6 months, you will learn the Front End profession through the online course. Here you’ll learn about the program and work with a mentor and a tutor. The classes happen in the evenings, so many people combine the training with work. But the best thing about the course is getting feedback on your assignments. And that means you grow faster.

It takes 6-10 months to learn the basics of testing yourself. Having a clear plan, setting aside 2-3 hours a day, and having materials is all it takes. There is plenty of information on the Internet. But be prepared that you’ll have to analyze and structure many things. Your task after the training is to get into an IT company and gain real experience.

With the QA online course, you can master the profession in 3 months. You’ll work with a mentor and instructor on a ready-made program. The training occurs in live broadcasts in the evening and can coincide with work. Most promising students get internships in IT firms even before graduation.

How easy is it to find a job

Both jobs lead to some openings in the IT field. Let’s look at the statistics for the year and the current job positions at the time of publication of this article.

Front-End Developer:

  • 2021-2031 will be hot for web designers and developers – 23%
  • Philippine front-end developer job openings as of March 7, 2023 –  1,103

Today JavaScript is the most widely used programming language, 2/3 of developers know it. The market is full of products written in JavaScript. For example, 95% of all websites run in JavaScript. So there will be a need for Front End Developers in the future.

Number of job openings in IT by category


  • Total job openings for the year – 11,201
  • Growth by the end of the year – 77%
  • Glassdoor reports open IT jobs in the Philippines – 4,886

It’s easier for testers to find their first job because their demands are lower initially. But QA tasks are no less demanding. Companies must test websites, applications, games, banking services, robots, etc. This work isn’t bound to technologies and programming languages, allowing specialists to choose and switch between projects.

Who gets paid what?

A beginner in Front-End Developer earns 20% more than in testing. The amount increases rapidly with experience, especially if one learns new languages and frameworks. 

  • In SalaryExpert’s survey, Senior JavaScript Developer  – P247,320/mo
  • As per Indeed, Middle JavaScript Developer – P135,300/mo
  • In PayScale, Junior JavaScript Developer – P49,500/mo

The tester starts with a lower amount. Compensation doesn’t grow as quickly, and the difference may increase over time. The exceptions are team leaders and test managers. Below you’ll find salary statistics regardless of the testing method.

  • QA Tech Lead – P207,500/mo
  • Senior QA Engineer – P181,400/mo
  • Middle QA Engineer – P102,300/mo
  • Junior QA Engineer – P41,200/mo

The salaries of Automation QA specialists are almost a third higher than those of Manual QA specialists.

It’s better to try it once than to read a lot about IT. Sign up for one of the free marathons and test your skills: a website layout marathon or a testing marathon. Classes occur in the evenings, and mentors and instructors help with practice. Get a head start in IT!