I just posted this to Danny Faught's SWTest-Discuss Email List:
I think I've hinted at this before:
IMHO, pure software functionality testers are likely to lack professional status, lack authority, lack respect, be likely to be laid off, etc, etc.
By "pure" I mean "People who don't do anything else." In nursing terms, all a pure tester can do is operate equipment to take readings.
To gain professional credibility, we need to grow the field to be more of a nurse-practioner who is involved from the beginning. The "Uber-Tester" would then test the requirements, be able to understand design issues, perform usability and GUI (Interaction Design) assistance on the prototype before the real code is developed, help the customer write acceptance tests, set up and assist with code review, as well as set up and run system tests. The Uber-Tester could also own the bug tracking system.
Johanna Rothman wrote an article on "First Class Testers" in this month's Better Software that covers the general idea.
IMHO, Software Quality Engineering is a discipline of Software Engineering. (Notice what Cem Kaner is a professor _OF_.) Testing is a subset of that discipline. We will never have have professional recognition among testers until we admit that justification by testing alone is insufficient.