I've noticed that testers tend to speak singularly, and represent themselves, particularly in communities like this. However in work they tend towards being a part of a group, usually one of these:
What's your view, is there an ideal job structure? Are more people working as employees or as contractors?
I'd be interested to hear your views (and I'm not a recruiter!)
Some people like being part of a team, some like working solo
Some like security of being a permie, for others that makes them break into a cold sweat
The ideal job structure is going to be different for everyone
I've been a 20 year permie, a 4 year consultant, now a contractor but about to move into being a permie ( solo ) tester
If you're posting to here - or a blog - then you're going to post as yourself, you wouldn't post 'my test team thinks that..'
what was the reason behind your post, what are you trying to get out ot it ?
I'm trying to get a feel for trends in testing.. Software development is phased based, and companies go through different fashions - at one time all for bringing services in house, then when the cycle changes, outsourcing as much as possible. If you work in an agency, you'll be on many different products over a year, if you're in a development house, possibly just a few products, but more often.. it's horses for courses, but what are the horses and what are the courses?
I agree with Phil here - different people enjoy working in different ways and this includes the method in which they are employed.
(My background - 12 years permie, but I've recruited a lot of permies, contractors and have used a fair few freelancers).
From the other side, do you think testers are seen to be better or seen as less good if they are employed, rather than contracted? - I mean from a developer and from a manager point of view, not a tester point of view.
6 years Permie, 6 years contract - all for enterprise organisations.
My preference is for contract - suits my mindset better.
Not sure if I go for the permies have job security angle as I don't feel anybody has job security anymore.
I like the relative "freedom" of contracting, with regards to finances & training - You're responsible for sorting it out yourself, so in my opinion, you're more likely to get it done as opposed to wading through the bureaucracy in order to get things done.
I'm interested in knowing more about the freelance side of work, which (by my definition) means I could do more work with startups & SMEs
Agree with Phil and Stephen, works differently for different people (in terms of perference).
I think the STC would more commonly be for testers as individuals. Yes they may ask questions related to their workplace, but /they/ are asking them. I don't think that me asking a question as an individual can demonstrate any preferences in terms of working environment. I think a lot of people come here to better themselves, and therefore individual reasons.
I like working in teams as I love collaboration, but I don't like it when the team is cr*p. I also like working alone on certain things as it allows me to work how I want to and not seek permission for things, etc.
In terms on how people view testers against their employment status... I think there a pros and cons for both. Sometimes permies are seen as creatures of habit with not much willingness to change. Sometime they are seen as complete experts due to their long standing knowledge with a product or process. Sometimes contrators are seen as careless folk that come in, do their job, not share any knowledge, and then leave. Sometimes they are seen as experts as they have seen many different ways of doing things, etc.
In short, your question is very broad and could be answered in many different ways by many different people. But that is what a discussion forum is for, yeah? So good for you.
I guess my question would be what's driving your need for trend knowledge? Is there something in particular your looking at? Could be quite interesting...
For many years, I worked for an organisation that was purely contract research and development work - both government and commercial. I operated as a tester where I would be continually maintaining contacts with people proposing new contracts and would jump from one contract to another doing test support. That was interesting work where I would be changing "careers" about every six months to a year.
Over the years, I've seen the companies we have worked for moving more toward more temporary and fluid organisational structures. "Permie" is beginning to mean less and less now, and connection to social networks (both internal and external) is more essential than ever to maintain stable employment, even if you are part of an "established" organisation.