I've been reading Joel Spolsky's old article about "Top Five (Wrong) Reasons You Don't Have Testers". it's an old article date back to 2000, but it's insightful as most of its content make sense after a decade.
I cant agree more about the importance of test in order to produce qualify software.
But there is one paragraph talking about what to deal with when top testers moved on and causing tester shortage, I really can't agree with Joel, although what he stated is still the case even today.
In his analysis, I clearly felt a sense that Joel is saying "testers are inferior to programmers". A lot of people around me have this kind of prejudice. I don't know where does this come from, but I don't think this right. even myself is not willing to be a tester( but that's not because I think testers are inferior but rather testers are treated inferior ). but I don't think this is right.
The way I think to prevent the out-flow of top testers is to treat them equivalently as top programmers, are they not qualified in terms of contributions to the project ? another important aspect is that we know testers have to work intimately with devs to better fulfill their job, in a culture where Managers inherently demeaning testers how would they fulfill their job ?