I’m pretty sure this title has been overused and clichéd to the point of losing all humour. However I am quite childish and it makes me smile.
When I started my graduate job at Aerosystems International, as a comp sci grad (check all those abbreviations!) along with the rest of my cohort I was taken on board as a Software Engineer. The job we were all put into, however, was Test Engineers. This made a lot of sense as softies can quite easily get caught up in their own blinkered area of code and not even realise there are other parts to the system!
Of course, these were pretty big and complex systems, but they can be applied to any. Manual testing, to scripts and requirements, whilst not being very agile in the traditional sense with all its documentation etc. does have the benefit of not only getting the big picture and domain knowledge, but you “get” the user. You see and use the system and can help craft it into something they want, need and expect.
I must also point out that testing, proper testing, is really hard!!! Like any engineer your brain is either wired up that way or not.
So why not have a go at writing down all the features and paths to using your system as you use it, try tracing back to why it works like that, and repeat those tests every time you make a change. Automate them with something like TestComplete or or Selenium. Give them to your new starters to try, run through them with your client.
Remember, the user experience won’t be verified by your Test Coverage tool.