My thought is that “people who have coded at one point in their lifetime may be better QA people than those that have not ever coded.”
Why? When I had mentored some new QA members that have coded before… I ask them this question “Take the design, take the spec, then think how you might build it, and then think where do you think you might mess up?”
It takes a little bit of time for them to understand why I ask that question, but once they understand why I ask that question, they tend to find better bugs. Esp when they start analyzing the smaller details on how parts are build together or uncover details by either talking to the developer or looking at code.
Also to note for me, QA is to Dev as Editors are to Writers. It’s hard to find fault in your own logic, writing etc… if a QA person knows how to read code, they can look at some of the code, test around the code and verify that the code is ok. QA and Dev working together makes for a better product, in my opinion.
It also scares me to death to code. Why? Because I keep finding faults in my own code. It’s hard to code well, and I give HUGE props to all the dev that are brave enough to code. I made a New Years Resolution to try to write some automation code this year.