Updated May 8, 2023
Introduction to Careers in Software Testing
Software Testing careers can be defined as the efforts that involve making a product bug-free, matching the given functional requirements, and ensuring logical efficiency coverage by a series of verification and validation processes. For a person to take this as a career path, it is essential to have specific skills like good analytical sense, basic knowledge of testing concepts, competence in communication and task management, and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science as a major. A Software Tester’s career flow starts from Associate Tester through Test Execution Analyst, Senior Tester, Technical Testing Lead, and Test Manager, while the titles may vary from organization to organization.
Let us study more about Careers in Software Testing in detail:
In Software testing, two terms are used: QA(Quality Assurance) and testing. Quality Assurance is a process of activities designed to ensure the system will meet its objectives & create quality software. The QA process is more about continuous monitoring and consistent improvement and maintenance. QA is used to set up the process for the prevention of bugs appearing, Testing activity iy called the “Quality Control,” which is used to measure the quality of the product. Testing is the Identification or uncovering of the bugs before moving to actual users.
Education Required to Build Careers in Software Testing
To be considered for a Software tester position, at a minimum, you need to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, mathematics, or the equivalent. Some employers require a master’s degree as well. With some exposure to the database, it should be relatively easy to land an entry-level job at a company. Some employers may accept applicants without a formal education in one of these areas instead of substantial technical experience and knowledge. However, the more education and experience you have, the more appealing you appear to an employer.
Career Path in Software Testing
Following are the different career paths in software testing:
1. Non-Technical Skills
- Analytical Skill: Software testers should have good analytical skills, which will help to understand a complex system, break it up into smaller systems and write test cases.
- Verbal and Written Communication Skills: To become a good software tester, they must have good verbal and written communication skills. A tester needs to write test conditions, test cases, test strategies/plans, and bug reports that should be easy to read and understand. During defects or other follow up tester needs to collaborate with a developer; it will require good communication.
- Time Management & Organization Skills: A tester should be good at time management, as it is directly connected with the release of the code. They should manage to work efficiently with organizational skills.
- Attitude: Software testers must have a great attitude to the ‘test to break’ system, self-learning, and improving technical and other skills. Sometimes tester needs to take ownership to complete a task without any supervision.
- Passion: A software tester must have a passion for the testing field to be involved in it.
2. Technical Skills
- Basic Knowledge of Database/SQL: The software application has many data in the background, which stores on different databases such as Oracle, My SQL, etc. This data needs to validate, in that case, SQL queries.
- Basic Knowledge of Linux Commands: Most software systems are deployed on Linux machines. Hence testers must know Linux.
- Knowledge and Experience of Automation Tool: Software testers can develop knowledge and hands-on experience with any automation tool like UFT, Selenium, TOSCA, etc.
- Knowledge and Experience of a Test Management Tool: Test management is a significant aspect of software testing. Without a proper test management tool, testing cannot be done. Hence, having the knowledge and hands-on experience with any test management tool is good.
- Knowledge and Experience of Defect Tracking Tool: In the test life cycle, defect tracking and defect life cycle play an important role. Hence, a software tester should properly manage and track it with the help of a defect-tracking tool. As the entire team, including testers, developers, and managers, is involved in defect tracking, it becomes necessary. QC, TFS, JIRA, etc., are the tools available for defect tracking.
Of course, after all of the possible paths that we mentioned before, there are still dozens more. One can specialize in the agile world, vary in the types of tests and tools, become an expert in the area of business, conduct research in the field of testing, or inspire others to become testers by speaking at conferences, attending meetups, and disseminating knowledge through blogs (like this one!), social media, or teaching courses and workshops.
Following are the different career tracks as a software tester:
- Manual Testing: Manual tester validates software applications manually with the combinations of test conditions and scenarios.
- Automation Testing: The automation tester is responsible for automating manual test case execution with automation tools to reduce the execution time.
- Performance Testing: The software application’s responsiveness is checked with a tool like LoadRunner, WEBLoad, etc.
- Business Analyst: The business analyst analyses and assesses the company’s business model and workflow.
Job Position or Application Area
From being a test engineer, one can move to senior test engineer, test lead to test manager; else can become QA lead, QA Manager. The options available on the testing tools side are enormous.
As a Career in Software Testing, anyone can consider the following job roles:
- QA Analyst/Trainee Tester(Fresher)
- QA Analyst/Software Tester (1-3 years experience)
- QA Analyst (3-5 years experience)
- Software Test Engineer(3-5 years experience)
- QA Team Coordinator(5-6 years experience)
- Test Manager(8-11 years experience)
- Senior Test Manager(14+ experience)
Salary (US Data)
|Job Profile||Average Salaries [per annum]|
|Quality Assurance Tester||$69,843|
|Software Test Engineer||$93,675|
|Quality Assurance Engineer||$79,150|
|Quality Assurance Analyst||$67,035|
Conclusion or Career Outlook
Over the last decade, software testers’ profiles have undergone tremendous changes. Careers in Software Testing has become a show-stopper for several application/product implementations, and business has realized the importance of structured testing of applications before release. Testing has created several levels and types, and specialization in these various types of testing has increased the intrinsic value of Careers in software testing. From being a monotonous test case executor, several career options have evolved in front of the testing community. Good knowledge in the domain area of the application adds value to testing professionals. There are ever-living domains like BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, manufacturing, embedded, etc. Numbers of certifications are available for each area where the tester can get them certified.
This has been a guide to Careers in Software Testing. Here we have discussed the introduction, education, career path in Software Testing, salary, and application areas in Software Testing. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –