Introduction Careers in Software Testing
Software Testing careers can be defined as the efforts that involve in making a product bug-free, matching the given functional requirements, 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 some specific skills like good analytical sense, basic knowledge of testing concepts, competent in communication and task management and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with computer science as major. A Software Tester’s career flow starts from Associate Tester, through Test Execution Analyst, Senior Tester, Technical Testing Lead, Test Manager, while the titles may vary from organization to organization.
Let us study more about Careers in Software Testing in detail:
In the Software testing, there are two terms used: QA(Quality Assurance) and testing. Quality Assurance is basically a process of activities designed to ensure the system will meet its objectives & create quality software. QA process is much more about giving continuous monitoring and consistent improvement and maintenance of the process. QA is used to set up the process for the prevention of bugs appearing, TESTING activity is basically called the “Quality Control” which is used to measures the quality of the product. Testing is Identification or uncovering 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 in lieu 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:
1. Non Technical skills
• Verbal and Written Communication skill
To become a good software tester, he/she must have good verbal and written communication skills. A tester needs to write test conditions, test cases, test strategies/plans, bug reports which should be easy to read and should be understood by anyone. During defect 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 directly connected with the release of the code. He/she should manage to work in an efficient way with organization skills.
Software tester must have a great attitude to the ‘test to break’ system, to self-learning, to improve technical skills and other skills. Sometimes tester needs to take ownership to complete a task without any supervision.
A software tester must have a passion for the testing field so that he/she can be involved in it.
2. Technical skills
• Basic knowledge of Database/SQL
The software application has a large number of data in the background, which stores on different types of databases such as Oracle, My SQL, etc. This data needs to validate, in that case, SQL queries.
• Basic knowledge of Linux commands
Most of the software systems are deployed Linux machines, hence it is crucial for testers to have knowledge of Linux.
• Knowledge and experience of Automation tool
Software tester can develop knowledge and hands-on experience of 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. With proper test management tool, testing cannot be done. Hence it is good to have the knowledge and hands-on experience on any test management tool.
• Knowledge and Experience of Defect Tracking tool
In the test life cycle defect tracking and defect life cycle plays an important role, hence it should be properly managed and tracked by software tester with the help of a defect tracking tool. As the entire team including testers, developers and managers are involved in defect tracking hence 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 application manually with the combinations of test conditions and scenarios.
• Automation testing
Automation tester is responsible for automating manual test case execution with the 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
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 in the testing tools side are enormous. As a Careers 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, the profile of software tester has 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 the testing professionals. There are ever living domains like BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, manufacturing, embedded etc. Numbers of certifications are available for each of these areas 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 along with salary and application area in Software Testing.You may also look at the following article to learn more –
- Careers for Software Developers
- Careers in SharePoint
- Careers as a Software Engineer
- Levels of Software Testing