Got a knack for testing? Aspiring to start your career in the software industry?
If you are nodding your head in agreement, then a software tester job might just be the job profile well-suited for you.
To become a software tester, you must be passionate about the work that software testers do.
Otherwise, you will just bore yourself and you won’t be able to perform the duties that the position entails.
More importantly, you must have a particular set of skills.
Your job as a software tester will predominantly revolve around finding bugs, ensuring the software fits its intended purpose and assuring the quality of software before it reaches the end-users or customers.
Besides having excellent aptitude and analytical skills, you must be proficient with testing methodologies and tools which are commonly used by software testers.
In this blog, you’ll get an in-depth insight on the following:
- Software tester job description
- Software tester job outlook
- Software tester job salary
- Software tester job requirements
- Top 8 must-have technical skills to become a software tester
- Popular software testing job titles
- Common career paths in software testing
What Does a Software Tester Do?
Although there are various categories of software testing, software tester job roles and responsibilities can be generalized as running manual and automated software tests to find bugs and problems in the software products.
Some of the everyday tasks related to software tester job description is listed in the following infographic:
Unlike QA (Quality Assurance) engineers who are part of the entire software development process, software testers usually come into the picture when the software product has reached its final stages of development.
These two roles of a QA tester and a software tester are quite often misunderstood to be different titles for the same position but that is incorrect.
The major difference in their roles lies in the fact that QA testers work to improve the customer experience and the product whereas a software tester runs tests to spot defects and inspect code modules.
If you are keen on becoming a software tester, it is important that you understand the exact role of the profile and the difference between similar job profiles from the same industry.
Also read: Software tester job description
Software Tester Job Outlook
With the increasing number of IT companies coming up with new products in the market, the demand for software testers is also increasing rapidly.
According to sources, the job outlook and demand for software testers is estimated to grow 22% by the year 2030, which is comparatively higher than the average rate of growth for other job profiles.
It is estimated that over the coming decade, there will be 189,200 job openings every year for software testers, developers, and QA analysts.
Pretty amazing, right?
Plus, starting your career as a software tester in the IT industry is comparatively easier than other roles as it doesn't require higher-level education, and software testing tools are easy to learn.
And did we mention that also it pays well?
Software Tester Job Salary
According to Glassdoor, the average yearly pay of a software tester is $68,653 in the United States.
Having said that, of course, the salary of a software tester can vary depending on companies and different locations.
Take a look at the different pay scales offered by some of the well-known companies in the US:
|Cognizant Technology Solutions||$73,101|
Some of the highest paying states in the US for software tester jobs are Minnesota and Virginia.
Also read: Software tester salary
How to Become a Software Tester?
Having a software development background is a must for you to get a software tester job.
Besides being passionate about testing and software development, employers will expect you to have a good command of programming languages and platforms.
If you don’t have hands-on experience with test cases and test scenarios, consider becoming a certified applicant by taking software testing certificate courses such as:
- Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST)
- Certified Software Tester (CSTE)
- Certified Manager of Software Testing (CMST)
- ISTQB Foundation Level (CTFL)
- ISTQB Agile Tester Certification
- Advanced Level Security Tester
- Unified Functional Testing v14.x Certified Professional UFT120-14-ASP
- Certified Software Test Professional Associate Level (CSTP-A)
- Certified Software Test Automation Specialist
You can also gain some experience by working on freelance projects and crowdsourced testing before applying for software tester jobs.
This will help you get hired faster and will polish your software tester skills.
Also read: A guide on how to become a software tester
Top 8 Must-have Technical Skills to Get a Software Tester Job
As obvious as it is, you can’t make it as a software tester without having a set of required key and technical skills to excel in a software tester job.
Apart from having the mentioned key skills, a software tester also needs to have technical skills like:
- Programming languages: VB.Net C, C#, .Net, C, C++, Python, Java, HTML
- Database management: Oracle 8.x/9.x, SQL Server, MS Access
- Design & IDE tools: Rational Rose, UML, WSAD
- Systems: Window Server, Mac OS X
Ensure to include the relevant skills in your software tester resume according to the requiremnts listed in the job listing.
Also read: Examples of resume skills
Popular Software Testing Job Titles
As stated earlier, there are various job titles that encompass software testing.
Each role in a software testing team has its own designated responsibilities which are crucial for realizing the set goals and objectives of the software product.
QA engineers or Quality Assurance engineers are responsible for certifying the quality of the software in every step of the software life cycle and development.
This personnel ensures that the software adheres to the principles and goals set by the management and facilitates a good customer experience.
Apart from them, they are also responsible for making sure that the software is delivered on time and under the stipulated budget.
The job profile of a Test Engineer encompasses a broad range of responsibilities and the title itself has a very broad definition.
A few of the common responsibilities of a test engineer include:
- Inspecting & reporting the quality of the product in terms of its speed, durability, functionality, and the intended purpose throughout the development process
- Generating test environments and examining machinery
- Running quality tests and suggesting improvements
- Designing automated test scripts & modules
Test Automation Engineer
A test automation engineer is responsible for coding (like a developer), automatic test programs that check bugs and defects of other software.
They work together with QA engineers and software developers throughout the software development cycle to facilitate testing of the products.
By using testing frameworks such as Robert, Watir, etc, they design and write new test cases.
To become a test automation engineer, you must be proficient in GUI design and software testing.
The role of a test analyst in a software testing job is concerned more with the non-technical aspects of software testing.
Their chief responsibility is to define a suitable test that is to be carried out, together with the test data.
They ensure proper communication & coordination between teams during the development process by making sure that the software product meets the user needs and adheres to the protocols.
Also read: Career guide for software test engineers
Software Tester Career Path
Weighing the career prospects after getting a software tester job is necessary if you want to grow and advance your career.
However, starting as a software tester does not constrict you to a certain career flow and growth.
Out of many other paths of career advancement, you can expect to follow this trajectory:
Junior Software Tester
This position is where you begin as a fresh graduate with the necessary education and training background.
A junior software tester tests software for bugs, runs test cases and reports the same to higher authorities.
As a test designer, you will be in charge of identifying suitable test methods, environments & cases to ensure the success of the software.
Senior Software Tester
As the name suggests, the position of a senior software tester requires you to have at least 3 to 5 years of experience in software testing.
Some of the common responsibilities of a senior software tester include:
- Understanding the desired purpose and quality standard of the software by coordinating with software designers or product head
- Guiding the Quality Assurance team to design QA test methods
- Supervising the QA process and the formulation of test logs
- Debugging software glitches and revising test procedures
Software Test Manager
Once you get to the level of a software test manager, your chief responsibility will be to organize & supervise the testing team to ensure that the set targets are met.
You will be strategizing, assigning, and managing the tasks to expedite the entire testing process of the software.
Software Delivery Manager
With at least 10+ years of experience, as a software delivery manager, you will supervise the whole process of software development.
You will be responsible for ensuring that the software is developed following the vision and goals of the company.
Take a look at a couple of the common duties of a software delivery manager:
- Creating strategies that support the development of a software product
- Budgeting and ensuring the software is delivered on a timely basis
- Ensuring client satisfaction by working according to the set guidelines
Like the role of software delivery managers, the profile of test architects also will require you to have 10+ years of related experience.
Some of the general responsibilities of this role are:
- Formulating test frameworks from scratch and optimizing existing frameworks to facilitate their efficiency
- Defining and executing test processes for multiple projects
- Identifying suitable techniques, guidelines, and tools for correlated resources necessities for test efforts
- Leading multiple release cycles and managing test environments to facilitate test programs
The career path for a software tester certainly does not end here and can differ depending on personal choices. Sky is the limit!
Key Points from the Blog
- Software testers are responsible for identifying software bugs, glitches and errors
- Good analytical and judgment skills are two soft skills necessary for a software tester
- Software testers are required to be proficient with testing methodologies and tools
- The job profile of a software tester is different from QAs because the former becomes a part of the development process only in the final stages while the latter work with developers throughout the software life cycle
- The salary of a software tester varies depending on company and the location
- To become a software engineer, the candidate has to have software education background
- Freshers can gain some experience as a tester by working on freelance projects and crowdsourced testing before applying for software tester jobs
- Key and technical skills like automation testing, test case designing, programming languages, database management, coding & debugging, etc are must-haves to get a software tester job
- Software testing teams can have various job titles with respective responsibilities and duties
- Career path for a software tester can vary based on personal choices and capabilities
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