The world of technology is evolving and advancing every day. Modern living revolves around mobile applications, websites, and other software. People want to do things on the go, without queuing up in offices or stores. This is why there has been a need for easily navigable applications and websites.
Software or QA testers need to run testing scripts to ensure apps and websites are working well. That helps them to identify bugs and other flaws that could affect functionality. This explains why there has been an increasing demand for QA testers in the software development industry.
However, many people still don’t know the career growth prospects in this industry. Those with an interest in becoming QA testers also don’t know the steps of becoming one. This article will look into what you need to know if you want to become a QA tester.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Software Testing?
It is vital to start with knowing what software testing entails. Knowing this will give your career as a QA tester a solid foundation. Well, software testing is the process of verifying that a software product or application is working as expected. This process seeks to identify bugs, defects, and errors in the product.
Software testing is an essential step in the software development process. It helps software developers rectify issues in applications and websites early enough. Being able to identify these issues in time saves on software development costs. It also helps improve the performance of the developed product.
The best way to be a software tester is by undertaking software testing training. During this training, you learn automation testing and the tools used in the process. Some guides explain how automation testing platforms work. This training will help kickstart your career as a QA tester.
Besides training on automation testing platforms, you also learn about types of software tests. Examples include acceptance, integration, unit, functional, performance, regression, etc. Knowledge of these types of testing is vital for a software tester. You also need to know their specific objectives and strategies.
Why Become a Software or QA Tester
Now that you know what software testing is, why should you consider a career as a QA tester? Well, for instance, a photography job is a perfect pick for a person who loves photography. Similarly, you may choose to be a QA tester if you are a tech geek. It will be perfect for you if you like finding defects.
Software testing is also suitable for people who love perfection. However, a software tester has to be someone who has an excellent technical foundation. Your primary work as a QA tester will be pointing out technical errors in software. Therefore, software testing is more challenging than interesting.
You’ll need the brains to identify errors in software developed by someone else. Thankfully, you won’t be responsible for fixing the issues discovered. But then, it is crucial to have diverse skills as a QA tester. For instance, you can also have skills to help you fix these issues if asked to help.
Thus, software testing is more of a passion-driven job. You should consider becoming a software tester if you have an excellent technical background. As discussed earlier, be someone ready to learn as software testing evolves. You can scale the heights as a professional software tester if you have all of the above.
The Software or QA Tester’s Career Path
Software testing is a career that’s full of opportunities today. The demand for quality software keeps growing every day. It is worth venturing into if you are passionate about it and have the right skills. But then, how does the career path of a QA tester look? Let’s take you through it.
1. Junior QA Tester or Test Engineer
The title for this position changes depending on the organization. However, it is the entry-level role for a QA tester in any organization. This means there isn’t much difference in the roles and responsibilities. It is the role that introduces people with no software testing experience into this domain.
All you need to be a Junior software tester is basic software testing training. A bachelor’s in computer science can also increase your competitive advantage. You will get assigned tasks by the QA manager. These will be simple tasks, and you will have a chance to get more automation testing training as you work.
2. Senior QA Tester/Test Lead
Some organizations may also refer to this position as a Senior QA Engineer. Your responsibilities increase when you get to this position. This is because you now have amassed some experience after working as a Junior QA tester. You will now be able to manage a Junior QA testing team and assign them tasks.
Your work will be the management and supervision of a team of juniors placed under you. Ensure that they deliver all assigned tasks on time and that the group meets its targets. You will also help managers with decision-making. You can also recommend new technology that can improve the organization.
3. QA Manager
This is among the top-most positions you can rise to after some years in the industry. At this level, you can take charge of the entire organization. But then, you do not cease to be a software tester when working as a QA manager. Your primary responsibility is ensuring developed software is acceptable to clients.
You will also oversee the whole team’s performance. Encouraging them to learn about emerging tech will also be part of your work. In addition, you will assess new tools and frameworks to see if they’ll be viable for your organization. This is only the tip of the iceberg; QA managers do more to increase ROI.
How to Enter into Software Testing Field
This is the question many people struggle to find answers to when looking to be QA testers. It is vital to know what should be the first step when looking to get into this field. As discussed earlier, the first step has to be acquiring the technical skills through a software testing course (more on specific skills later).
Understanding the academic criteria for a software testing career is essential. A bachelor’s degree in computer science has been a requirement in most companies. But then, it becomes a significant consideration when one doesn’t have working experience in software testing.
A solid technological background is enough to secure you a chance in a software company. All that employers want to get you into the entry-level position is technical skills. That makes it critical to have technical skills from early on if you’re going to become a software tester in the future.
You will learn many other skills on the job working as a software tester. You can also enroll in training to advance your knowledge in the industry. Training will get you a certification that will be crucial for you when looking to rise the ranks. Thus, technical skills and a willingness to learn are all a QA tester needs.
Skills You Need as a QA Tester
As mentioned earlier, academic qualifications are an added advantage in software testing. It is the technical knowledge you possess that will help you grow as a QA tester. Your educational qualifications will be irrelevant if you lack some vital technical skills. Let’s check out some of these skills.
1. Ability to Prioritize
You will need to stick to strict timelines when working as a software tester. This will require the ability to prioritize tasks and adhere to them. You need to identify tasks that you need to complete before others. This will help you stay on track and meet your timelines without struggling.
2. Data Analysis
Besides regular testing, a software tester needs to analyze data gathered after tests. In addition, they need to analyze test environments too. Analysis helps them establish the root cause of the defects, bugs, and other issues. This is a skill that you’ll need to possess even before starting as an entry-level QA tester.
3. Walking in a Customer’s Shoes
The software you test is meant to please the customer. You won’t be a good QA tester if you can’t walk in the customer’s shoes. Keeping user experience in mind will help you identify different software issues quickly. This is one of the skills you need most as someone who wants to be a software tester.
4. Team Work
A QA tester is a member of a large team in an organization. As one, you need the ability to work with other people in a shared environment. Cooperation with other QA testers and the development team is crucial. A good QA tester doesn’t need to learn this vital skill in the work environment.
5. Good Communication
Last but not least, communication is a vital skill to have as a QA tester. You’ll need to ask as well as answer questions flawlessly to work with other people more efficiently. This will help you interact with other people in the organization. You will then be able to up your testing game within a short span.
Responsibilities of a Software or QA Tester
You also need to know what responsibilities will be on your shoulders as a QA tester. As indicated before, the responsibilities change depending on the level of your career path. This section will help you understand what a software company management expects from you as a QA tester. Let’s go.
1. Analyze Customer Requirements
Every customer has unique demands when they approach a software company. As a QA tester, one task you may do is analyzing the customer requirement. This is an essential step in prioritizing tasks. It will help you know the tasks your team needs to prioritize.
2. Test Case Estimation
A QA tester also needs to estimate the scope of work in every project. You will decide how much time it should take to complete the task at hand. This will ensure that your team stays within the timelines. It also helps in the proper planning of various tasks from different clients.
3. Test Case Documentation
It would help if you documented test cases as an organization. A QA tester is the most qualified person to help with this task. The format for documenting test cases will differ from an organization to another. You need to master your firm’s testing format as a QA tester.
4. Bug Detection and Reporting
This is the primary role of a QA tester in a software company. It entails keeping an eye on the software and finding unusual defects in every product. Reporting these bugs is also your responsibility as a QA tester. It is essential to have deep knowledge in this to succeed.
Software testing is a booming career in the modern world. As mentioned before, people use the software every day. This includes mobile applications, websites, and other software. But then, not every software available out there meets customer expectations.
That’s why it has become essential to test the software before releasing it to the market. This article has looked into everything you need to become a QA tester. You’ll be ready to roll if you have the right technical skills and academic qualifications.