An easy path to becoming a software tester

The software tester is an IT expert who carries out software tests. He has a fundamentally important role to play within the software lifecycle, as he checks and evaluates the program to see if it is error-free and achieves its goals quickly, effectively, and efficiently. The work of the software testers is thus part of software quality assurance (SQA). SECL group is a company that can help you at all stages of development, and they explained what this profession actually includes. Let's find out.

What exactly does a software tester do?

Its main task is to prepare and carry out the necessary tests to check the functionality and quality of the software.

In order to be able to do his job efficiently, the software tester must, above all, know what purpose the developed software product should serve. Therefore, he talks with system analysts, requirements managers, programmers, customers, and/or clients to determine the program requirements. Thanks to this information, the software tester can define the most appropriate test procedures and methods.

  • After the requirements analysis, the software tester prepares a test plan, i.e., a document containing the intended test measures.
  • The test plan defines the individual test activities, the test environment, the required test tools, test procedures and scripts, and a schedule for each phase. The software tester creates the test specifications for performing the test and documents, as well as the sequence of the intended test levels.
  • At the end of the preparation phase, the software tester performs all planned testing activities to identify malfunctions and errors in the program.
  • The software tester examines the source code and checks its function, usability, and performance under different conditions (with different operating systems or development platforms), as different test conditions can lead to different results.
  • He then incorporates the test results into the test report and bug report and documents the work carried out in detail.
  • Based on the test results, debugging and error fixing can then be used, which is usually done by software developers and programmers.

How is a software test carried out?

Software testing can be carried out manually or automatically by means of testing a single element (unit test, module test, or component test), integration test, or entire system test. Load and performance tests are also part of the testing.

The software test can be carried out at any stage of software development. Software testing is an iterative process: any detected and fixed bug can lead to the detection of another error or even generate a new error. For this reason, several test cycles must be played through before a software release to minimize the program's error probability and improve software quality.

Where can you work as a software tester?

Software testers work primarily for software manufacturers, system houses, IT companies, and service providers that specialize in software development on behalf of third parties or for companies that offer software testing in outsourcing. There are also job offers for software testers at large companies and corporations from other industries that have their own development team for in-house IT.

In general, the software tests are carried out in the office, on the PC, or on the laptop, but thanks to the possibility of a home office or Remote work, a software tester can often do his work from home or any other place with an Internet connection.

Tasks and activities

The most important activities of a software tester are:

  • Determination of requirements for the system to be tested.
  • Planning a test strategy.
  • Preparation of test plans and test specifications.
  • Execution of manual and automated software tests.
  • Documentation of the test procedures used.
  • Detection of software errors and deviations.
  • Reporting on the results by means of test and error reports.
  • Collaboration in debugging with the developer and QA team.
  • Objective evaluation of the quality and operational readiness of the software release.
  • Improvement of test systems.

Training and prerequisites

Suppose you want to become a software tester. In that case, you need training in the IT sector: often after studying computer science, software engineering, engineering, or natural sciences (mathematics, physics) or alternatively a comparable completed vocational training with a focus on information technology.

Essentially, software tester training must be similar to that of a programmer/developer in order to understand how the software works and how its properties and performance can be tested most effectively.

The knowledge and skills expected from a software tester are:

  • Knowledge of software testing methods and procedures.
  • Knowledge of test automation.
  • Knowledge of software development models and methods for quality assurance (V-Model, Agile, TDD...).
  • Knowledge of common test tools.
  • Analytical abilities.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Willingness to continue training.

Career opportunities

Starting a career as a software tester often takes place with a junior position where you can gain professional experience with manual and automated software tests.

With increasing experience and qualification (such as certification according to ISTQB), you can first become a senior software tester, QA specialist and then take over the leadership of a test team (as a software test manager).

The development possibilities are also different: you can develop professionally and specialize in certain types of tests, such as manual testing, code review, load test/performance test, stress test, security test, usability test, accessibility testing, testing with emulators and virtual devices, and crowd testing.

Or you can specialize as a QA tester in the testing of IT and web applications, mobile apps, and embedded systems.

Other software testers, on the other hand, work in IT security as penetration testers, ethical hackers, or experts in cyber security.

Another option is to expand your skills in software development to find employment as an IT programmer/software developer, system analyst, or web developer.

Good reasons to become a software tester

Working as a software tester makes it possible to take the first steps in the world of software development and IT.

Information technology continues to revolutionize every industry, from industrial automation to retail and health and education: this means constantly growing demand for software that controls machines, plants, vehicles, and web applications – and also for specialists who deliver high-quality, reliable programs.

Job offers for software testers are thus increasing, both locally and internationally, with many different career opportunities, all of which are interesting and well-paid.

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