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Looking for a career option in IT industry which is exciting yet challenging? Then Software Testing is the career avenue for you. We are going to walk you through the ins and outs of software testing, before you pursue your career as a software tester.
Software Testing is a process to determine whether a computer system/program meets the specified required and gives the desired output. In short, it is the process of identifying the errors/bugs in the software before launching it in the market.
Software Testing is necessary to provide a bug free quality product which is going to generate the revenue for the organization.
Necessary Skills for a Software Tester
Non Technical Skills
· Analytical Skills: If you are going to be a software tester, you must have strong analytical skills. Analytical skills will help you gain better understanding of the complex software system by breaking it into smaller units.
· Communication Skills: A software tester must be good at verbal and written communication. A software tester is expected to generate easily readable and comprehensive test cases, plans, strategies, bug and error reports so that the team at the backend can understand and make the changes accordingly. Also, it requires cautiousness and tactics to deal with the developers in case of bugs or any other issue.
· Time Management Skills: Testing is a time consuming work, especially when a new code is released. A software tester must know how to handle the workload and at the same time display high productivity by optimally utilizing the time.
· Attitude: It is must for a software tester to always have the willingness to learn as the technologies in the software industry keeps evolving with a significant speed. A good software tester is required to keep his/her technical skills upgraded with the technological changes. Your attitude must display that you take ownership of the tasks given to you and can finish it under minimal supervision.
· Passion: A compelling degree of passion is required to excel in any profession or job. But how to determine whether you have a passion for something which you never tried before? Simply give it a try, have some hands-on experience, check whether that thing excites you and if not, try something else for which you have interest.
· Knowledge of Database/SQL: As a software tester, there will be times when you are required to validate the large amount of data that is stored in the background in different types of databases like Oracle, MySQL etc. Having a basic knowledge of SQL queries can help you in verifying that proper data is stored in the respective backend databases.
· Knowledge of Linux commands: It is pretty essential for testers to have knowledge of Linux commands as most of the web-services, databases and application servers are distributed on Linux enabled machines.
· Knowledge and Experience of a Test Management Tool: Test Management is all about managing the testing related artifacts like, reports, test cases/plans, test strategies etc. which makes it an important aspect of software testing. It is must to have proper test management techniques; otherwise it may lead to the failure of software testing process.
There are several tools available for Test Management, so it is crucial to have sound knowledge and prior hands-on experience of working on them as they are used in most of the companies.
· Knowledge and Experience of a Defect Tracking Tool: Defect Tracking is a key aspect of software testing. It is extremely risky to properly manage defects and track them systematically. As it is important that entire team including managers, developers and testers must know about the defects, defect tracking becomes a necessity.
People who are from Computer Science or are qualified B.Tech, B.E., MCA, BCA, or B.Sc. (Computers) are preferred by the companies as Software Testers.
If you are not from Computer Science and do not hold any such degree, then you must complete a certification course in software testing from International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) or Certified Software Testing Engineer(CSTE) which will help you get equipped with complete development and testing related methodologies.
Your career growth varies from company to company. However, in a typical company which follows the Capability Maturity Model, your career as a software tester (Quality Analyst) will progress in the following way:
· Fresher => Quality Analyst (QA)
· 2–3 years’ experience => Senior QA
· 5–6 years’ experience => QA Team Coordinator
· 8–11 years’ experience => Test Manager
· 14 or more year’ experience => Senior Test Manager
Alternative Career Options
· Automation Testing
Responsibility: Automating manual test cases, reducing time consumption
· Performance Testing
Responsibility: Checking the performance (load time, load handling capacity) of the application
· Business Analyst
Responsibility: Analyzing and assessing the company’s business model and workflow and integrating them with technology
It is often believed that Software Testers (also known as QA professionals) are paid less than the Software Developers. This is not true. Both the jobs are well paid and treated at par with each other.
Software Testing requires a lot of patience and is very tedious but it is not boring. Ask a software developer with more than 3 years of experience and you will get the idea how boring his job has become. Software testing requires you to understand the business requirements and formulate test cases based on the same. This allows you to try new things and methods which make your job interesting.
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