What is a software tester? Has this question been running around your head as you begin to see the job title appear more and more in your job search? Have you always wondered what it takes to make it in the testing world?
The role of a software tester has recently become a very popular choice for many, as technology advances, usability standards heighten and companies have greater understanding of the demands for quality assurance.
A software tester has a very important role and is a vital part of the whole software development process. Not only do they understand company goals, they test and elevate a product to standard.
For anyone looking to break the industry as a software tester, you may feel that years of technology focused experience is required. If that is your outlook, continue to read on as you may be surprised what it takes to get your foot in the door. Remember as technology advances, we have greater ability to delve into other industries and roles… It’s just whether you have the transferable skills and desire to learn which sets you apart.
What does a software tester do?
The day in the life of a software tester will include the analysis of a product to detect and resolve any bugs or defects, with the aim to meet usability standards. This ensures that the product works from its original design, by providing a straightforward, high quality experience for users.
The role of a software tester is vital for any company. Without testing a process, high risk of product failure and user dissatisfaction is possible.
A software tester role is to understand company goals and requirements of a product, by then analysing whether the current design meets those goals. Throughout the process they will use differing tools to test each area, ensuring that bugs are resolved for a seamless finish.
We all know the frustrating feeling of clicking onto a website or app with bugs or delays. That’s where a software tester steps in – to eliminate those negative experiences for users.
If you’re analytical, love to challenge processes using the latest technology and have basic knowledge of or the desire to learn technical skills and languages, building a career as a software tester could be for you…
What it takes to become a software tester
To make it as a software tester it is important that you have these key soft skills…
- An analytical mindset: A successful software tester can quickly detect any problem areas of software, allowing for those defects to be resolved efficiently. An eye for detail and the love for analysing data and finding weak areas is a must, with the mindset to improve those defects.
- Clear communication: Once defects and bugs have been found, communicating findings is a large part of a software testers role. It is important that you can compile your findings and translate these clearly into reports to advance the development and usability of the product.
- Time management: With product release deadlines and the fierceness of competition, time management and planning are essential skills required by a successful software tester. The role can become very demanding as technology changes, therefore it is important that you understand workload priority and timelines.
- Passion: Now this may seem like a bit of a cliché and we are sure you hear it with most jobs, however passion is key to maintain a career in software testing. The role can sometimes become monotonous as you test similar areas to ensure standards are met across the board. It is important that you are passionate about resolving these issues and working on the same project until it meets standards of design.
The above soft skills can’t just be learnt by anyone. You’ll usually find that they come naturally and develop as they grow professionally. If you have the above skills present, they can be transferred and used to help you grow as a software tester.
Along with soft skills, it is important that you have working knowledge of or the desire to learn technical skills. These include basic knowledge of database/SQL and any further coding and tech languages to allow you to use the latest tools as a software tester.
To make it in the testing world a degree isn’t required, however a background in computing will give you a significant advantage, along with knowledge of the above technical skills. However, if you’re new to testing, do not panic as there are many courses available to kickstart your understanding of industry tools, terminology and processes.
- Interest in technology: Now you don’t need to be addicted to your computer to make it as a software tester, however it is important that you have a strong interest in technology. The technology world is continually evolving; therefore, it is important that you are open to learning new areas of tech and have the wiggle room to adapt your role based on company requirements.
- A basic understanding of business and product development: When entering the market as a software tester it is important that you have basic knowledge of business and company goals to ensure that you are excelling in your area of specialism to meet these goals. Additionally, understanding how a product is developed and its life-cycle will help you understand the process of testing prior to emerging into the product market. The above will help you understand usability standards and the way in which a product is positioned in the market.
- Mobile testing: Whether software testing is new to you or you have years of experience in a specialised area, understanding mobile testing is now a vital requirement for companies. To make it as a software tester it is important for you to understand how a product will be used on a mobile device. Mobile usage has significantly increased with more and more people moving away from desktop use by craving on the go accessibility.
This is where your knowledge steps in to elevate a product to standard across each possible platform. Having knowledge of this area will help set you apart as a software tester as the demand continues to increase.
How to kickstart your career as a software tester
If you feel like you have what it takes to make it as a software tester, or the hunger to learn the above, here are some steps to take to kickstart your career…
- Find your niche: There are many different areas in the testing world. This is your best chance to understand each area and find the niche you are interested in – whether that be a specialised area such as 3D or automation. You can achieve this by reading up online on each area of software testing.
- Learn your selected area: Once you’ve selected your area to pursue as a software tester, it’s time to learn the basics and key technological tools used. You can achieve this through online courses, workshops, certifications and industry lead events.
- Immerse yourself in the testing community: Start to build connections in the testing community who will provide advice on their experience. You’ll find online forums and groups on social media to get involved with.
- Find a role: Once you’ve got to grips with the testing world, it’s time to find your first role as a software tester. This could be anything from an internship, freelance position or a permanent in-house opportunity with a large company.
If you’re looking to enter the market as a software tester and looking for support on how to make it, contact our team today!
We work with companies looking for individuals ready to embark on and develop the world of testing! If you’re looking for a tech focused role where analysis and challenging processes is your bread and butter, consider becoming a software tester today!
Contact our team for further information on 01244 455222 / email@example.com
If testing isn’t for you but you’re looking to enter the IT/digital world, view our how to guides for other roles.