Making a career choice is no easy task, you should know if you’re on the right path by exploring various options, you should then clear any and all misconceptions you might have in the role by taking a deep dive. Following this, you’ll have to check the various skills you’ll need, the certifications to work for and so much more. As a leading software testing company, we know what makes great software testers. So assuming you have checked other options and have made a job in software testing a viable option, we will be exploring all the avenues you’ll need to focus on to become a successful software tester. We will start by introducing you to the role of a software tester so that you will not have any fallacies about the job.
Who are Software Testers?
Software Testers, also known as QA Professionals play an integral part in ensuring the quality of the software in various parts of the software development cycle. The process of ensuring quality involves creating defined expectations that the software is expected to meet and then testing it to see if the said expectations are met. It can either be done manually or by using automation. Software testing doesn’t just require people with an eye for the details as quality goes beyond what meets the eye. Quality should be ingrained in the software tester’s mindset that doesn’t just stop issues but also prevents them from occurring by encouraging the team to follow the best practices.
Quality is such a huge deal as no user would be interested to use buggy software though it has the best features. The software will fail if the team fails to nail to user experience. So software testing isn’t just about detecting bugs, it is about ensuring smooth performance and a great user experience. So let’s take a look at the various skills you will be needing to accomplish this objective.
Skills of a Software Tester
Be it any job, you will need both technical and non-technical skills to excel at it. We will not be compartmentalizing skills based on specific methods of testing as we always believe it is important for a tester to have comprehensive knowledge across all the methods and approaches. If you find this list overwhelming, please keep in mind that these are the skills you will be needing not to just get started. So you can get better at it in the due course time.
Technical Skills Required for Software Tester
Remember how we mentioned there will be defined expectations for the application to meet with? So technically you would have to understand such expectations of the stakeholders and the end-users to create test cases that will define what has to be tested and how it has to be tested. You can’t use one type of test in all scenarios, right? So you would have to learn the different types of testing like performance testing, smoke testing, regression testing, etc., and know when to use what type of testing. Once all this is ready, you must also be in a position to execute these test cases, determine the result of the tests and create test reports. Our Software Testing Tutorial for Beginners is a great blog you can ready to learn such skills. In addition to that, you must familiarize yourself with software development approaches like agile.
Since software testers would have to understand what the code means when testing an application, it goes without saying that programming is a must-have skill for testers. In addition to that, it is important to improve your coding skills to implement automation to perform repetitive tasks as the need for automation is on the rise to keep up with the demand for quality software. Apart from being able to read and comprehend the code, you must have a high level of understanding of the widely used programming languages. You must also have a stronghold in the basics such as the fundamentals of object-oriented programming, architectures, algorithms, and so on.
Though Windows and macOS are the most commonly used operating systems for regular use, you should have a basic understanding of Linux commands as the deployment of applications like databases, web services, Docker, Kubernetes, and application servers are deployed on machines running on Linux.
Databases and SQL
Nowadays applications tend to have large chunks of data in their back-end using databases. Since software testing is about ensuring overall quality, it is vital for software testers to have ample knowledge about databases like MYSQL or Oracle. So if you have the task of validating the data in the databases, you should be able to create SQL queries to verify if the data is stored properly or not.
Just like how to test execution requires effort, test management also requires a lot of effort. Using the appropriate tools can reduce the required effort in storing test cases, bug tracking, and so on. So make sure you have awareness and as many hands-on experiences with the tools that can be helpful. As a pioneer in the industry, we have curated lists of the best test management tools and the top 10 automation testing tools every tester must know about. Make sure to visit that blog to find what tools will be best suited for the various requirements.
There is a lot a candidate can claim in their resume, and certifications can add a lot of value to your application and help you stand apart from the crowd. Developing all the above-mentioned skills should be the primary objective as there will be no use for you if you decide to get certified just for the sake of getting certified. There are various free certifications that can help you get started and a lot of paid certifications that will help you gain more recognition. So make sure to visit our blog to learn more about the best QA testing certifications that we have mentioned below.
- ISTQB – Foundation Level
- CAST – Certified Associate In Software Testing
- CSTE — Certified Software Test Engineer
- CTM — Certified Test Manager
- CSSBB — Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
- ISTQB – Advanced & Expert Level
It is a comprehensive list of the certifications you should focus on for your career growth and not a starter kit. You could also use platforms like Coursera and Udemy to get a lot of useful certifications.
Non-Technical Skills Needed by a Software Tester
Passion is the very first non-technical aspect that you should be strong in and we have already covered that in the earlier part of this blog. So now let’s take a look at the other non-technical skills you would have to work on.
Attention to Detail
Oversight is never an acceptable option when it comes to software testing as one small oversight issue can create a ripple effect of serious issues down the lane. Stopping assumptions is the first step towards avoiding oversight. You can even improve such skills on a daily basis with the help of memory games, puzzles, and brain teasers.
The moment you make assumptions out of the equation, there will be a natural spur of curiosity in your brain. This curiosity will play a major role in helping you find bugs that could go undetected when following conventional methods. For example, if we take a look at exploratory testing, it definitely relies heavily on the tester’s intuition, creativity, and willingness to test new waters.
Once you find a bug, you should never analyze it on a surface level, you should be able to identify the root cause of the issues. Such an approach will help you test better. Having an analytical and problem-solving mindset will also help you compartmentalize the software into smaller units and make the entire process more effective.
Organizational & Communication skills
Being well organized is definitely a must-have skill for all jobs. Even with regards to software testing, having all the data in a well-organized manner will definitely aid and boost your analytical skills. Plus, if the tester fails to use clear and comprehensible statements while creating test artifacts like test cases, test plans, test strategies, bug reports, and so on. The entire development process will see setbacks. Plus, as a software tester, you must be able to retrieve all such documents in a snap as you will never know when you will need them.
Flexibility and Team working skills
The communication skills should extend towards making yourself a team player as well. If you work in an agile environment, you would have to work in tandem with other teams as well. So make sure you show flexibility in internal aspects like willingness to perform any kind of testing. One should never stay within the comfort zone if one wants to improve and grow. Likewise, have a unified vision when working with other teams. There will be no point in playing the blame game with the developers once something bad happens.
Yes, concentrating on something deeply is definitely a good sign to get effective results. But at the same time, you shouldn’t focus on just one or two aspects completely and lose track of the other parts of the application. If that happens, you might even miss the most straightforward bugs. So make sure your work is holistic in terms of coverage.
We hope you found all of this information to be useful. As stated earlier, don’t feel overwhelmed with the many skills you would need to become successful in your journey. As a leading QA company, we always make sure to implement a boot camp training session for all our new recruits by using the discussed skills as the base. We have found it to be very beneficial and hopefully, you will too.