The development of a software application is a complex and long process. To ensure the final product will appeal to end-users, a lot of tests must be conducted throughout the development stages. These tests are aimed at removing bugs, improving performance, and making the interface more user-friendly. Even after the application is released, the testing campaign continues.
It is evident that software testers are indispensable in all stages of software development. These specialists ensure the software is functional and scalable. They also verify that performance meets the expectations of end-users. Thanks to software testers, vendors and developers don’t have to deal with angry and frustrated customers. Software testers help to create a good image and reputation for the software development team.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a software tester, it is a good idea to get a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area. Computer science and software engineering are the most recommended majors. However, mathematics or programming will be fine also. However, a bachelor’s degree is not mandatory for an entry-level position. You can compensate for the lack of a university degree with extensive work experience in a related area.
Many software testers are autodidacts. Nowadays, there are many online resources to learn programming and all the necessary skills to work as a software tester. From online courses to homework services AssignmentCore whose experts help with doing programming assignments, the alternatives are many. Whether you have a university degree or not, an intermediate-level position will require several years of experience in software testing. Usually, 3 to 6 years are required depending on your education.
But whatever your education or plan to become a software tester, there are some things you should know. Thus, keep reading and learn some tips that will help you to increase your chances of becoming a marketable software tester.
Skills that You Must Have to Be a Software Tester
We already mentioned the general requirements to become a software tester. To be successful, you must develop some specific skills within the domain of computer science and/or software engineering.
This list includes the most important skills that you will need:
- You must be able to plan and execute software tests. These comprise manual and automated testing procedures;
- You should be able to put your plans and ideas down in writing in a clear manner. Remember that a software test team will read the testing plan, not only you;
- Likewise, you should be able to write reports in which you explain clearly the problems and bugs that you found during your tests;
- You should be familiar with all the stages of software development, from design to release. As a software tester, you’ll perform software tests during all the development process;
- You need to be familiar with different development methodologies;
- Likewise, you must be well acquainted with different testing platforms;
- You must be fluent in different operating systems (OSs). You must know at least one of the following OSs: Linux, UNIX, and Windows. However, the more OSs you know, the better;
- You must have the ability to work with multiple tasks at the same time;
- You must have excellent communication skills, both oral and written. Moreover, you must be able to make technical concepts accessible to outsiders (customers, for example);
- Last but not least, you must be proficient in several programming languages. Similar to the OSs, the more languages you master, the better.
These are the most important skills that you need to develop to work as a software tester. However, any additional knowledge of computer science of information technology will be helpful. Consider learning about databases, data communication, and similar disciplines.
Get the Relevant Certifications
A university degree and several years of working experience may not be enough to land a job as a software tester. You also need industrial certifications to make your CV stand out. These certifications are generally vendor-neutral. They simply attest to your knowledge of the different methodologies of software testing. You should aim at getting the following two certifications.
ISTQB Certified Tester
This certification is vendor-neutral and certifies the holder as an Expert Tester. It is oriented to mobile app testing, business analysis, and other areas. To obtain it, you can do an online exam or at a testing center. The certification is issued by the ASTQB.
Certified Software Tester (CSTE)
This certification is offered by the ISCB. To obtain this certification, you must pass an exam and fulfill some special education and/or experience requirements. For instance, if you don’t have any formal education, you need to prove that you have at least 6 years of experience working in software testing. Alternatively, you can show a bachelor’s degree diploma, which reduces the requirement for the experience to 2 years only. Or, if you hold a 2-year degree, then you must also have at least 4 years of working experience. Moreover, you must prove that you’ve been working in software testing for the last 1.5 years.
As seen, the SCTE is one of the most difficult certifications to get. However, it can give a big boost to your CV. If your credentials are not enough to get the CSTE certification, you may consider an easier certification. For example, the Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST) is a good alternative for your first certification.