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How to Become a Software Tester: A Step-by-Step Guide



Introduction

Software is a broad term used to describe the various kinds of programs that are used to operate various computers and other related devices. It can be called a collection of instructions that empower the user to act together with a computer and its hardware to perform the desired tasks. But a software requires testing to achieve optimal performance levels post-rollout. Here, comes the necessity of manual and automation testing. To know which one is better, you need to know manual testing vs automation testing. 

Without software, most computers would be of no use. Therefore, when a software is developed it is tested carefully to check whether it is is working properly or not. Because unless the software yields the desired results, it is of no use.

A comparison between manual testing vs automation testing will help understand which technique is best suited to chcek a software’s effectiveness.

In this article, we will delve into dwell between manual vs automation testing. You will learn:  -

  • What is software testing? And a brief on manual testing vs automation testing
  • Why do we need software testing?
  • What is manual testing?
  • What are the advantages of manual testing?
  • What is automation testing?
  • What are the advantages of automation testing?
  • What is the difference between automation testing and manual testing? 

So, without wasting further time, let’s dive in for an enriched learning experience!

What Is Software Testing ?

Software testing is the activity  that is aimed at evaluating the capability of a program or system and determining that it meets its expected results. Software Testing is a process of executing a program or system  to find errors or mistakes. 

The problem in software testing stems from the complexity of the software; we cannot wholly test a program with mild complexity. Software Testing is something more than just debugging. The purpose of software testing can be quality assurance, reliability estimation or verification and validation.

 Unlike physical systems, most of the defects in software are design errors and not manufacturing defects. Once the software is ready, the design defects remain concealed until activation. Therefore, software testing becomes an integral part of removing any of the bugs that may have appeared.

Software Testing Definition

Software Testing is a process of verification of a computer program or a system to ensure that it is working as per the specifications and gives the desired results. Basically, you have to identify bugs in the software project. It is essential to know about it to ensure the quality of the product.

This has become an increasingly important role due to the growing influx of technologies and the growth of the webspace. So many applications and websites are hitting the scene to ensure their viability and scope in terms of quality testing have become essential. 

The main point I feel after all the experience I have gathered is to be able to meet the customer expectations. The end-product must be in sync with the blueprint presented to you and should be giving you the same results.  Imagine the extent of growth that has been predicted by different research firms across the world, and you will be mesmerized by the scope of the role.

Who Is a Software Tester?

Software testing info

Now, you are aware of the responsibilities of software tester. But do you know the scope in this job position? Let’s check!

Worldwide Software Tester Career Scope

The job of a software test is as enjoyable as it is challenging. In this digital era, a career in software testing has great prospects for success. Also, there is a great market demand for this particular job profile. 

Employment of quality assurance analysts, software developers, and testers is projected to flourish by 22% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. 

The development lifecycle of a software is not complete without the testing phase. Testing is vital to ensure the overall quality of final product. The mode of the testing might be different; however, the ultimate goal is the same to release the software that can meet the end users’ needs. 

Hence, the demand for software testers is like an evergreen career avenue. Also, there is a lucrative remuneration packages for software testers. 

Before we talk about the salary of a software tester and more on entry level software testing jobs, first know the required education and skills needed for building a career in software. 

Required Education Credentialsfor Building a Career in Software

How to become a software tester? Of course, there is a certain level of skills that are required to be successful and adept at this profile.

Let me now walk you through the education and technical skills that you will need.

Required Education and Skills – 

How to be a software tester? I had decided early on what career path I have to walk on in the future, and I grew accordingly. I gathered the necessary skills and education. After my B.Tech, I took up the training and certification needed for being the Software Tester.

Read: How much do QA Testers make? Know Everything to Land A Tester Job With Lucrative Salary

Required Education and Skills become a software tester

Software Tester BA Salary

The salary of software tester is certainly indicative of handsome remuneration package that is guaranteed to software testers and this is what encourage people to think how to become a software tester. 

Software tester perform multiple crucial roles from finding bugs and eros to ensuring the overall quality of of the end-product. The demand for testers is going high across the industrial sectors, pushing the testers’ package to newer  heights. 

The average salary of a Software Tester is around $70,212 on average. It can stretch somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000. The Software Tester Salary per hour is estimated to be around $35.90.

When you are looking on how to start career in software testing, it is important to consider that the Software Tester Salary is by no meansu uniform, it can varies depending on several factors including skills, expertise, work experience, certifications, qualification, location, and also the industry. 

Software Tester Salary as Per the Experince:

The salary for software tester varies, look at these numbers:

  • Average salary of entry level software tester - $33,000
  • Average salary of mid level software tester - $64,000
  • Average salary of senior software tester - $111,000

For more information, check this blog – Software Test Engineer Salary With Top Locations & Companies

Apart from the salary, another advantage of building a career in software is that you can become a software tester, even without having a degree. Let’s see how? 

How to Become a Software Tester? Read the 8 Tips

Becomig a software tester is not just about the degree, but it is a lot more than that. It about the passion, skills and a keen interest in the domain. With ample opportunities for education in the recent times, you can easily gain the knowledge and skills to find the right job in software testing. To help you landing your first job in testing without a degree here is the step-by-step guide on how to become a software tester:

  1. First, learn the basics of software testing.
  2. Decide on whether to pursue a career in Automation Testing or Manual Testing.
  3. Then check the books recommended by experts on software testing.
  4. Take advantage by learning newer skills through QA certifications for building a career in software testing.
  5. Gain your first live experience through being a freelancer of internship job.
  6. Build your CV and then apply for the job proactively.
  7. Find a mentor who can address your questions while you are on your learning path.
  8. Focus on learning real-world practices and skills through live  experience post-certification or any frelancing job site like - Upwork, Design Hill, LinkedIn, etc.

In this modera age, the entering threshold for potential testers is high, and so it the competition. Still, nothing is impossible if you are ready to learn, grow and practice. 

Software Tester Certifications

The requirement of software testers is going to stay till the production and maintenance of software will continue. You just need to bring the quality testing practices on the table and for that, it becomes essential to be a certified tester with recognition through certification by reputed institutions. 

Here are the top software testing certifications that will not only help you land a high-paying job but also help you grow in building a career in software: 

QA Software Testing Training: It helps you to understand the concepts of QA Software Testing life-cycle and get practically introduced to different levels of testing, test execution manually to automatedly via tools like Selenium and Maven. 

QA Software Testing Master Training: This self-learning course takes you from the basic to advanced and Selenium framework development, provides practical and project based knowledge on QA software testing. 

If you are looking how to become a software tester, you can consider getting certified in any of the above software testing certifications when you are looking for how to become a software testing engineer. Now, let’s deep dive in the major skills to become a software tester. 

Skills to Become a Software Tester

For those of you for whom the realization did not come so early on in life, let me mention that you may get a degree in computers. B.Tech, B.Sc. in Computers, IT, etc. almost anything will do as there are no boundaries.

However, certain skills are essential, along with the certifications required for the job. The skills must be in the technical and non-technical fields both for building a career in software. 

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Technical Skills to Become a Software Tester

The software tester is a streamlined and technical profile that demands that you have proper technical knowledge about all the related processes and products as well. Here is a list of software tester requirements  and technical skills that will be required by you:

technical skills to becomer software tester

1).  Elementary Knowledge of SQL: Softwares often stores a great amount of data in the background that is often stored in different databases that function in the backend. There have to be situations when the data has to be ratified. In many such cases, it will become important that different SQL queries are used for checking if the data is stored in other backend databases.

2).  Basic Linux Knowledge: Many software like Oracle, MySQL operate on Linux-based machines. Many application servers are based on Linux machines. It becomes essential for testers to know the Linux commands.

3). Test Management Tools: One of the vital aspects of software testing. Software testing cannot be successful in the absence of proper techniques for test management. That’s why time management is considered as one of the important software tester requirements. It is said that test management is nothing more than managing the facts that are linked with testing. Many tools are needed for Test Management, and hence it becomes essential to have a proper knowledge of these tools as they are commonly employed in many companies.

4).  Experience with Defect-Tracking Tool: Some of the most important aspects of all kinds of software testing are the defect-tracking and defect life cycle. It becomes essential to properly manage the defects and ensure their tracking in a sophisticated manner when it comes to building a career in software. It is critical to track the defects as they should be known to the whole team viz. the developers, the coders, the managers, and even the testers.

Read: Manual vs Automation Testing - Your Complete Guide!

5).  Experience with Automation Tool: Remember, you will not know which path you will choose after a few years into the line, and knowledge of the automation tool will open one more avenue of growth. It is not enough to have mere knowledge of automation tools, but you will also need to get proper hands-on experience on it. To crack any interview mere knowledge of the tool is not enough, but you will need to have in-depth information about the scripting languages like VBScript, JavaScript, C#, etc. as they prove highly helpful in fetching you a good automation job. Many companies also use Shell/Perl scripting. The testers who have this knowledge are highly paid and sought after. This is not a mandate but an added advantage in building a career in software.

Remember that it is not necessary that you have proper knowledge of all these tools as many of these are dependent on the requirements of the company you are applying to. Performance testing has a great scope as all the apps that are launched have to be tested for performance.

Before I take you through the career path of the software tester, it is also important that you also know the non-technical requirements of the same. Some of these are in fact, handy and useful in almost all software jobs. Let us see them in detail.

Non-Technical Skills to Become a Software Tester

Most of the skills are said to be natural to a person. In my case, however, I had to struggle with a few of them, especially the communications as I had been an introvert person all through, and learning a skill that did not come naturally to me was hard. I took it as a challenge, and now I am after this long, pulling along really well with my team. Things at a time do not seem to be easy but remember that is exactly when you have to muster up the courage and stay put on your task.

Non technical skills to becomer software tester

1) . Analytical Ability: This one is essential for every software tester and for building a career in software. We can also state that no software tester job is possible if you do not have this skill in you. I will not say that it only comes naturally, but yes it can be developed with practice. The analytical skills will help you to gain more clarity of the complex systems by breaking them down into smaller ones. This skill can be gained if you try to look into things more deeply and not arriving at conclusions without weighing all the options.

2).  Effective Communications: Like mentioned above, as a software tester you really need to have great communication skills. If at all you are wondering how communication play a role in a typical software job like testing and building a career in software, then read on. You, as a tester will be working on different apps to understand the customer requirements. Now, if you are not able to understand the requirements well in the first place, then it is simply not possible for you to give the right results. 

Also, you have to communicate the issues to your core team so that they can understand the problem and address it accordingly. Communication in this field is very important and cannot be ignored. So, if you have this flair naturally then it's fine, else try to brush up your skills slowly in daily life.

3).  Time Management Skills: Time is money, and there is no job in this world where you can be successful without managing time. So, effective time management is important in this job. Software testing is highly demanding at times, as you need to have a lot of patience during the release of code. You cannot afford to take more time as your performance will depend a lot on your productivity. Time management usually follows organizational skills. How you can organize your work, plan ahead and then put it to practice will define your overall performance and value to the company. It comes with time and a lot of determination and practice.

4).  Attitude: It is said your attitude is everything in life. Great men who succeeded had a great attitude towards their work. They were proactive. I have seen a lot of my seniors who do not take life and opportunity as it comes but foresee a lot of things and plan ahead. They work ahead of their schedules. It not only helps them to remain calm but increases focus and efficiency as they are able to work with a free mind. 

What works in this line and for building a career in software is the attitude for a detailed orientation, test to the core, an inherent curiosity to know more, and also upskill. Also, you should be a decision-maker. It reflects you are independent in your approach and can carry on the load with ease. I have observed that the people who take accountability, are always at the forefront to address the issues that are the ones that scale up the success ladder mighty fast.

5).  Passion: Lastly, nothing great was achieved without passion. It is the basis for innovation and ground-breaking discoveries. In software testing and for building a career in software, your passion for your work and the desire to get the results will take you way ahead of your colleagues who merely enter the line for making money. Money cannot buy passion but vice-versa is possible. Your passion will be reflected in your work. 

If you are thinking about how to measure passion? Then the answer is fairly simple, read some texts about testing or if possible try your hands on something like testing in a dummy set up. If the problem is able to generate interest, you will definitely bring it back and keep thinking about it unless you reach a conclusion. That is passion. It is like a movie, suppose you have been intensely watching a movie, and suddenly the climax is cropped off due to some technical snag. Your brain will constantly keep going back to it unless you know everything. That shows interest.

This was a comprehensive overview of the required skills for the job and for building a career in software. Now I purposely took you through them before spelling the career path so you know what to expect from the roles and how far you need to upskill yourself.

Read: Penetration Testing Tutorial Guide for Beginners

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These are the major technical and non-technical skills for a software tester career path. Now, let me now tell you about the Career Path of the Software Tester – how to become a software tester. 

How to Start Career in Software Testing? Read the Career Path!

Start Career in Software Testing

How to become a software tester — finally, we are on the most important questions. To help you quickly understand the process, here is a list of steps you can follow to help you in building a career in software tester: 

  • Earn an undergraduate degree: Through experience and training are the major factors for some companies in hiring, it can ensure your selection if you have an undergraduate degree in a relevant area. 
  • Learning Coding: The second step on how to become a software tester. After all, since you will be performing tests on software, you would be far more efficient if you can understand what the code means. You do not need to have years of programming epxerince, but knowing some programming concepts and fundamentals can do the wonder. 
  • Get some experience: The next step on how to become a software tester, gain some relevant experience to make your resume more noticeable to potential employers. Here, you can choose different career paths dpeending on which degree you pursued. Suppose, you have earned an engineering degree, go for quality assurance positions that can help you develop keyy analysis capabilities. 
  • Earn certifications: Though certifications are not always mandatory for building career in software as a tester, there are several certifications you can receive that can help you pursue the job. 

This is it on how to be a software tester. Take your final step and applying for jobs. Here are Top 100 QA Testing Interview Questions and Answers to help you crack your job interview and land your dream job. 

Probable Job Roles in Software Tester Career Path

The career path is simple and clear. I’m on the second step, and I feel there is a long way to go and a lot of things to be done. Years alone will not take me forward unless I show commitment and prove it to the world that I deserve it. Here is how your career as a tester will look:

Career Path Software Tester

  • QA Analyst: The first or the entry step to the career where there is no requirement for any work experience. It doesn’t come easy, but yes once it does, there is no looking back.
  • QA Analyst: This is where I am today. A place where I can reflect on what I have done and also look up the ladder to see where I want to see myself in the future. Here is usually a work experience for approximately 2-3 years as a QA Analyst is required.
  • QA Team Coordinator: This comes next in the hierarchy and comes only after one gets an experience of 5-6 years. Now you will be heading a team and hence will have to exhibit great communication skills.
  • Test Manager: A highly important position and usually one needs an experience of 8-11 years to reach this peak. This is like scaling the second highest mountain peak in the world, and from there on you look at the highest one.
  • Test Manager: Needless to say, this tops the hierarchy and is the point that every dedicated software tester wants to attain. Being the highest position in the path, an experience of more than 14 years is required for this. Not many people prefer to go this long this way, but if they do, trust me you will thank yourself for making that decision.

Ultimately, now that you know how the career path will look like and how to become software test engineer, I know what is making circles in your head. Yes! of course, the salary. It is nothing to be ashamed of as all of us are wired in this manner where we put the money in front.

Salary range

Every company has a different requirement and salary package. You will discover this after you have finished your certification and are rolling out your resumes to different firms. However, if seen otherwise, you can say that the salary will vary from $45,993-$74,955. This definitely does not involve the other incentives or perks but the basic amount. 

Also check: Your Complete QA Career Guide

Last Verdicts on Building a Career in Software

I have had my share of troubles, and the idea of writing this blog was to ensure you do have all the requisite information on one page. This helps in making effective decisions. It is a great career, and there is definitely a great scope going forward as we see that the internet is growing with every passing day. 

The software testing career or the career in software testing is achieved with the skills you attain. Also, make sure you have acquired the right skills while constantly improving yourself. I am sure you will work hard and will have a great future ahead. 

I will suggest to go for few certifications to get trained from the scratch. Certifications validate your credentials and help you meet the eligibility requirements as well with top companies. Get a free consultation on online QA training at JanBask Training. 

Please comment about your experience in your quest to become a successful QA tester and also feel free to ask any questions.

Till then, happy learning!

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    Sandip pal

    Sandip has been writing blogs and web copies for us in multiple niches utilizing his deep research skills and product knowledge. Besides work, he loves Traveling and the aroma of Coffee sets his spirit high. He has that never say die spirit towards life and his work. His mantra is simple – “Victory belongs to those who believe in the most and believe in it the longest.”


Comments

  • P

    Poli

    Wow, such a comprehensive post! I was looking for such a post to prepare for a Software Tester career path. Keep writing such amazing posts, I will love to explore more.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      It is really motivating for us to hear such appreciative words from you.

  • J

    James

    Wow! Great article! It has covered all the aspects related to the Software Tester role and responsibilities, career scope, work opportunities a lot more.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      Our purpose has always been to bring something valuable and interesting for our readers.

  • J

    jones

    Just amazing! You have mentioned all the major steps to become a Software Tester, the possible scope to grow as well as the major skills and qualifications.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      Yes of course, you can begin with any basic programming course for the initial.

  • M

    marky

    It’s a great article that covers everything what an aspiring Software Tester would need . Thanks. Could you suggest any course to begin my career in this profession.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      We are glad to hear this from you, we wish you all the best for your career.

  • J

    jack

    Awesome Article. Thanks for sharing this wonderful article about Software Tester’s role and responsibilities, growth opportunities and a lot more to to start as a fresher. Really helped me to learn a lot about this job profile.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      You are most welcome, it is our pleasure to help you through this post.

  • J

    jacky

    It is an awesome post! I really like going through each aspect and learning something new at every step. Thank you so much for sharing!

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      Glad we could help. If you need help with anything else please let us know.

  • T

    toranto

    What can I say… This is one of the best posts when it comes to guiding about the Software Tester role and responsibilities, career scope, and more. I’m pretty sure that this post will help many people

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      Happy to know I could help. Thanks for the feedback and please let me know if you need help with anything else

  • J

    Jorge Hall

    Thanks for such an awesome article. Going through your website on a daily basis helps me to learn something new every time. This post is also very helpful for those looking to make their career as a Software Tester. Hope you post more such articles.

     Reply
  • R

    Rock

    Excellent post as always. I will definitely share this post with my friend looking for building a career in software, it may help them to learn something new. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article with us.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      We are glad to know that you found this post helpful. Keep visiting our site to read more such posts.

  • H

    hans

    Great overview. Going to help a lot. You stated all of the key points when looking for a career as a software tester developer.

     Reply
    • Sandip

      JanbaskTraining

      We are glad to know that you found this post helpful. Keep visiting our site to read more such posts.

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