SKILLS REQUIRED TO BECOME A SOFTWARE TESTER :
NON-TECHNICAL SKILLS :
(1) COMMUNICATION SKILLS : A good software tester must have fine verbal and non-verval communication skills. Testing artifacts such as test cases/plans, bug reports, test strategies, etc. created by the software tester should be easy to read, understand and grasp. In the case of bugs or any other occurring issue, dealing with the developers will require a shade of discreetness and diplomacy.
(2) ANALYTICAL SKILLS : A good software tester must have sharp and excellent Analytical skills. These skills helps in breaking up a more complex software system into smaller units to attain much better understanding and creation of test cases.
(3) CREATIVITY : People usually don’t view this as a field that requires much creative imagination, since the foundation of the field lays on technical subjects like math and science. On the contrary, thinking out of the box and initiating new ideas is what takes an average Application to a widely used sensation. Therefore, being Creative helps a good software tester with their work.
(4) GREAT ATTITUDE : Another non-technical skill a good software tester must possess is having a great sense of attitude. An attitude to detail orientation, willingness to learn, test to break and suggest process improvements. A great software tester should upgrade themselves with the changing and emerging technologies. Their attitude must reflect a certain degree of independence where they take ownership of the task allocated to them and complete it without much direct supervision.
(5) TIME MANAGEMENT & ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS : Few of the times, testing could be a demanding job especially during the release of code. A software tester must know how to manage the workload efficiently, how to exhibit managing time optimally, have high productivity and good organisational skills.
TECHNICAL SKILLS :
(1) BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF LINUX COMMANDS : Maximum of the software applications such as Databases, Web-Services, Application Servers are deployed on Linux machines. Therefore it is mandatory for software testers to possess knowledge about Linux commands.
(2) KNOWLEDGE AND HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE OF A TEST MANAGEMENT TOOL : This is an important aspect of Software Testing. The software testing is going to fail without appropriate test management techniques. Test management is nothing but managing your testing related artifacts. There are other kind of tools available too than can be used for Test Management. So, it is important to have an idea and working experience of such tools because they are probably being used in a lot of companies.
(3) BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF DATABASE/SQL : The software systems usually have a large sum of data in the background. This data is being stored in different kind of Databases such as MySQL, Oracle, etc. in the backend. So, there comes a situation when this data needs to be verified. In such cases, simple or complex SQL queries can be utilised to examine whether proper data is stored in the backend databases or not.
(4) KNOWLEDGE AND HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE OF ANY DEFECT TRACKING TOOL : Defect Life Cycle and Defect Tracking are important aspects of software testing. It is extremely necessary to manage detects appropriately and track them in a proper and systematic manner. The whole team should know about the defects which includes managers, testers and developers, that’s why defect tracking becomes mandatory. Various tools such as Bugzilla, QC, Jira, etc. are used to log defects.
(5) KNOWLEDGE AND HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE OF AUTOMATION TOOL : If you are currently working on manual testing and it’s tools and you see yourself as an “Automation Tester” in a couple of years, then you must get in-depth knowledge of Automation tools and master them. Only knowledge of any Automation tool in particular won’t suffice, you must have fine experience in the field to achieve the mastery in this subject.
TYPES OF SOFTWARE TESTING :
(1) MANUAL TESTING : It is a type of Software Testing in which test cases are performed manually by a software tester without the usage of any kind of Automation tool. It’s motive is to recognize the issues, bugs, errors and defects in the software application. Manual Software Testing is the most basic technique of all other Testing types and it helps in finding crucial bugs and errors in the software application. Any new Application should be tested manually first before it’s sent for automated testing. This type of testing demands more effort but is necessary to check Automation feasibility. The impressive quality of manual testing is that it’s concepts does not require any knowledge of any Testing tool. One of the Software Testing Fundamental is “100% Automation is not possible”. This makes Manual Testing more vital.
(2) AUTOMATION TESTING : Test Automation or Automation Testing is a technique of software testing which executes using special automated testing software tools to perform a test case suite. The Automation Testing software can also compare expected and actual results, enter test data into the System Under Test and generate detailed test reports. Software Test Automation requires considerable investments of resources and money. Consecutive development cycles will require execution of same test suite frequently. It’s possible to record this test suite and re-play it as required by using a test automation tool. No human intervention is required, once the test suite is automated. This improves ROI of Test Automation. The goal of Automation is to lessen the number of test cases to be run manually and not to banish Manual Testing entirely.
(3) API TESTING : it is a software testing type that verifies Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). API (Application Programming Interface) is a computing interface which allows data exchange and communication and between two separate software systems. The aim of API Testing is to check the reliability, functionality, security and performance of the programming interfaces. In this type of testing, instead of using standard user inputs(keyboard) and outputs, software is being used to send calls to the API, get output, and note down the system’s response. API tests are very distinct from GUI Tests and doesn’t focus on the feel and look of an application. It mainly concentrates on the business logic layer of the software architecture.
CAREER IN TESTING :
ACADEMIC BACKGROUND : A background in Computer Science is required for software testing. He/She can pursue degree in BTech, B.E., MCA, BCA, BSc – Computers, to get a job in the field quickly.
If you do not possess any of these degrees, then you must achieve a software testing certification like CSTE & ISTQB which will help you learn Software Development or Test Life Cycle and other testing methodologies.
Compensation of a software tester varies from company to company. Average salary range of a software tester in the US is $45,993 - $74,935. Average Software testing career package in India is Rs 247,315 – Rs 449,111.
Also, a software tester is given health insurance, bonuses, gratuity and other perks.
WHAT DOES A SOFTWARE TESTER DO?
On any typical work day, you will be busy creating test cases, understanding requirement documents, executing test cases, attending review meetings, reporting and re-testing bugs and other team building activities.
SOFTWARE TESTER CAREER PATH :
Your Software Testing career growth as a software tester (QA Analyst) in typical CMMI level 5 company will look like following but will vary from company to company.
1. QA Analyst (Fresher)
2. Sr. QA Analyst (2-3 years’ experience)
3. QA Team Coordinator (5-6 years’ experience)
4. Test Manager (8-11 years’ experience)
5. Senior Test Manager (14+ experience)
* Checkout our previous "Software Testing (1)" blog to learn more about testing.