How to Become a Software Tester | a Complete Guide

How to Become a Software Tester

Software testers are quality assurance experts who ensure the quality and usability of a final product. A software tester performs various tests on software to identify and remove defects. They ensure that the quality of any given software. Apart from running automated and manual software tests, they write comprehensive bug reports and provide general feedback. Know how to become a software tester.

Software tester jobs are not easy. They should be able to understand the fundamentals of software applications to conduct tests on the code successfully. Though they don’t write code, it takes a unique set of skills to become a successful software tester.

Software Tester Skills

The primary function of a software tester is to run a variety of tests and record the results carefully. A software engineer should thoroughly document every error found in the project. And should explain their observations to people involved in the project.

A software test should possess excellent problem-solving skills to save time and to come up with solutions quickly. They should have a clear and straightforward writing style while documenting the bugs. They should pay attention to detail and possess the ability to work methodically and meticulously under work pressure.

Though a software tester doesn’t write code, they should be familiar with software programming and coding. They should have a thorough knowledge of existing software testing tools. They should know various programming languages such as Java, C#, C++, SQL, Python, PHP, etc.

How to Become a Software Tester in Steps

Step 1: Learn How to Program

Programming is ideally the first step in becoming a software tester. Though they perform tests on software code, they should know what the code is. It is not necessary to have experience as a programmer. However, you need to know programming languages and fundamentals. Knowledge of algorithms, object-oriented programming, etc. is important.

As a software tester, you need to know how to read code in various languages. You need to possess a high-level understanding of the programming languages.

Step 2: Learn About Software Testing in Detail

Many software testers have a degree in Computer Science. So, software testing is a part of their course. To become a versatile software tester, one has to know the different types of testing, test plans, and how to run tests and get results. Finally, they should know how to create test reports.

Step 3: Learn Automated Testing

The next step towards becoming a software tester is to learn the concepts of automated testing. Automatic testing eliminates manual testing. Get familiar with automated testing tools like Selenium, HP Quick Test Professional, otherwise known as QTP, etc. This tool has been renamed to Unified Functional Testing.

Step 4: Learn about Performance Testing

Performance testing is another subject to know in becoming a software tester. It is enough if you learn the concepts of it. One of the most popular performance testing tools is HP, known as Load Runner.

Step 5: Apply for Software Testing Jobs

After acquiring all the necessary skills and knowledge, now is the time for you to apply for a job as a software tester.

Software Tester Certification

There are a few must-have certifications a software tester should possess, grab the attention of the hiring managers. The two most popular software tester certifications are Certified Software Tester (CSTE) and ISTQB Certified Tester.

  1. Certified Software Tester (CSTE):  The International Software Certification Board (ISCB) offers eight certifications for software testing, quality assurance, and business analysis. In spite of passing a certification exam, the CSTE certification demands a bachelor’s degree, two years of experience in Information Services, a two-year degree, and four years of experience or six years of experience. In addition to this, you should have worked as a software tester within the last 18 months.
  2. ISTQB Certified Tester: The American Software Tester Qualifications Board ( ASTQB) supports ISTQB Certified Tester credential at basic and expert levels. ASTQB offers Agile Tester, Advanced Test Analyst, Advanced Security Tester, and Advanced Technical Test Analyst Certifications, etc.

Software Testing Training & Online Courses

Candidates interested in software tester training should make use of free software testing courses online(1). MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy) offers courses such as Software Testing Fundamentals Suite, Live Unit Testing in Visual Studio 2017, etc.

Candidates can visit the AST (Association for Software Testing) Website. It has full of resources, including a YouTube channel that features webinars, presentations. Anyone can sign up for interactive webinars, live seminars in selected U.S cites offered by the IIST (International Institute for Software Testing).

Software Tester Salary

A software tester’s salary in the United States is $71,289 on an average. The average compensation of Quality Assurance Tester in the U.S is $37.58 per hour, and that of a Software Test Engineer is $104,968 per year.

Bottom Line

Software testing is an important aspect of product development. Software testers play a vital role in the business and development teams. If you are talented and passionate about software testing, then you can become a successful software tester. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has listed the Software Testers and Quality Assurance Engineers as a “new and emerging occupation.”