Every successful software developer owes his or her success to an equally efficient software test engineer. Software test engineers are also called software testers. A software developer creates a software product and when the development reaches a certain stage, the professional hands over the product to the software tester to check its functionality. Testing is significant for the development of new IT programmes, electronic goods and automobiles.
What a software test engineer do?
Software testers help in the process of designing a software product. Working closely with the software developers and programme managers, the professionals gain more knowledge about the product, its key features, its functionality and its target users.
After this, a software tester conducts a number of tests (mentioned below) to enhance the quality of the end product.
- Functionality test
- Customer scenario testing
- Stress testing
- Performance testing
- Scalability testing
- International testing
This is in a nutshell, the responsibilities that you have to perform as a software test engineer.
You need relevant academic qualifications and skills to accomplish these tasks.
What are the educational qualifications required?
Educational qualifications play an important role when looking for jobs in software testing. A software development background is a must in order to become a software test engineer. Universities do not offer degree courses in software testing so, a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, Information Technology or in any other relevant discipline is helpful.
An in-depth knowledge of software testing life-cycle is the major requirement. There are many programming languages such as Java, C, C+. It is significant to be well-versed in more than one of these specialised languages when you wish to embark on an IT career.
After the completion of college education, you can opt for pursuing an advanced degree to increase your expertise.
Having a wide base of knowledge will help you to make a fast progress in your career.
What about training and professional certification?
The technical products you are testing and your future plans regarding your career as a software test engineer will determine the training you need to become a software tester. A software testing certification will provide you an edge over other candidates. Make sure the institution where you want to acquire the certification is recognised.
What are the necessary skills?
Passion for Information Technology and a willingness to work hard- these two qualities are essential to build a bright career as a software tester. Technology is advancing constantly and new inventions are taking place. You will not be able to succeed unless you are willing to upgrade your technical skills with the continuous advancements.
Analytical skills- this will aid in breaking up a complex software system into smaller units for a thorough understanding.
Communication and presentation skills- both verbal and written communication skills are essential. As a software tester, you will be required to prepare test plans, test methods and bug reports. They should be eloquent to read and comprehend easily. Excellent presentation skills come to help in fulfilling this job efficiently.
Time management and organisational skills are needed to perform well under pressure. Software testing is a demanding job particularly during the release of code. You should possess the efficiency to handle workload.
Having an ability to take an independent approach and team-working skills are the signs of a good software test engineer.
What are the working conditions?
Software test engineers work according to the requirements of the project. As a software test engineer, you may be required to work on more than one project at a time. You may have to conduct the first phase testing of one product and the final phase testing of another product.
If you are into test documentation, you can expect to work a standard 40-hour per week. However, if you are conducting tests, your working hours may be unpredictable.
Whether you’re working on developing a new hybrid-cloud solution for small businesses or something more complex like an Amazon CRM, you can expect to be putting in a lot of hours to cut your teeth in software early on. The good news is that with hard work, you’ll be able to build a portfolio and reputation that can help you advance your career rapidly.
What is the salary?
Compensation packages are competitive. At the entry-level, the salary of a test engineer is around £35,000. Test engineers having two to three years of experience can earn up to £50,000.
There is a constant demand of qualified software test engineers. You can stand out with a higher level of qualifications.
Software testers have a broader knowledge base than the software developers. After demonstrating their proficiency in manual and automation testing, many software testing engineers progress to become business analysts.
When you become a business analyst, you will be assigned to examine the business model of your company and how it assimilates with the technology.
What are the myths?
It is a wrong concept that software testers are not given the same respect and rewards as to the software developers. Software testing is quite a challenging, demanding and rewarding career. There is no fixed set of tasks in this field as a result of which, a career as a software engineer can never get boring.
Larry Martins is a proficient recruitment consultant and a freelance writer. He writes about various topics with special emphasis on the Information Technology industry. Many of his articles published in leading publications have helped aspiring IT professionals. Here, she offers career information for aspiring software test engineers.