“Listening, Testing, Coding, Designing. That’s all there is to Software. Anyone who tells you Different is Selling something” - Kent Beck
In our daily lives, we are surrounded by numerous kinds of software products, devices and applications. These entities are meant to cater to different kinds of human needs. However, their functionality is in part, the result of relentless labor and effort of Software Testers, engaged in Software Testing, who remain single-mindedly concerned with assuring top-notched quality for these products.
After a software product is developed, it is imperative for the organization to ensure that it is bug and error free. This is testified by Software Testers. Thus, the role of testers within the Software Development Life Cycle is one of utmost importance. But, how to become a Software Tester? How to begin a Software Testing Career? What if you do not have a prior IT background or experience? If so, how to become a Software Tester with no experience? Let us find out.
In this blog, we shall try and answer the question of how to become a good Software Tester. We shall seek to understand this question of how to become a Software QA Tester in terms of the requisite qualifications and skills which an individual might require to acquire for grabbing this position.
Additionally, we shall take up the question of how to become a Software Tester with no experience, for those who lack prior experience in the field.
What is Software Testing?
The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) comprises of several different stages. Among these phases, Software Testing occupies the fifth position. It encompasses various activities which are directed towards evaluating the quality and functionality of a software product before they are finally released into the market.
The testing phase helps in determining whether the actual results meet the expected/specified requirements. Software Testing also helps in identifying potential bugs, requirement gaps as well as possible errors. This process of testing can be carried out manually or in an automated fashion with the help of Automation Testing tools.
If you wish to read more on the debate between Manual Testing and Automation Testing, do read our blog on “Manual vs. Automation Testing: Things to Know”
Who is a Software Tester?
If Software Testing is one of the integral processes of SDLC, individuals who are responsible for executing this process, are Software Testers.
Software Testers are responsible for assuring quality of software products before they are released into the market. By way of testing these products, they help in identifying possible software defects, flaws and bugs as well as, help in eliminating chances of poor performance.
Software Testers play a crucial role in ensuring that the manufactured product is free of defects, before they make into the market.
How to become a Good Software Tester: Skills to Acquire
As you think of how to become a Software Tester with no experience, or even if you happen to possess the relevant academic background and is still wondering how to become a good Software Tester; it is extremely important to be aware of the right technical skills which come in handy for a seasoned Software Tester.
How to become a Tester for Software: Technical Skills to look out for
- Proficiency in Programming Languages
It is important for Software Testers to be familiar with at least one of the Programming Languages. In this domain, the most commonly used languages are Java, Ruby, C# and Python. These languages are important because they are generally supported by a wide range of testing tools.
- Knowledge of SQL and Databases
It is expected that a Software Tester should have a deep-rooted understanding of databases such as SQL, Oracle and so on. This is largely because the operation of computer programs and software systems is essentially backed by large volumes of data in the background.
As testers, you might be required to validate this data which is stored in different databases like Oracle or MySQL. This task cannot be accomplished without proficiency in using SQL queries which will help you to determine whether proper data is stored in the backend databases or not.
Similarly, as you proceed to put the backend of applications to test, you might be required to provide for the verification, insertion or deletion of data from the SQL databases. Once again, it is important for you to learn the SQL commands and databases indices and tables.
- Hands-on Experience in dealing with Test Management, Automation and Defect Tracking Tools
As the name suggests, Test Management Tools help you in managing your testing related artefacts. This is important in order to reduce the possibility of failures. One instance of this is the way in which Test Management Tools like Testlink help you in detecting and keeping track of all the test cases written by your team.
The field of Software Testing is fast evolving and Automation Testing is fast gaining ground as a viable alternative to Manual Testing concepts. Moreover, under the Agile model, Test Automation is greatly helpful in providing for continuous integration, deployment and delivery.
Selenium has evolved as one of the foremost Test Automation Tools of choice, if you wish to read more on this tool, do read our blog on “What is Selenium?: Introduction to Selenium Testing”
Defect Tracking Tools help in managing and tracking software defects which is an integral aspect of the process of Software Testing. Moreover, these tracking tools not only help in documenting, but also in keeping the entire team, including the stakeholders, informed of the defects. Some such tools are Jira, QC, Bugzilla and so on.
- Understanding of Linux and other Operating Systems
As Software Testers, it will be imperative for you to be well acquainted with the fundamentals of an Operating System. Knowledge of OS facilitates the process of creation of test environments and execution of test cases and test scripts.
Additionally, it is important to remember that most of these software projects, web-services, application servers and databases are deployed on Linux machines. Hence, it will be vital to have expertise in the usage of Linux commands.
- API Skills
API serves as the middle communication layer between UI and the database. It facilitates data exchange from one software to another. As Software Testers, you will be required to send API calls, which won’t be possible without knowledge of REST and SOAP APIs.
How to become a Software Tester: Non-Technical Skills to look out for
- Communication Skills
As Software Testers, you will be required to write test scripts as well as produce test reports. These scripts need to be readable and the reports should be easily comprehensible. This won’t be possible in the absence of a good command over the medium of communication.
Moreover, your communication skills will go a long way in facilitating collaboration with other members of team as well as with the developers.
- Efficiency in Time Management
The process of releasing software into the market can be extremely demanding and exhaustive as they come with tight deadlines. This has all become more pronounced under the Agile model which relies on fast releases and continuous delivery.
Thus, besides good communication skills, as a Software Tester, you should be highly productive as well as efficient in managing your workflow. This is possible only when happen to have excellent time management skills.
- Analytical Competencies
Besides testing a software product as a whole, you may also be required to test each and every unit and module of a software application. This will require breaking up the complex software system into smaller units, which can help in writing the test cases. Thus, as a Software Tester you should have good analytical skills.
- Right Bent of Mind- Attitude/Aptitude
A good Software Tester is essentially one who remains receptive to each and every opportunity of acquiring new testing skills, to chance of working on different tools as well as completing tasks willingly. Along with a proactive approach, you should have the knack of observing the smallest of details.
- Passion for Testing
Last but not the least, as you think of how to become a Software Quality Assurance Tester, you should evaluate how passionate you are for the field of technology in general and software testing in particular. It is through an innate sense of interest towards the field, that you will be able to prosper as a good Software Tester.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Software Tester
Any question of how to become a Software Tester, is largely incomplete without considering the various responsibilities which Software Testers are expected to execute in their professional capacity.
- Creation of test cases and test scenarios of the product
- Conduct software testing with the purpose of detecting possible bugs or errors
- Conduct multiple tests at different stages of the SDLC. Instances of such tests are performance, scalability, stress, user acceptance or functional.
- Documenting Manual and Automation Testing procedures as well as Test results
- Analysis and Review of System specifications
- Performing Regression Testing on the event of code change
- Collaborating with Software Developers as well as Interacting with Clients
- Software Testers are responsible for reporting errors detected during Exploratory Testing
- Ensuring the overall quality of the manufactured software product
How to become a Software Tester: A Rough Roadmap
- Academic Qualification
As you think of how to become a Software Tester, it is important to be clear of the requisite qualification and education that might be required. Earning an undergraduate degree is not mandatory, but it is definitely preferable. Consequently, it would be good to earn a degree in areas such as Computer Science, Math, Engineering, Business Management or Information System.
- Expertise in Coding
It is generally suggested and rightfully so that proficiency in coding can go a long way in enhancing your occupational skills and prepare you for different forms of testing challenges. As a Software Tester, the need for programming is indispensable and when you will be required to conduct performance testing on software, it will only be advantageous if you can comprehend what the code means.
Programming experience or knowledge is not mandatory for a Software Tester, but knowing the fundamentals like the basics of algorithms and architecture, is definitely advisable.
- Acquire Relevant Skills
We have elucidated the technical and non-technical skills required for a Software Tester, in the sections above. Apart from looking to cultivate them, it will be important to learn the particulars of Software Testing. You should be aware of the different kinds of testing, their usage and utility, how to run tests as well as how to interpret results and present reports.
Additionally, it will be important to develop your skills at Performance Testing as well as Automation Testing. You can especially look out for acquiring hands-on experience in the usage of Automation Tools like Selenium, Performance Testing Tool like JMeter as well as Test Management Tool like TestLink.
Want to become a Selenium Tester? do read our blog on “Selenium Tester: A Role to Look Forward to”
- Build Experience
Acquiring industrial experience can be a huge plus point in giving a considerable boost to your career prospects. Not only does it help in helping you acquire real field experience, but also helps in pushing your CV to the forefront, by highlight your professional experience.
Moreover, your academic degree and qualification will help you in determining the relevant career path that you can opt for, for building your experience. For instance, a degree in Computer Science can help in looking for jobs which provide you with the opportunity to work with computer programs.
- Earn Certifications
This is an extremely important step and is often the answer to the question of how to become a Software Tester with no experience. If you happen to lack the right degree or a plausible work experience in the domain, certifications can certainly help you in not only developing testing expertise, but also in testifying for your skills within the job market. In this respect, there are two major certifications which you can look out for:
- International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) Tester
- Certified Software Tester (CSTE)
How to become a Software Quality Assurance Tester: Career Path
As you seek to understand how to become a Software Tester, you should keep in mind the hierarchical road map which exists within the profession where you can seek to advance to senior positions, from the post of a Software Tester Trainee.
- Software Tester Trainee: Work Experience: Fresher
- Software Tester: Work Experience: 1-3 years
- QA Analyst: Work Experience: 3-5 years
- Software Test Engineer: Work Experience: 3-5 years
- QA Team Coordinator: Work Experience: 5-6 years
- Test Manager: Work Experience: 8-11 years
- Senior Test Manager: Work Experience: 14+ years
How to become a Software Tester with No Experience
Trying to land with a Software Testing job with no experience in the domain, can definitely be a difficult endeavor. However, it is definitely not impossible. In this section, we shall try to answer the question of how to become a Software Tester with no experience, by looking at some crucial points which you should keep in mind.
- Develop the habit of Testing
This implies that it is important to practise testing by looking for defects in the products which you already use. In fact, a number of entry-level Software Testing jobs require you to possess in-depth product knowledge. Thus, when you perceive a possible error in the software products and applications which you use; it can be a golden opportunity to put your testing knowledge to test.
You should begin by trying to track the root cause of the problem. Moreover, if you are able to understand whether the error can be replicated or reproduced, or if it is an error which should be improved; you already do have good testing knowledge.
- Acquaint yourself with the fundamentals of Software Testing
There are innumerable resources available online as well as offline, which you can make use of in advancing your understanding of the field of Software Testing. Moreover, you can also consider enrolling into a Software Testing course.
- Strive for Certifications
In the absence of plausible work experience, certifications can play a huge role in pushing your chances of landing with a Software Testing job.
- Get hold of Projects through Crowd Testing platforms like uTest
uTest works as a freelancing platform for testers, offering a vast tester community as well as a huge repository of learning resources. You can begin with unpaid projects which help you test your skills in finding bugs. Gradually, you can move over to paid ones.
- Be a part of Software Testing Communities
This involves using the power of networking to expand your connections as well as utilizing it in looking for good job openings.
- Apply for Jobs
Once you are confident about your command over the field of Software Testing, you can begin with applying for Software Testing jobs. Job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn and Glassdoor can prove to be good starting points too.
By the end of this blog, I am pretty sure that we have certainly answered the question of how to become a Software Tester, in as comprehensive a manner as possible. It is important to remember that there is no shortcut to landing with a good Software Tester job and your career road might be hit hard if you do happen to lack a relevant degree or work experience. However, even in the face of obstacles, it is not the end of the road.
The question of how to become a Software Tester with no experience, only arises because it is certainly possible to become one. Thus, with the right balance of skills, certifications, passion and aptitude at your disposal, you can certainly carve out a niche for yourself within the domain.
The field of Software Testing is a vast one. The contemporary development within the domain is marked by increasing demand for individuals who happen to possess development as well as testing skills. These professionals are Software Development Engineers in Test (SDET). Acquiring SDET skills can help you grab some of most coveted positions with the tech domain.
We, at Syntax Technologies, provide you with top notched SDET training through our SDET course. Enrol now.