Often people wonder How to start your career as a Software Tester? In this article, I share my views on how you can achieve this. Let us first see what is software testing?
Software testing is an activity to check for any defects in the product and also evaluate if it meets user expectations. It involves the execution of manual or automated test scripts while evaluating the product. It is an integral part of the software development lifecycle. Software benefit includes:
Cost-effective: Defects found in the early stage of the development lifecycle cost less than defects in the later stages. Testing involved at the early stages prevents issues from being introduced at later stages.
Improved Product Quality: Testing ensures that the users receive a good quality product.
Security: Customers want trusted products. Testing improves security. It reduces the risk of product failure.
Customer Satisfaction: Testing enhances product quality, user experience, and hence customer satisfaction. Testing ensures high standards in product delivery.
What does a Tester do?
- Analyze the software, prepare test cases and execute them
- Prepare test scripts
- Identify defects and report
- Retest and perform different types of testing
Testing is a highly sought-after field in IT. It is great to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in IT. However, you can still get a job as a tester without a degree.
Research Job Market
Understanding the Australian job market is crucial. What kind of testing roles are available? What are the qualifications requested? What companies am I interested in? There are several job sites that you can use to familiarise such as Seek, LinkedIn. Create a great CV that showcases your value. If you are changing your career to testing, it is necessary to understand your transferrable skills.
Choose a Career Path
The career trajectory of a tester is as follows:
- Test Analyst
- Senior Test Analyst
- Test Lead
- Test Manager
You can also choose an alternative path such as Automation Engineer if you are interested in coding or perhaps a specialized tester such as performance or penetration tester.
Learn Software Testing Fundamentals
Attend an instructor-led course or learn online or read books about software testing. Learn about different testing techniques, testing types, testing levels, and objectives. Obtaining certifications like ISTQB Foundation level or BCS Professional Software tester can add value to your CV. Many companies do ask for these certifications in their job requirement.
Once you understand the fundamentals, it is necessary to learn any in-demand automation tool. Tools like Selenium, Cucumber are extensively used in companies. Basic knowledge of database & Object Oriented Programming languages such as Java, C# is required if you are interested to work as Automation Engineer. Testers with coding skills are indeed in high demand.
Other Skills required for software testing includes:
- Good communication skills
- Analytical thinking
- User Empathy
- Attention to Detail
Create CV & Cover letter
You need to create an impactful CV and cover letter. Create a LinkedIn account and start networking. Prepare and be confident during interviews.
You can also do freelancing or create projects and add in Github. It is good to have a portfolio of your project as this will give you a chance to demonstrate your work. Attending network groups and events can help gain an understanding of the industry.
Never Stop Learning
Testing is a good starting point if you want to work in the IT industry. There are a lot of opportunities for testing as the demand for testing and automation has tremendously increased over the years. Hence you need to keep learning and updating your skill sets.
It can be a challenge to land your first job. So do not get discouraged and keep persisting.