Long Term Potential for Software Testing Careers

Published: 16th March 2011
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Are you thinking about going into software testing as a full time career? If you are, you might have tons of questions you want answers to. For instance, you might be wondering how you can successfully switch from your current job experience to a software testing career. You might also be wondering what school or institute offers high quality training on software testing. But before these questions can be answered, you first need to know what a software tester actually does.

Snapshot of a Software Tester's Role

Software testers are typically considered to be QA or Quality Assurance professionals. Simply put, software testers produce and execute plans designed to test the quality and viability of software programs, thereby ensuring that product managers, software development managers, and other key organizational stakeholders do not have to worry about defects or virtual bugs in their software.

Software testers help to verify that all the essential features of any given software application perform as intended and as according to the needs of its users. Software testers assist developers by ensuring that their specific software code performs and integrates well. They also make sure that a specific software project meets acceptable and pre-defined standards and requirements.

What it Takes to Be a Top Notch Software Testing Professional

There are a few critical areas one has to specialize in to walk a promising career path in software testing, but the 2 most important ones are probably communication skills and technical know-how. Good communication skills, both written and verbal, is vital in terms of getting your point across and understood by diverse team members.

Technical know-how is another major area one needs to develop to excel. For example, software testing involves knowledge of testing types, the life cycle of the project, programming languages, test concepts, database concepts, testing tools, and test plans to name a few. Numerous software applications require in-depth technical and analytical expertise in order for them to be thoroughly tested. Programming language, and one's knowledge on it, is critical for unit testing, automation testing and scripting.

What the Future Holds for the Software Testing Industry

Current career prospects for software testers are a-plenty. Testing is now seen as an excellent corporate job with a well-defined career path. For example, if one is a test analyst, he or she could easily move up to become a QA team lead, senior test engineer, and eventually test manager. The options currently available are many.

Another reason that the future is bright for software testers is that there is an increasing demand for niche testing skills. Believe it or not, there is currently a general lack of skills in the area of test automation, scripting, and competence in programming languages such as Perl, Java, Python, Shell and VB.

Also on high demand are highly technical skill sets, such as the ability to review automation tools, produce automation frameworks, and figure out how to leverage reusable on-demand components. Similarly, there is and always will be a consistent demand for good performance testers who are able to analyze test performance results, offer tuning suggestion techniques, and determine bottlenecks.

The Bottom Line

All in all, software testing is an excellent career choice because the demand for good testers is increasing. Just learn as many technical skills as you can, and ultimately pick an area to specialize in, and you will be well on your way to a prosperous and upwardly-mobile software testing career.


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