A tester is a specialist who participates in testing a product, more often in the field of IT and development: programs, games, applications. This profession is young, but already in high demand.
Testing is an important stage in the creation of any product, including software. In the field of IT, they are handled by representatives of a separate profession – testers.
Often, when installing another application or program, we don’t even think that a whole team of developers, programmers and testers worked on it. Each of these specialists is responsible for their part of the work, but in the end it depends on the tester how high the quality of the product will be.
Who is it software tester?
A software tester is a specialist who checks the program and identifies errors in its operation. To do this, he invents and conducts tests, looks for vulnerabilities, finds errors and informs developers about it so that they can eliminate all the shortcomings before the product enters the market.
– A tester is, in fact, the very first user of a new product. He can offer various ideas for improving the future service or application at the stage of project planning and its functionality.
A tester must have a number of personal qualities. First, it is stress resistance, perseverance and sociability.
– A software tester should be attentive to details and be able to analyze not only the assigned tasks, but also, in principle, any information related to the project, as well as ask any questions, even if they seem stupid.
Software Tester specializations
Testers can be divided into several groups depending on the products and types of testing they work with.
So, if we talk about products, a tester can specialize in specific types of software – applications, websites, games, and so on. At the same time, software testers can also have a narrower specialization: alpha testers deal with software at the development stage, and beta testers deal with ready-made versions.
If we talk about the types of software testing, then we can distinguish two types of testers – manual and automated. Manual testers conduct tests manually, while automation engineers write special code so as not to do the same job several times. However, this division is rather arbitrary, since these two types of testing are often combined in work.
Benefits of being a tester profession
The profession of a tester has the following advantages.
- Demand. Every software development company needs a tester.
- Fast learning. You can get the necessary knowledge and skills for work in 6-12 months.
- Good wage. IT workers get high salaries.
- Distant work. If desired, the tester can work remotely.
Disadvantages of being a tester profession
In addition to the advantages, the profession of a tester has a number of disadvantages.
- Monotone. A tester, especially in manual testing, often has to perform the same steps in order to find a bug.
- Sedentary work. The tester spends the whole working day sitting at the computer, which negatively affects health.
- A responsibility. The tester is responsible for missing bugs.
- High competition. Due to the fact that the profession can be mastered quickly and even independently, many people, both with technical and non-technical backgrounds, want to become testers, so competition among newcomers is high.
You can get the necessary knowledge to work as a tester in different ways: independently from books, articles and videos on the Internet, at special courses and at educational institutions.
Although testers are not trained in educational institutions, training programs related to computer science and programming provide general knowledge that will allow you to quickly master the profession.
For those who are thinking about getting a secondary vocational education, the specialty “Information Systems and Programming” is suitable.
Courses are the fastest way to get all the information you need in an organized way. On the Internet, you can find both paid and free online courses for testers. The course may take from several months to one year.
Free courses allow a person to understand whether he is interested in the profession of a tester without spending a monthly salary on it. Free ones include:
- Software Testing Tutorial – Great Learning Academy
- Software Testing – Udacity Free Courses
- Introduction to Software Testing or Software QA – Udemy
The course teaches how to work with documentation, test requirements and create test cases.
Paid online courses for are also in demand. Their advantage is that students perform many practical tasks on the simulator, and can also count on the support of the curator. Examples of paid courses include:
2. Monday Productivity Pointers Course – Lynda (Intermediate)
3. Diploma in Computer Networking – Alison (Beginner)
4. Software Testing Course – Udemy (Beginner)
5. Software Testing Short Course – The University of Oxford (Beginner to Intermediate)
Employment and career
An internship will help you start your career as a tester. Many companies offer internships where you can get real experience from scratch and, as a result, get officially employed.
You can also get the first experience on freelance exchanges. Having experience, it will be easier to pass an interview and get a junior position in a company. At the interview, logical thinking, knowledge of testing theory and English are often tested.
After working for 2-3 years as a junior, a tester can grow to an average, and then a senior specialist. The next step will be the position of lead test specialist. This is a vertical and quite popular, but not the only way to develop a career as a tester. Some testers, having mastered programming, become programmers or developers.
Prospects for the future
Artificial intelligence will not be able to completely replace the tester, since in this work it is often the person who plays the decisive role. So, for example, when testing the interface and usability of an application, the tester will be able to evaluate it as a user, but the machine will not. Yes, new testing methods will appear and many testers will have to master automation, but manual testing will not completely disappear.
The job of a software tester is to find errors using a special algorithm. This work seems monotonous to many, so the main qualities that a tester should have are patience and attentiveness. For those who are just starting their career as a tester, I would advise using checklists to record everything that is needed and incomprehensible there. This will help in the work, and you will not miss a single “bug”! Read articles, study new products, approaches, tools.
It is difficult to answer the question of what I personally like about working as a tester. I would say that everyone loves it! Especially the fact that the tester is useful to people, and real. Perhaps this is not obvious to someone, but we, testers, understand and are aware of the importance of the profession.
There is such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in the IT sphere, which by itself leads to self-development. There is no “ceiling” here: there is always something to strive for and something to learn. I have quite a lot of experience in many industries and I have something to compare with.
Is it possible to learn the profession of a tester from scratch?
– Yes, you can. If you are an IT specialist, it will be easier because you know the basics. If not, then the question is in your desire. If you have a predisposition, you like to understand products technically, build logical relationships, then yes, try, learn, try. We have guys in the team who came to us from other professions – a journalist, a choreographer, a philologist. Most importantly, you must be self-motivated. If you want to become a tester, you must strive to educate yourself, seek information and learn.
Can a tester work remotely?
– Yes, we, for example, have been working remotely for more than ten years. In general, it depends on the methods used in the development team, on the approaches and principles of the company. Our team is located in different time zones, we work with a large number of projects – from small to huge. We have never met with many clients offline, but this does not prevent us from working smoothly and expanding our staff.
Can a tester get a job without experience?
Yes, but there are a few conditions. First and most importantly, the employer must have a lead or mentor who will train and introduce you to the specifics of the tester profession. If there is no such person, adaptation will be difficult, and the tester will simply be stuck in one place.