How do You Become a Software Testing Engineer?

A software testing engineer plays a crucial role in application development. These experts are quality assurance professionals who test applications in order to root out funky interface issues, poor performance, and bugs. To accomplish this, they run a variety of tests, including user acceptance, scalability, functional, performance, and stress tests, at different stages throughout the life cycle of the software. Since software testing is critical to the usability and quality of the final product, testers are brought in at the design and planning stage, and they may continue to provide support after the product is released.

How to Become a Software Tester

Many employers prefer candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering, math, or computer science, although a degree in these fields isn’t always required. If you have solid letters of recommendation or references, a stable work history, and years of experience, you could potentially land a job without earning a college degree. An intermediate-level software testing position usually requires at least three to six years of software testing experience or a combination of experience and education.

Skills Required in Software Testing

Regardless of the career path you take, there are certain skills that are critical if you are considering becoming a software tester. You should have thorough knowledge of several testing tools, be a multi-tasker, and be fluent in Windows, Linux, and/or UNIX as well as command-line and scripting tools. Excellent communication skills are a must, particularly in terms of customer service, product management, operations, and development. You should be able to understand environments or platforms as well as different development methodologies such as Scrum and Agile, and you will need to perform software testing in all phases of the software life cycle. Finally, knowledge of programming languages such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, SQL, C# or C++, JavaScript, and Java is important for success in this career.

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Certifications

Once you have earned a degree and developed the skills necessary to become a software tester, you may consider earning one or more certifications to boost your resume. Most software tester certifications are vendor-neutral, and many recognize the skills and knowledge that apply throughout the entire testing process. Two of the most popular certifications include the Certified Software Tester (CSTE) designation and the ISTQB Certified Tester certification.

Salary

According to PayScale, an entry-level software tester can expect an average annual salary of around $50,000 per year. The highest-paying skills associated with this career are C# programming language and the Selenium automated test tool. However, a software tester’s salary will largely depend on the city in which he or she works as well as the specific company with whom he or she is employed. In addition, obtaining a bachelor’s degree, having experience with certain tools as well as general experience within the industry, and voluntary certification can also increase one’s salary in this field.

With technology ever-increasing, the need for skilled software testers is also growing. If you have an interest in computer systems and you are looking to enter a field in which your skills and knowledge can be put to use to help in the development and release of a new and exciting product, a career as a software testing engineer could be for you.