Almost all top companies in the world today are software companies. And most other companies today need software in some form or the other for their business. In such a highly competitive software space, the demand for software testers is high. But there’s a dearth of information on succeeding in this field. Well, we’re here to provide exactly that. This guide will be a one-stop destination to understand everything about a career in software testing.
Here’s a snapshot of the steps to becoming a software tester:
- Know the field: Research and understand the different niches
- Gain Knowledge: Develop relevant skills and master them
- Build Non Technical Skills: Develop other non-technical but crucial skills
- Gain Practical Insights: Intern, network, and freelance to learn more
- Start Your Journey: As a Software Tester, you are ready to take on the world
Here’s Your Step-By-Step Guide
1. Know the Field
Research is the key starting point toward a successful career in any field. As a software tester, your job will be to test and analyze software for any bugs and provide a report on the user experience. But, within these, there are other fields such as unit testing, integrations testing, acceptance testing, etc. Each kind differs from the other and requires a specialised skill set. Researching the field thoroughly beforehand will give you an idea about the kinds of specialisations that exist and the skills necessary to be better at them. The research will also help you in understanding your likes and interests.
You can research in the following ways:
- Read articles and blogs: which will give you an overall perspective about the field and guide you.
- Study the Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC): As a software tester, STLC is what you will mostly work on. So get a heads up, and start reading about it.
- Reach out to software testers: People from the industry are the best to guide you on your journey, as they have practical experience and insights to share.
2. Gain the Knowledge
Software testing requires a specialised set of skills and knowledge. You will have to learn them to become a software tester. A college degree in computers, such as B.Tech, B.Sc, etc., may be helpful, but you can also learn the relevant skills externally. Here are some fundamentals that you need to know:
- Database/SQL: Software use databases like SQL to store their backend data. You may have to validate and verify that data to resolve a bug as a tester. So knowing how to use and access these databases is a must-have.
- Programming Languages: This goes without saying, but you must know basic programming languages to understand the software code. Apart from the basics like Java, C++, learning new-age languages like Python may be a great addition to your skillset. Learning these languages will be at the core of your skillset as a software tester, so you must invest maximum time in it. Learn more about new programming languages.
- Software Testing and Development Life Cycles: The software development life cycle (SDLC) involves the steps followed while building software, and STLC is used while testing software. STLC includes test planning, test case development, etc. While you will directly use STLC as a software tester, knowing SDLC is vital.
- Tools: There are various tools available for software testing. Knowing the functions of these test management tools, automation tools, and defect tracking tools is vital for your career. Most companies generally use these tools for software testing. Getting used to these tools may take some time, so make sure you reserve enough time to practice them.
3. Build other Non-Technical Skills
Merely knowing the method to test software is not sufficient. To be a good software tester, you need to have various other soft skills to be good at it—one of the key skills in critical thinking. Software testing requires you to build test scenarios and conduct testing. Building such scenarios requires critical thinking to point out the software's errors efficiently. Another crucial skill is creative thinking. This goes hand in hand with critical thinking. Whether manual or automated, testing will require you to think out of the box to test software on various levels and provide a complete and holistic report.
Apart from these, general soft skills, like better communication, networking, etc., can help a long way in helping you become a better candidate for hire. Even if you wish to freelance as a software tester, these skills are vital!
4. Gain Practical Insights
With so much to learn in software testing, it can seem overwhelming. However, getting practical insights into how the industry works and how actual software testing will help you streamline all your learnings. Practical experience can further help you practice your existing knowledge and work further to develop it. You can gain these insights in two ways:
- Internships: Internships are a great way to get hands-on experience in real-life software projects. You also learn from people working in the field and their experience. Internships are a great way to find mentors and develop your skills. Internships can often lead to full-time offers.
- Speaking to industry experts: Wonder how you can do that? Well, we make it easy for you. We have a wide pool of experts from various fields with whom you can connect and get personalised, one-on-one coaching. Not just software testing, but if you struggle with any other career aspect like resume building, interview preparation, etc., you can connect with experts. Click here to find your expert.
- Freelance Projects: Work as a freelancer to help small software teams test their software. While this may not monetarily support you a lot initially, the growth in freelancing can be exponential as you gain more experience. Apart from that, freelance projects give you much freedom to decide and choose what projects to work on. These will help you gain a diversified background and learn a lot more.
You must try all these means of getting practical insights to help you cover all different kinds of career paths within software testing. A diversified experience will also have a good impression on your profile. Another benefit of getting practical experience is that it will help you decide what niche you work better at and would want to practice more. Often in full-time jobs, people do not have the flexibility of working on diverse projects, but you have this opportunity during your learning phase, and you must make the best use of it.
5. Start your Journey
Now that you are well-equipped with all the necessary skills and experience, nothing stops you from starting your career as a software tester. By this time, with practice and studying, you would have gained some clarity regarding the kind of software testing you want to be involved in and which areas you want your niche to be in. Keep that area in mind and apply for roles based on it. For example, positions like Data Scientist, Quality Analyst, Product Manager, etc., can all be fit for you. Don’t worry. Even if you don’t have a niche yet, you can easily get entry-level positions. While you’re figuring out career options, don’t miss out on this phenomenal piece of advice for freshers in India.
After the boom of software developers, software testers are now in high demand, and they will continue to be in demand for the next few years. This is a perfect time to learn and start your career in software testing. Are you still confused if this is for you? Don’t worry. You can connect to our career coaches, and they will personally help you understand if this is meant for you. Don’t forget to check out all our courses and start your learning today!
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