April 26, 2015
Career opportunities in software testing
We have previously tackled the discussion about which software testing qualification you should consider on our blog and now I’d like to focus on the next logical step of the argument by dealing with the issue of career opportunities in software testing.
As in every other profession, experience and skills are the twin turbines in your jetpack that will rocket you to the top of the business food chain.
However, whereas previously you had to be really good at something to get to the top, young professionals nowadays are encouraged to diversify their skillsets and present a well-rounded resume which differentiates them from their peers by through their versatility.
But in order to differentiate, you still need to choose the different areas you want to learn about and train in wisely. In this article, I discuss four of the most in-demand tracks in the software testing business, one of which–automated testing–is currently the most desirable skill.
Automated testing – The hottest thing in the business
Automated testing is the darling of the software testing industry at the moment. It is the most widely sought skill and most testers like it as well. The biggest benefit of automation is that it gives you a better sense of ownership over the product you are testing. It also ensures that regression errors are caught before they develop into something truly nasty and could uncover issues you’d never have noticed.
When developing automated test cases, you start gradually making your mark in an organisation through the collection of tools, processes and libraries you introduce in the testing mix. Whenever somebody else has to automate something, your work will be form the basis on which they have to operate.
The biggest drawback on the other hand is that testers often find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time maintaining their existing automation instead of creatively devising new tests. Automation can also limit how many features can be tested at one go and how detailed the tests may be.
Performance testing in another niche testing skill for which many organisations are desperately trying to find talent to join their ranks.
Performance testers performs various tests like load, stress and endurance testing. After executing the testing scripts they monitor and collect the results, and report any defects that have emerged during the process.
A performance tester needs to have expert knowledge of at least one standard industry performance testing tool, as well as possess good problem identification and problem solving skills.
Testing is a very important part of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programmes and it’s crucial to the success of their implementation. Even though industry figures show that testing accounts for over 50% of the budget allocated to ERP implementation, testing still remains a relatively underdeveloped and underappreciated aspect of this domain.
The need for testing is especially important for ERP systems since these systems are almost always customised for the organisation that uses them. As such, they are often linked to legacy systems and integrated with other applications.
Testers need to ensure that the processes permitting the migration of enormous volumes of data between different systems do not contain bugs which could lead to the loss of sensitive data or other problems. Moreover, testers are involved in the regular upgrades or improvements which are needed to meet changing regulatory frameworks and the dynamic technology landscape.
Usability & security testing
Usability testing and security testing reveals the problems real users will encounter with a product or website while they are actually using it under normal, everyday conditions. Usability testers try to get an idea of how the software is used in real life by observing users carrying out realistic tasks, noting any problems and collecting their feedback through interviews and focus groups.
Usability and security testers are the ‘mythbusters’ who reveal how the way the product is actually used in real-life differs from the way the creators and developers though it would while it was still under construction. The data collected from these tests provide critical business insights into the way customers behave and about how well a product stacks up against its competitors on the market.
Testing – A varied and exciting career
Career in software testing requires you to hone and develop your skills regularly and learn to apply the basic principles to different areas, like web and mobile applications.
To become a great tester you will need to learn how to design test plans, use the best testing tools, and create test frameworks and strategies that improve the quality of the product and reduce the time spent on fixing errors.
But, more than anything, you must develop the ability to do a good risk assessment. You have to develop a feel for where the bugs will be, choose the best methods to uncover them, and report them in a way that helps your team work together to obtain better and quicker results.
Do you want to find about more about a career in software testing and learn the tips that can take you to the top faster? ReQtest founder Ulf Eriksson shares thoughts from a 20-year career in software testing in his new ebook. Download your FREE copy here.