HOW TO START A NEW CAREER AS A SOFTWARE TESTER
A software tester is an IT person who is involved in checking the integrity and functionality of a software as it goes through the various stages of the software development cycle. In a nutshell, a software tester is someone who analyzes code in order to catch bugs.
Although a software tester is often a part of the team responsible for software quality assurance, it is not always his or her responsibility to assure the quality of the software, unless he or she is specifically tasked to do so. The job of a software tester is to ensure that the software will be running smoothly and efficiently.
Typical Activities of the Software Tester
A software tester usually does the following activities on the job:
1. Develop designs, tools or procedure for testing software and update them on a regular basis
2. Take part in product designing and reviews to check for possible problems in development
3. Create a schedule for testing software
4. Test the compatibility of software with programs, network environments, hardware or operating systems
5. Document and report bugs found during testing to the software developers
6. Create and maintain a catalogue of bugs and defects that were discovered during software testing
7. Monitor efforts in removing and correcting bugs in software
8. Monitor software performance
9. Look into problems reported by users of the software as referred to by the softwareâ€™s technical support
Industry Prospects for the Software Tester
As our society becomes more and more dependent on technology and its uses, and as the end users of software become more and more demanding and discerning about how their gadgets and their software should work for them, the need for good, high-quality software becomes greater. Such software that answers to the growing needs of people nowadays, however, is also growing more and more complex. The need for software testers who can skillfully wade through pages of code to catch whatever bugs in them remains great.
How much does a software tester earn catching bugs in code? The average falls at around $73,412, with bonuses amounting to around $4,802 as of the fourth quarter of 2006.
The Necessary Skills
Because it is a software testerâ€™s job to catch bugs in code, using bug-catching software that he or she probably designed, the software tester needs to be a master of one or two programming languages, just like any computer programmer. It is also necessary for a software tester to have a good grasp of the software development cycle, the different methods and tools of software testing and the current trends in the industry. An analytical mind and the knowledge of proper documentation, as well as the ability to communicate and to work with other people within the team, are also skills that a software tester needs to cultivate. Report writing and technical documentation, and working with word processors, spreadsheets and HTML documents are also needed.
Finding the Job
Where can a software tester find a job? There are many headhunter websites on the Internet that a software tester can go to in order to find work. Websites that provide resources for software testers are also dedicated to listing job openings for software testers, whether on a permanent or contractual basis. An example of these websites is softwaretester.com. Many colleges and universities also offer internship programs that can lead to hiring.