How to Start a Career as Software Tester in 2021

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A software tester is one of the IT professions that become more and more popular every day. But what exactly is it that attracts an applicant? Let’s figure this out.

A chance to quickly become a part of the IT sphere, start getting a good salary, the opportunity to get a job abroad – all these are delightful prospects for future (or maybe junior) testers. These factors exactly attract not only those who want to change a profession but also those who have just finished specialized courses (at school or university).

The very minimum barrier to entry this profession is its basic difference from other specialties in the IT field. However, standards for this profession has been changed in recent years. And now, it is quite a real thing to become a QA without any special experience in 2021. Besides, you don’t need to have a technical education and 10 years of experience.

So if you’re one of those who want to become a software tester but still doesn’t understand where exactly to start – our article is for you.

Who Is QA?

A software tester or QA engineer is a specialist in the IT-sphere who is responsible for software verification. His/ her task is an analysis of the usability of developed functionality.

In other words, a tester should ensure that the developed product meets all the requirements.

There is a large division in the QA community into highly specialized activity profiles: web security testing, performance tests, usability testing, etc. But generally, testers can be divided into two equal groups:

  • Manual testers;
  • Automated testers.

A manual tester is a person who manually creates scenarios for future tests and reproduces all the possible user actions with a particular PC. Performing a test, QA engineers detect bugs and analyze potential product vulnerabilities.

Automated testers are specialists who can automate the procedure of software testing based on ready test suites. This process greatly saves time and cost. To become a high-quality test automation engineer, one should learn several programming languages, be able to analyze script languages, and understand the basics of web application testing system.

The Most Common Myths About Testers

Myth #1 Programmers Are Better Than Testers

Proponents of this theory maintain that a programmer works on software development but a tester is just an employee whose task is to click the buttons. But is it actually so?

In real life, QA is fully responsible for software quality and they have to find as many bugs as possible, see how to improve a product, and maximize its attractiveness for a user. And for these tasks, it will definitely not be enough just to click the buttons!

Myth #2 Testers Get Much Less Salary Than Programmers

That’s true but only if you compare manual testers and developers. The income of a good test-automation engineer is a little less than a developer’s one.

In addition to professional growth, one can focus on learning a foreign language. Since a specialist who knows English or German has more chances to get a well-paid job in foreign companies.

Myth #3 Testing Is a Really Boring Job

Some people think that software testing is a tedious process. But we believe that only those who don’t like their job (profession) can think that way.

Myth #4 You Can Do Nothing and Be a QA

It is true that to start a testing career, nothing much needs to be done. However, several years ago, the entry barrier in this profession was minimal, now there’s a rigorous selection to become a junior tester.

Employers want to see a worker with good theoretical knowledge and minimal practical skills in their companies (if one has a desire to improve his/her skills in the future).

Myth #5 Testing Is a Monotonous Process of Finding Bugs

Such a conclusion certainly leads to an increasing number of missed bugs, incorrect prioritization in the working process, the release of weak web products that weren’t fully tested. Ideally, any tester helps to release a good project and achieve user satisfaction.

Testing isn’t just bug detecting, it’s quite an interesting process of finding ways to improve software and make it high-demand among average users.

How to Quickly Become a Professional?

All QA specialists with ambitions don’t have to stay in one place for a long time – there’s always career growth!
If we analyze a scheme of vertical development, any tester career includes the following stages:

  1. Trainee;
  2. Junior;
  3. Middle;
  4. Senior;
  5. Team lead;
  6. Test manager.

Considering personal and career references, testers can improve their skills in a non-diversified field – starting with web security testing, checking games on PC, to automated tests.

Can a Tester Become a Programmer?

If a tester masters his/her technical programming skills, he/she can easily become a software developer. Nevertheless, there’re two opposing views on this situation:

  • One who doesn’t know what is programming and what programming languages exist can easily think that the testing process is the simplest way to start a career in the IT sphere. Since at first you work as a tester, discover peculiarities of this field, start learning the basics of programming, go to automation testing, and then to the development.
  • Such an option only makes the way longer. You should go to the development sphere in the first place bypassing the stage of software testing.

What Qualities Should Testers Have?

To become a professional software tester, one should have the following personal traits and skills:

  • Continuous self-learning;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Flexible thinking;
  • Ability to focus on business needs;
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to clearly formulate thoughts and suggestions.

Thus, as you can see, you don’t have to do anything difficult to start working as a software tester. You just need to have a basic set of knowledge and skills, try to qualitatively practice them, and demonstrate your enthusiasm.

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