Knowledge and Skills Needed for a QA Tester

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Perhaps, you have just started working as a software tester. Or you wish to develop your skills.

Anyway, you meet and will meet a lot of information. It’s very hard to understand what information will be useful and what — will not.

Moreover, different product companies require different technical skills. Hence, we can’t give a direct answer to the question — what skills will be useful and what — not.

But you can try to choose some useful skills that will help you to increase your importance as an IT employee.

All skills needed for QA specialists can be divided into 6 equal blocks:

  • Computer literacy;
  • Testing basics;
  • Testing tools;
  • Automation tools;
  • Qualifications;
  • Soft skills.
Each skill is important and the lack of one skill can be easily replaced by proficiency in another one.

Or if you manage to learn everything mentioned above, you will simply need to get a job and move on a career ladder in a given direction.

Now let’s analyze each skill separately.

Computer literacy

Computer literacy is the first and the most important skill for every tester.

An IT field develops really rapidly and it’s hard to be aware of all new trends.

But such qualified specialists are most valued in a labor market.

To start working in IT, you just need to understand the specifics of popular OS, know how to work with files, console and understand the structure of networks (for example, the concept of client-server architecture).

Testing basics

It’s everything that comes to our minds when we talk about testing: from test cases, checklists, equivalent classes to levels of testing, end-points, and all testing types.

Depending on the testing methods used in a product company, you will use some of them constantly and don’t remember about some other ones.

Perhaps, you will work in a team that prefers pairwise testing or doesn’t use test cases. Anyway, basic knowledge of a testing theory will help you at the primary stage of your work as a tester.

Testing tools

Aside from theory, you need to have good skills in using certain tools that are specific in a software testing field.

For example, you need to have the skills of interacting with Android Studio or Xcode while working with mobile utilities; working with web applications requires knowledge of DevTools.

There are common tools that will be useful for any job: the basics of SQL, Docker, working with a Bash console, and a Git version control system.

Test automation

The basics of software test automation are impossible without knowledge of programming languages. But you should perceive it as a separate QA skill, not a separate job.

As mentioned above, automation is the knowledge of one programming language at a minimum. Therefore, if you want to be proficient in a software automation testing field, you need to study Ruby, PHP, NodeJS, Java, Python, or Kotlin.

Skills of getting a job

The next one is the ability to select the job that will be suitable for you. Moreover, this skill should be developed aside from all the above-mentioned skills.

You can be a first-class specialist but work in a company that has low working conditions, get a low salary. This happens because you get lost during job interviews.

Or you can’t get your dream job because your resume is of low quality and all HR specialists don’t pass it to technical specialists in their companies.

In other words, you need to know how to create good resumes, be able to filter bad job offers and also, be good at answering the questions while passing job interviews.

Soft skills

Soft skills are crucial for any newbie in testing.

Since a junior tester has little experience, few technical skills, and bad knowledge of the used tools.

But the selection for a position of a QA tester is primarily built on analyzing someone’s personal skills.

First, it’s the ability to find the required information. In the IT field, it’s very important to rapidly find required data by using search systems and also, the ability to write such requests correctly.

Second, the ability to analyze the received information properly and in time. At first, you will need to study a lot of thematic literature, watch online lessons or simply absorb numerous new skills from a software testing field.

And the most important skill is the ability to solve the problems arising, do all tasks required by managers in time and properly. You should develop soft skills yourself, you can’t do this with the help of other people.

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