The role of a software tester is crucial during application development. Starting from software application ideas all the way to manufacturing the final product, the process involves so many experts.
The testers are involved during the initial planning and designing stage. Their support is required throughout the product development.
A software tester is a quality assurance expert of digital products. The role involves fixing and removing bugs and working on improving overall performance. It also involves reducing development costs and solving interface issues.
Hence, becoming a tester is not an easy job. The software testing companies predominantly expect you to have both technical and non-technical skills.
The Essential Technical Skills Required as a Software Tester.
1. Planning and Documentation
The primary task a software tester must do is to have a well-defined plan of action. It should clearly specify the requirements and a timeframe within which the plan must be achieved. Along with that, your plan must include the nature of the business, its budget, and the client’s priorities.
Documentation is a necessary step that helps in gaining a better analysis of the testing phase and in gathering resources. To prepare for software tests, you must incorporate three components such as test plan, test scenarios, and test cases.
2. Domain Knowledge
It is simply not possible to test applications without knowing their domain. Some of the domains include the following:
- Mobile application testing
- VoIP testing
- Wireless application testing
- Protocol testing
- Network testing
- Healthcare industries
- Banking applications.
Domain testing is a technique in which a minimum number of inputs are used to access the outputs of a system. To put it simply, the system rejects invalid inputs to give the required outputs.
As a tester, think from the point of view of an end-user. You must know how the application can be beneficial to the end-user. In the testing phase, you must assess what can go wrong, find a solution to it, and inspect the boundaries of the domain.
3. Automation Testing
There are two kinds of software testing – manual and automated. Your process as a manual tester includes discovery, utility, functional, and regression testing.
As you gain experience over the years, you can gradually shift to automation testing. To learn automation testing, you can take up Selenium courses like CP-SAT.
Automation testing helps testers save a lot of time and money. You can run tests immediately and speed up the testing process. This method does not require human interaction. For example, you can run tests overnight and expect results in the morning. Overall, testers experience increased productivity along with better app performance.
Software development life cycle is a process or a project within a software organization. It aims to design, develop, and test software products. It is a framework used to track the performance of tasks at every stage.
There are seven phases of SDLC to ensure successful software development. They are planning, analysis, designing, building, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
The advantages of practicing SDLC models are numerous. You can have a clear goal which is to implement testing and record its development progress. You also have the flexibility to replace members that are better suited to carry a particular task. By doing this, you can achieve the desired goal within the timeframe.
5. Agile Testing
Agile testing is the process of developing agile software. It means testing the software for defects, resolving issues quickly within agile. The testing process in agile is continuous and begins even before the development is done.
Both testers and developers work hand-in-hand by interchanging feedback, improvements, and test cases. The developers first write the test followed by the code which is verified by the tester. The tester works on the user story which is further verified using the test.
Strategy is more important than planning in agile testing. It begins with a purpose, which is to decide what you want to test and then write a user story. Finally, you create a test and run that test to verify the user story.
6. DevOps Testing
DevOps is an approach to encourage the development and operations teams to produce high-quality software. It is an extension of agile that also uses automation for testing.
DevOps focuses on operational and business readiness and requires a larger team than agile. It is extremely efficient for its fast delivery and end-to-end business solutions.
Agile revolves around software development while DevOps targets providing business solutions and fast delivery. It is safe to say that both agile and DevOps share similar testing goals which are to produce reliable and top-notch software.
7. Tools and Techniques
As a software tester, you must know when to use the right tools and techniques to optimize the testing process. Selenium, UFT, Silk Test, Katalon Studio, and Appium are some of the commonly used testing tools.
You should consider the features of the testing tools based on the product requirements. Make sure to check its user interface, efficacy, and browser adaptability. You must also check the programming language, integrations, processing power, and its value for the price.
Structured Query Language is a domain-specific language tool used for accessing and organizing data stored in a database. It helps in retrieving information that is required for data analysis using systems like MySQL, Oracle, etc.
A software tester must have technical skills to verify all aspects of a system. They include an interface, operating system, and database management.
The software systems have a massive amount of data in the backend. With SQL, testers find it easier to understand the query and manipulate databases, tables, and indices.
9. Cross Browser Testing
Cross-Browser testing is non-functional testing used to check the functionality of the website in different browsers, devices, and tools. This method of testing helps pinpoint the errors and debug them immediately.
As a tester, you must ensure significant parts of the website are functioning well in the browser OS. Usually, the product team guides the software tester with the test specifications document.
The test specs include a list of features, browsers, and platforms. It also includes the versions that are to be tested within the test scenarios, timeline, and budget. The role of a tester is to analyze the compatibility, accessibility, and responsiveness of the website.
10. Defect Tracking Tools
Bug tracking or defect tracking is the process that involves monitoring bugs while testing the software. When a program or an application doesn’t function as intended, software bugs occur. It is a critical process as business systems have a large number of defects to evaluate, monitor, and debug.
A defect tracking tool makes the job easier by fixing the bugs. The software testers are then able to track and report the issues while the application is being developed and tested. Nowadays, companies follow continuous testing.
Non- Technical Skills Software Testers Must Have
- Analytical skills: It helps gain a better understanding of complex software systems to run test skills.
- Communication skills: To learn new processes and tools, networking is key. Testers must be willing to learn from other IT professionals.
- Organizational skills: Learning technical skills and making good use of those resources are equally important.
- Project Management skills: It promotes a sense of responsibility among testers to take ownership and deliver the results on time.
- Problem-solving skills: Provides opportunities to discover problems and proactively resolve them.
Apart from this, software testers are expected to have some programming and OS knowledge. If you don’t sharpen your basic non-technical skills, you won’t be able to succeed with your technical skills.
If you are not learning new things like a software tester, you are not really testing. There are so many methods and processes to learn and excel as a software tester.
With advancements in technologies, testers must make it a point to upskill their knowledge in the IT field. A software tester can only become a developer if one is willing to broaden their skills.