How can a tester move steadily up the career ladder? In this blog, we take a look at software testing career growth and how to progress in the industry.
The only certainty in our work life is change; it’s inevitable. To make progress in any area requires patience as well as the right set of skills, so consistently learning as you climb the career ladder can bring significant benefits. In this guide, we offer useful tips which, if followed, can help you to build software testing career growth as you progress in the field of software testing.
To acquire knowledge of technical skills has become necessary for every software tester if they want to progress in the field. Having experience in manual testing alone is no longer sufficient because automation testing is becoming a majority trend. However, this does not mean that manual testing is becoming redundant because it is still in demand as the basis of any testing. Technological progress is not limited to automation, so a software tester needs to possess a mixture of both technical and non-technical skills. A constantly improving skill set through learning to work with new tools and gaining practical experience in various methods and approaches will prove to be worthwhile.
For a tester to increase their value in the workplace and move to the next career level, they need to learn practically the following technical skills:
- SQL/Database Knowledge: Having a basic database knowledge and being able to write and work with the query is a plus point for any tester. Every application has a database involved in its implementation, so due to the complex nature of how applications are built, organizations are constantly improving the way data operates. Thus, data validation becomes mandatory for the tester, where they need to write queries.
- Test Management: Every tester needs to be conversant with the test management process because a lack of understanding can mean that tests fail. Various tools are available to help with carrying out the testing process in an efficient manner. Here’s a blog post link to learn more about Test Management.
- Bug Tracking & Management: To improve the quality of any application, identifying and eliminating bugs is fundamental. All software testers need to know how to report and manage bugs, either manually or by using a bug tracking tool.
- Automation Testing: As modern technology advances, numerous new tools are appearing on the market to provide as many features as possible to cater for the needs of automation testing. To progress in the field, command of any widely used automation tool is a plus point, but scripting knowledge is also important. Automation testers who are most in-demand are those with experience of designing a framework from scratch that’s capable of handling complex test cases while also being easily manageable and reusable.
- Load Testing: A tester needs to evaluate the sustainability of an application as to how many users it handles at a given time. A tester should have proper knowledge of the tools which most of the organizations deem necessary as they handle the large user base for their applications. Here’s a blog post link to learn more about Load Testing.
- API Testing: Having a basic knowledge of API is always good for a tester, but having a good command of an API testing tool is an added advantage. API testing helps in covering the security loopholes and the identification of any missing data.
Over time, attitudes have changed, and organizations now require testers to have a working knowledge of the technical skills listed above. The aim of every individual should always be to stay ahead in the game.
Besides technical skills, certain non-technical skills are also very important to have. Let’s find out what kind of skills a tester should possess.
- Communication Skills: Both written and verbal communications are critical for any tester. These skills help in creating effective testing artifacts that are readable and easy to comprehend for every stakeholder. Good communication with the client and team members is an important aspect of career progress.
- Analytical Skills: Having this non-technical skill can greatly help testers to progress in the field. Testers need to have strong analytical skills to help them break down complex systems into smaller testable units, enabling test cases to be written that provide maximum test coverage. At a job interview, it is common for the interviewer to concentrate mostly on the tester’s approach to handling complex problems where analytical skills can help greatly.
- Reading, Listening and Watching: Keeping oneself up to date with current trends in the software industry is a good habit to develop. Read blogs and books, listen to podcasts, and watch videos that are related to software testing. All these approaches can steadily help you to move towards your career goals.
The best way to keep growing in your career is to love what you are doing. With focus, determination, and a strong sense of mission, you can move to a higher level in the field of software testing by implementing the skills mentioned above.
The key to success is to continue to learn and implement technical and non-technical skills throughout your work life, without losing focus on your direction.