Trying to determine if the role of software tester is for you and what benefits it can bring? Let's sort this out together.
The answer to this question depends on who’s asking it.
The criteria of a good job can vary for different people. Some are looking for a stable and quiet work life, while others want constant self-development. Some people prefer work that involves physical activity, while others strive for a more creative or intellectual kind of work.
If you consider software testing to be an easy job that requires no special knowledge – you will be disappointed. The job requires a strong theoretical background, deep understanding of the software development lifecycle, good technical skills and professional intuition, to name just a few.
So, to answer the question above, let me start by describing the most common personal skills and traits required of a software testing (or QA) specialist:
- Attention to detail
- Analytical skills
- Technical mindset
- Ability to work with documents, analyze, create and maintain them
- Ability to follow guides and processes
- Breadth of vision in technical areas
- Ability and desire to learn constantly, in order to stay on top
- Creativity in finding ways and scenarios to make software break
- Communication skills and the ability to negotiate
In addition, you can find a list of technical skills and knowledge needed to start your testing career in our post How to Get Your First Software Testing Job as a Fresher. If you feel you already possess the prerequisites for starting a software testing career, let’s take a look at the benefits that come with the job:
1) Working in a Constantly Expanding Field
It’s widely acknowledged that the technical field and those professions connected to it, belong to one of the world’s fastest growing industries. If you are open-minded and motivated enough to accept the challenge of working in a dynamically changing environment, then take the opportunity to join this increasingly in-demand profession.
2) Decent Compensation
For middle level and higher software testing specialists, the pay rate is generally very good. In some countries, salaries in the IT field, including Software Testing, are significantly higher than the national average. Whatever way you see it, you won’t starve if you are a testing expert.
If you are a permanent employee at a fair-sized company, you can probably depend on a range of perks, such as an insurance package, free sports training or access to the company’s gym. In a popularity contest to attract the most exceptional candidates, companies will try their best to raise the bar when it comes to offering perks. Take a look at some of the most impressive perks available from tech companies.
Within the software testing profession, you can have the opportunity to work from anywhere and on your own schedule, if you take advantage of a freelance job or remote permanent work.
5) Good Working Conditions
You will spend your days sitting in a comfortable office or working from home – these are the working conditions millions of people would dream of. In all this comfort, remember to take care of your health, because in a few years you could be facing the common consequences of sedentary work, such as disorders of the locomotor system, poor eyesight and excess weight. That’s why tech companies often encourage their employees to engage in sports, even at the company’s cost.
6) Career Development Opportunities
Software testing can lead your career path to confirm you in the field of testing or in allied trades. More on this in our earlier post The Software Testing Career Growth Path.
7) Communicate with People Worldwide
Your client may be located in the US, with teams in India and Eastern Europe, and you traveling abroad. It’s exciting to feel part of a big community or even just having the chance to deal with people from different cultures and places on a daily basis. This is where having a knowledge of foreign languages can be really helpful.
8) Business Trips
Some people are happy with the opportunity to visit other cities and countries for work matters, attending conferences or visiting clients. Others will prefer to stay close to home and travel only for their own pleasure during vacations. Anyway, business trips can be associated with an IT career, although in the software testing field, they are more common for lead and management positions.
9) Learning new things
In a profession like this, the environment itself encourages staying in the stream and learning new things constantly. For most people, it’s an advantage, but for those who prefer stable and routine day-by-day work with not much drive, being a part of such a dynamic environment can be stressful.
10) It’s exciting
When I decided to try myself in the field of software testing in 2009, my friends doubted this job was for me – too boring for such a creative person, they said. But I tried it and have never regretted my choice and could never have guessed how creative and exciting this kind of job can be.
Taking into account all that’s been said above, the job of a tester can be so different, depending on lots of factors like the company, project, country and your manager. It may be routine or diverse, require automation or ‘monkey testing’. It might even include some tough teamwork or individual contribution, involve much or little communication, and so on. You can’t always define these conditions, but you can undoubtedly influence them. And the better you conform to the ‘Ideal Tester’ image, the easier it will be for you to find your ‘Ideal Job’.
So, to summarize, the job of a software tester can be really exciting and advantageous for those who have the necessary skills and attitude. Nevertheless, it is rather demanding, and the entry barriers are getting even higher. If you’re still determined to try yourself in this role, be proactive and persistent, invest in your passion – and the benefits will be quick to follow.