How to Become a Software QA Analyst: A Quick Guide
April 18, 2017 - Quality Assurance and Testing
Software quality assurance testing is a promising area that is on the rise nowadays. According to the World Quality Report 2015-16, the budget for quality assurance is going to reach 40% of the IT budget in 2018, and in 2015 it was 35% on average. This stats makes a software QA tester quite a promising job. The demand for testers and the fact that the skills needed for a start are not so hard to master explains why so many people today are wondering how to get into QA industry.
If that’s the case with you and you want to find out how to start career in software testing, we’ve got some useful recommendations covered in this post, so read on. You will learn what skills are needed, where to obtain them and what to expect at an interview for the desired position.
Before you start, it is important to make sure you would really like to become a software tester. Aside from the job specific skills and knowledge that you can obtain during the quality assurance training, there are personal traits a successful software QA tester should possess. According to the State of Testing Report 2016, the surveyed software testers give the foremost importance to the following skills:
Functional automation and scripting
Customer facing skills
Analytical thinking, problem-solving capabilities, curiosity and continuous learning are the traits that are vital for work in software quality assurance.
As you can see, communication skills are considered even more important than technical, so if you are good at dealing with people and can communicate your thoughts clearly, it gives you a credit. Moreover, programming skills are definitely very beneficial for anyone who wants to become a software QA tester, but they aren’t a must. The point is, understanding how software is built can ease finding bugs, and being able to code can help with automation testing, but even without being a programmer you can still master software quality assurance.
Try finding a bug in one of the apps or services you’re using every day. If you succeed – go ahead and report it, so you’ll have something to add to your portfolio and be sure that testing is right for you.
Once you’re positive you’re fit for a job in software quality assurance, time to move towards it. First of all, you need to acquire the basic knowledge and skills to get into QA sphere. There are numerous software testing courses for beginners, which can give you a good headstart. You will learn the basics, possibly gain some experience, and add to your profile by becoming a certified tester.
As to which course to choose, here are a few suggestions:
International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) - one of the most successful and widely known certifying schemes in the world.
Rapid Software Testing (RST) - created to teach the “skill of testing any software, any time, under any condition”, meant mostly for experienced testers.
You should know, however, that merely completing a software testing certification course isn’t enough, and it won’t get you anywhere unless you keep learning and improving, constantly staying abreast with the innovation.
Naturally, your next step after completing a software testing course would be looking for a job. It is not unusual for beginner software testers to feel intimidated by the approaching QA testing interview questions because of their lack of experience and insufficient qualifications compared to seasoned engineers.
To reassure you, we would like to point out several things to remember:
If you have little or no experience, you will not be expected to know the complex things.
Your potential employer must be in need of people without much experience who can work under supervision, perform routine tasks, absorb new knowledge quickly and are open to new skills and methodologies.
It is very likely that it is your personal traits like creativity, communication and problem-solving skills, analytical thinking etc that will be assessed and taken into account during the interview.
If you are applying for a job at the bottom of software quality assurance career ladder, you’re competing with the candidates with more or less similar skills level, so your attitude can make a huge difference, even if there’s nothing to boast of in your CV. Yet.
Just like in any other sphere, if you are keen on becoming a software QA tester, you need a) education; b) practical experience. So, complete a software testing certification course, learn from the Internet, have your peers train you – there are millions of ways to educate yourself. And then, be ready to start from a modest position, value experience and work hard to become proficient.