Career in software testing
If you are a testing professional and would like to know about career in software testing, this article will help you find answers? Even if you are an automation tester and looking for career options, this article is relevant for you.
Software testing career provides multiple options for a testing professional. In this article, we are going to discuss the career path for a testing professional.
The career path for a software testing professional is as shown below:
Software Tester (0 – 2 years)
You start your career in software testing as a manual tester. As a new entrant, you will be involved in conducting functionality testing manually. Manual testing is a structured process and involves writing test cases. The learning curve is not very steep and you should be able to master the skills within 6 months.
- You must try and understand the projects and its domain as much as possible as that may help you in the long run.
- You should not spend more than 2 years in this role as you will not be learning anything new.
Certifications for Manual testers
ISTQB foundation level certifications are useful for entry level testing professionals. If you are planning to enter this field, you should go for this certification.
Automation Tester (2-5 years)
Becoming an automation tester is a natural career move for manual testers. Automation testing field is very promising. To become an automation tester, you need to learn an automation testing tool. Some of the most popular tools are as follows:
- HP UFT
Selenium is now the most popular automation testing tool. TestComplete and HP UFT are commercial tools and that’s the reason, most of the companies are moving to Selenium. Most of these automation testing tools will require you to write programs.
Learning programming may not be the easiest thing to do, but believe me, it’s not very difficult either. Sometimes, we go by the general perception but that may prevent you from making the right choice.
Selenium requires you to learn Java. You need to learn a small sub set of Java language. You can go through the following video tutorial to understand what does it take to get into Selenium.
As an automation tester, you should gain expertise in writing automated test suites, frameworks and designing BPT components. Typically, you should be spending 3-4 years in this role to master all the required skills.
Certifications for Automation tester
Certified Professional – Selenium Automation Testing (CP-SAT) is a certification for Selenium and is available from Agile Testing Alliance and University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).
You can find complete information about CP-SAT in one of our articles:
If you are not comfortable with programming
If you are not comfortable with learning programming, you can go for alternative career move. You can become a business analyst. We have discussed about business analyst career move at the end of this article.
Test Analyst (4-6 yrs)
Test analysts may take sole responsibility of complete testing phase for a project. However, in some cases, they may still be part of a testing team. The job does involve co-ordination with the customer as well designing and defining test strategies. It’s a challenging role and requires certain key skills to succeed.
Key requirements to become a test analyst are as follows:
- 2-5 yrs experience as an automation tester (Selenium or other tools)
- Mastering Framework development (Page Object Model etc)
- Maintain and manage automation scripts
- Creating and managing test environments
Certifications for Test Analyst
There is no specific certification for test analysts but Certified Agile Tester (CAT) is a good certification at this stage.
Test Lead/Manager (5 – 10 years)
The next level of growth is to be a test leader or a manager. As a test lead or manager, you will be responsible for managing a test team independently. This team may not be part of a single project but may be responsible for managing testing for multiple projects. As a test manager, you are responsible for planning test activities, tracking activities, analysing test results etc.
Key requirements to become a test leader/manager are as follows:
- Ability to plan, schedule and track test activities
- Capability to design and plan for testing strategy
- Ability to manage and track testing activities
As a test manager, you need to possess the following skills:
- Estimating team effort (Estimation techniques like FPA)
- Manual and automation test processes and cycles
- Agile testing techniques
- Quality process awareness like CMMI
- People management skills
Certifications for Test Manager
There are multiple certifications for a test manager. Certifications for a test manager are as follows:
Advance level test manager from ISTQB
Business Analyst (2-5 yrs)
You can easily move to become a business analyst from a manual tester level. Your experience as a tester will prove to be handy, as business analyst role requires you to conduct functional testing as well. We have discussed all the details about becoming a business analyst in the following article.
Certifications for Entry level business analyst
IIBA ECBA certification is the entry level business analyst certification. You can find all the details about ECBA certification in the following article:
We have discussed the career in software testing. We have also discussed key skills and certifications for each level. Do let me know in case you have any specific questions.