How To Start A Career In Software Testing - A Complete Guide

GUPTA, Gagan       Posted by GUPTA, Gagan
      Published: June 13, 2021

Enjoy listening to this Blog while you are working with something else !


If you are willing to choose software testing as your career then read this first!

Lately, I have been getting many queries about Software Testing as a Career. Should one select Software Testing as a career? How to switch to Software Testing from other job experience? Which institute should I join for a Testing course? Let me try to answer all these queries.

Software Testing careers can be defined as the efforts that involve in making a product bug-free, matching the given functional requirements, ensuring logical efficiency coverage, by a series of verification and validation processes. For a person to take this as a career path, it is essential to have some specific skills like good analytical sense, basic knowledge of testing concepts, competent in communication and task management and a minimum of a bachelor's degree with computer science as major. A Software Tester's career flow starts from Associate Tester, through Test Execution Analyst, Senior Tester, Technical Testing Lead, Test Manager, while the titles may vary from organization to organization.

In the Software testing, there are two terms used: QA(Quality Assurance) and Testing. Quality Assurance is basically a process of activities designed to ensure the system will meet its objectives & create quality software. QA process is much more about giving continuous monitoring and consistent improvement and maintenance of the process. QA is used to set up the process for the prevention of bugs appearing, Testing activity is basically called the 'Quality Control' which is used to measures the quality of the product. Testing is Identification or uncovering the bugs before moving to actual users.

Software Testing is done in each phase of product life cycle i.e from requirement specifications, design, coding, to user acceptance. Many complex software structures require in-depth analytical and technical skill to test the applications. Knowledge of programming languages is required for Unit testing, scripting skill essential for Automation testing.

Non-Technical Skills

Following non-technical skills are essential to become a good Software quality tester.

Analytical skills

A good software tester should have sharp analytical skills. Analytical skills will help break up a complex software system into smaller units to gain a better understanding and create test cases.

Communication skill

A good software tester must have good verbal and written communication skill. Testing artifacts (like test cases/plans, test strategies, bug reports, etc.) created by the software tester should be easy to read and comprehend. Dealing with developers (in the event of bugs or any other issue) will require a shade of discreetness and diplomacy.

Time Management & Organization Skills

Testing at times could be a demanding job especially during the release of code. A software tester must efficiently manage workload, have high productivity, exhibit optimal time management, and organization skills. They often work under tight time constraints.


To be a good software tester you must have a good attitude. An attitude to 'test to break', detail orientation, willingness to learn and suggest process improvements. In the software industry, technologies evolve with an overwhelming speed, and a good software tester should upgrade his/her technical Software testing skills with the changing technologies. Your attitude must reflect a certain degree of independence where you take ownership of the task allocated and complete it without much direct supervision.


To Excel in any profession or job, one must have a significant degree of the passion for it. A software tester must have a passion for his / her field. But how do you determine whether you have a passion for software testing if you have never tested before? As a child did you like to find the 5 disparities in two given very similar pictures ? Do you like to fiddle with Options/Settings of newly installed softwares ?

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How To Start A Career In Software Testing - A Complete Guide
How To Start A Career In Software Testing - A Complete Guide

Technical skills required for a career in Software Testing

Basic knowledge of Programming / SQL

Software Systems have a large amount of data in the background. This data is stored in different types of databases like Oracle, MySQL, etc. in the back-end. So, there will be situations when this data needs to be validated. In that case, simple/complex SQL queries can be used to check whether proper data is stored in the back-end databases. A proficient Engineer, also has an in depth knowledge of programming techniques and unit / integration testing behavior.

Basic knowledge of Linux commands

Most of the software applications like Web-Services, Databases, Application Servers are deployed on Linux machines.So it is crucial for testers to have knowledge about Linux commands and/or basic Server administration. They must be comfortable in virtualization techniques, in addition.

Good knowledge of Software Testing Principles and Techniques

There are many principles and several techniques in software testing. Read my other blog to gain an insight in the same.

Knowledge and hands-on experience of a Test Management Tool

Test Management is an important aspect of Software testing. Without proper test management techniques, software testing process will fail. Test management is nothing but managing your testing related artifacts. Test Management tool concerns with the management of testing artifacts such as Test Matrix planning, bug Tracking, Requirement Coverage, Test Resources, Schedules and Test versions etc. such as Testlink, TestRail, QC, Jira and various others.

Knowledge and hands-on experience of any Defect Tracking tool

Defect Tracking and Defect life cycle are key aspects of software testing. It is extremely critical to managing defects properly and track them in a systematic manner. Defect tracking becomes necessary because the entire team should know about the defect including managers, developers, and testers. Several tools, including QC, Bugzilla, Jira etc. helps to track and manage the defects in the project systematically.

Knowledge and hands-on experience of Automation tool

If you see yourself as an "Automation tester" after a couple of years working on manual testing, then you must master a tool and get in-depth, hands-on knowledge of automation tools. Automation Tools like QTP, Selenium, Appium, JMeter etc. will help you switch over Automation Testing from Manual Testing. Indeed, hands-on experience on these tools will give you an in-depth knowledge of the Software Testing process in an efficient way. Knowledge of any scripting language like VBScript, JavaScript, Python, C# is always helpful as a tester if you are looking for a job into automation. Few companies also use Shell/Perl scripting, and there is a lot of demand for testers having knowledge of the same.

Certifications in Software Testing

Certifications not only validates your knowledge & skills but also helps you to get the attention of hiring professionals. There are various Software Testing certifications that you can consider as per your requirements such as Certified Software Tester (CSTE) and various ISTQB Certification's.

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Practical Reasons Why Software Testing / QA is a Good Career Option

Relatively easy to enter into IT through S/W Testing

Most of the MNC's criteria for S/W Tester / QA are Academic Qualification should be: Any Science graduate BSc, MSc, BCA, MCA, or any stream of the engineering.
If you are from a non-science background, I still hope for you. some companies allow non-science graduates like CA, Doctors for specific domains like Banking, Healthcare. Then need someone specialized to verify the client requirements and application based on their knowledge.

Switch from Development to Testing is Easy

If you are done enough with development Or feel coding is not exciting or not for you and want to switch to something different within IT, Testing is a good option to consider.
As you are into S/W development means you have knowledge of the S/W development life cycle. You know how to develop an Application means implicitly you also know how to verify it for its correctness. Your coding skill is an added advantage or you can go for Whitebox Testing or you are Java Developer, learning Selenium and switch to Automation is much easier

Career Shift from Testing to BA is easy

If you have handsome experience in Testing / QA and feels need to upgrade your skills and profile. Or you are bored with the same job, Business Analyst can also be a very good choice for QAs to shift their career. BA is certainly a high paying job than Manual Tester.
If you are willing to change your path and have skills in:
- Excellent Domain knowledge.
- Good Communication Skills.
- Expertise in MS Word and Excel
Business Analyst is indeed a good option.

Moving higher up in the career path

You can switch to other domains as well such as Automation Testing, Performance Testing, and even in the Development Field or upgrade yourself to be Test Manager. Also, there is a great scope in the Software Testing domain and you can make a career in the particular field by following the above-mentioned roadmap and attaining the required skills.

Salaries are Good for the right competency

Start salary for a Software Test Engg in US can be around 60K. The average is 80K. One can earn more as a freelancer as one acquires more niche test skills in Automation and Performance testing.

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How To Start A Career In Software Testing - A Complete Guide

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