Software testing is done to make sure that the software works. Beyond this obvious reason are many other responses too. End-user satisfaction is at the top of the list of reasons for software testing. Other responses include testing the algorithms turn the way they are developed, the security of the system or proper compilation with certain policies.
Open-source tools will be used by organizations for the implementation of Agile, Devops, and Test Automation by the next decade. Assuring top quality with high speed is another emerging trend in software testing because people want the service in the fastest possible time. Moreover, the need for digital transformation will make digital testing inevitable.
There is a huge increase in the number of customers relying on IoT(Internet of Things), so if the products are not tested for its effectiveness, functionality, and security it will be a great loss. According to an HP study, 70% of things on IoT are vulnerable to security issues. Testing plays a crucial role as developers are not just involved in the correctness of the code, but also in testing and overall Quality engineering aspects.
Let us explore what software testing actually is, types of software testing, and how is software testing as a career.
What is Software Testing?
Software testing is defined as the steps taken to ensure that software actually works as it was developed to do so. It is done to check whether the actual results match the expected results and also to ensure that the software created is free of defects. Software execution is done to evaluate different properties of interest. Software is tested to identify errors, gaps and security issues regarding expected software.
Software testing determines the following a set of properties of software:
Software testing results in cost-effective development. Though software testing consumes time, it results in high productivity and improvement of software development. Software testing can be done manually or by using automated tools.
Types of Software Testing
As the software development life cycle (SDLC) included various steps, testing also has various types. Testing is done at different phases of software development and through different perspectives. There are functional and non-functional testing.
Some common types of testing include:
- Unit testing
- Integration testing
- Sanity testing
- System testing
- Smoke testing
- Interface testing
- Regression testing
- Beta/acceptance testing
Non-functional testing includes:
- Performance testing
- Load testing
- Stress testing
- Volume testing
- Security testing
- Compatibility testing
- Install testing
- Recovery testing
- Reliability testing
- Usability testing
- Compliance testing
- Localization testing
Software Testing as a Career
For a career in software testing, you should know about the skills required, educational background, job roles, the demand for software testers and salaries they can earn. They are discussed below.
To become an expert software tester one must have both technical and non-technical skills. Non-technical skills include analytical skills, communication skills, time management and organization skills, passion to work and a great attitude.
The technical skills include:
- Knowledge of test management tools: Test management is an important aspect of testing and therefore it needs to be executed properly to successfully test the software.
- Basic knowledge of Linux Commands: Software applications like Databases, Web Services, Application Servers are deployed on Linux machines. So the testers are required to have a thorough knowledge of Linux.
- Basic knowledge of database/SQL: A huge amount of data is stored in databases like MySQL, Oracle, etc. Sometimes it is required to keep a check on the backend too. Basic knowledge of SQL comes in action at these times.
- Knowledge of Defect Tracking tools: Defect tracking obviously plays an important role during testing of any software. The entire team needs to know about the defect including developers, managers, and testers. QC, Bugzilla are some of the tools used to lock the defects.
A degree in computer science is required to become a software tester. A B.Tech/B.E., B.Sc in computers, BCA, MCA are some of the qualifications that can land you into a testing job easily.
As a software tester, the career progresses like :
- QA Analyst(Fresher)
- Senior QA Analyst(after gaining 2-3 years of experience)
- QA team Coordinator(after 5-6 years of experience)
- Test Manager(8-11 years of experience)
- Senior test manager(after 14 years of experience)
Generally, the career of a tester progresses as listed above though it may vary from company to company and your work performance.
After achieving expertise is testing the software manually, you can go for alternate career tracks regarding testing. Those may be Automation testing, Business Analyst, and Performance Testing.
The demand for software tester
Software failures have wreaked havoc at banks, airlines and the NHS, doing billions of pounds of damage and devastating disruption. British Airways was struck by an IT glitch in August 2019 which resulted in the cancellation of around 100 flights and delaying 200 other flights. This information is enough to show how crucial it has become to employ a team of software testing experts to deliver quick and top-quality software that are completely defect-free.
Though the cost to company differs from company to company, the average salary of a software tester ranges in the US is $45,993 to $74,935. Average salary range of a software tester in India is Rs. 247,315 to Rs. 449,111. Apart from the salary, a software tester is given health insurance, bonuses, gratuity, and other perks.
Seeing the highly increasing demand for a software tester, you would always wish to have a career in software testing. There are a lot of certification courses that help you get the job of your choice. ISTQB Foundation Level is the basic certification in the testing field.
After learning the basic principles of software testing, you may apply for freelancing jobs. This will impart practical knowledge of testing and strengthen your concepts. Then comes Selenium- Automation tools and then JMeter- performance testing tool, and finally TestLink- Test Management Tool. Taking certification courses can prove to be a boon to achieve a permanent software testing job.