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How to become a Tester – a short guide to testing

A software tester is one of the most dynamic professions on today’s labor market. In order to become a tester you must not only have the right qualifications but also a suitable personality. You don’t become a tester by accident – it is a path which you have to follow with consequence, step by step.

Step 1. A tester – that is who? Candidate profile

A software tester is usually a person who is open, assertive, patient, conscientious, ready to face constant challenges, consequent and communicative. All these traits make up a person cut out for the job and duties of a tester whose tasks include:

  • Creating scenarios and performing tests – these are the major activities in this profession and to perform it, you need patience, precision and consequence. It is these traits that decide if a test will have to be repeated many times or if it will allow to analyze a problem thoroughly and resolve it skillfully.
  • Preparing tests documentation – precision in performing tests and scrupulous noting down of the progress, will allow to identify roadblocks fast. The documentation is also a knowledge base about the application.
  • Bug reporting – systematic and precise noting down of the course of work gives easy access to information where the bug has occurred. It optimizes operations related to the testing of an application.
  • Cooperation with software developers – both in bug reporting as well as cooperation with different persons from the IT environment, effective communication and assertiveness is required. It is important to know how to inform about a discovered defect clearly and be able to find a way of fixing it together.

Openness and readiness to take on ever new challenges sounds like a set of criteria presented in literally every job offer. Nevertheless they are very important in the work of a tester, who should be very flexible and dynamic to keep up with the pace of the testers’ labor market. The world of applications changes and develops from day to day, when being a tester you have to be aware of the need for following these changes.

Step 2. How to become a tester? A handful of advice for a good start of your career.

You don’t become a tester overnight. To a large extent success depends on the motivation and personality of the candidate. In order to prepare well for this role, its best to start with an internship or work practice. This is how many potential employees are “verified” by companies, so that they can hire the best and help develop their career.

An internship is not the only way of becoming a tester. You can take advantage of your previous work experience. If, for example, you work in finances and want to change your career path, you can look for job offers of producers of software for the financial industry. Even though you would lack knowledge about testing, you can win the favors of your potential employer by presenting more practical knowledge about the industry, seen from the perspective of the user and the day to day functionality of an application. It is also worth looking for experiences connected with the tester’s profession out of work. For instance, you can report your remarks, noticed defects, issues burdensome for the user, to the software producer.

Step 3. ISTQB certificate. What is it, how to get it and is it worth having on?

The ISTQB organization (International Software Testing Qualifications Board), offers a comprehensive set of training programs and certificates from the area of software testing – from a basic level to expert exams confirming specialist skills. The scope of every one of them is prepared by an international team of software testing and quality assurance specialists. It is also constantly updated and developed following the development of technologies and the changing requirements of the market.

What are the benefits of having ISTQB qualifications? This all depends on the skills and work experience we already have. For a person starting their professional IT and testing career, the ISTQB Foundation level will be a perfect way of getting to know the basics of testing and understanding the topic.

The knowledge allowing to pass the ISTQB exam on the basic level is the quintessence of the software testing and quality assurance art. The scope of the exam requires mastering the basic concepts, the right terminology ( indispensable in the case of carrying out international projects), the best practices – basics thanks to which a tester’s work can become even more effective. An ISTQB Foundation certificate opens new career paths to testers. This certificate can be also interesting to experienced testers – the course helps systemize knowledge and better understand the procedures used on a daily basis. The decision of a beginner tester about getting a basic level certificate  (The Certified Tester Foundation Level in Software Testing) is the first and very big step to professional testing skills.

Step 4. I have ISTQB Foundation, what next?

The subsequent levels of the ISTQB certificate bring a more technical approach and solutions adjusted to a given problem area or test area. They focus on advanced techniques and specializations. When taking the higher level ISTQB certifications the tester broadens his or her knowledge not only by new test performing techniques, but also learns how to plan and take care of the quality of the software on every step of the product’s life cycle. Choosing the best tools, performing check-ups and improving the testing process, and – the most important, tackling difficult situations in the project, are skills on which the certification program focuses the most.

In the theme of ISTQB we can distinguish two main development paths:

  1. Main – It is a path in which the main reference point is testing, backed up by knowledge about project management;
  2. AgileISTQB Agile Tester – is a path with a focus on project management and its elements based on tests.

As a leader of IT solutions in Poland, Sii pays the utmost attention to software quality assurance and testing. Employing more than 2800 engineers, including 600 testers and quality assurance specialists working in projects for clients, Sii has:

  • The Testing Services Competency Center bringing together 150 testing and test automation specialists;
  • The Training Practice which provides trainings along with certification exams, both from the main as well as the agile ISTQB path. The pass rate of ISTQB exams organized by the Training Practice is more than 90%.

The world of software and software testing is not an easy one. Yet, it is important to pursue your goal with consequence, step by step. We invite you to our Testing Services Competency Center and Training Practice. Embark on your journey with us and become a tester!!!

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