Software Test Engineer Job Description

Software test engineers are quality assurance professionals who make sure software is doing what it is designed to do consistently. Many industries employ software test engineers because software is central to a variety of goods and services. A financial company, for instance, would want to be certain its new software is correctly and confidentially storing customer information before putting it into place at its member banks. A car manufacturer may be able to prevent a costly recall by figuring out before a model is released that there’s a problem with a vehicle’s tech system. From defense to healthcare, employers rely on software test engineers to catch errors now to stop bigger messes later.

While software test engineers tend to work a regular business day inside an office, they may need to perform overtime when deadlines approach. They also may be required to travel for on-site testing. Seasoned software test engineers often become leaders of testing teams.


Software Test Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

Ensuring that software performs correctly every time requires software test engineers to do a multitude of tasks. Based on recent job postings, software test engineers can be expected to do these core duties:


As the job title suggests, software test engineers test out software. After coming up with ways to evaluate the software, they run a variety of automated and manual tests. The results of these tests show whether the software is living up to its purpose and consistently producing desired results.

Delivering Findings

After running tests, software test engineers write up reports detailing what they did and the outcome. This information is crucial to decision-making on how to proceed.

Collaborating with Others

Software test engineers often are involved with developers and other colleagues from the beginning of a project to offer input on the potential pros and cons of structuring a program in a certain way. At steps along the way, they make suggestions regarding changes, improvements, and alternatives to try. As part of their job, experienced software test engineers get called upon to monitor the work of technicians and other testers.


Software Test Engineer Skills

Not only are software test engineers tech savvy, but they are great communicators. These engineers are adept in communicating with fellow computer industry professionals as well as with non-tech clients. People considering careers as software test engineers should also possess the following skills:

  • Paying attention to detail to look for patterns and spot irregularities
  • Handling stress well because finding problems with the software can cause projects to go off-track and emotions to escalate
  • Learning new skills willingly in the ever-changing world of technology
  • Understanding the lifecycle of a project from conception through final result
  • Multitasking with ease since services may be required on different projects at the same time


Software Test Engineer Tools of the Trade

As they strive to correct software flaws, software test engineers use many different items. Tools to be familiar with include:

  • Program Testing Software – HP LoadRunner, Bugzilla, and other software specifically designed for quality assurance purposes
  • Operating Systems – The software that supports basic functions, such as LINUX
  • Debugging Codes – Computer codes introduced into the program to check for errors and problems
  • Documentation – Thoroughly noting which tests were performed and what the results were to confirm the software is operating correctly or where changes may need to be made
  • Computers – Software test engineers spend most of their time in front of a computer and should be familiar with its various components


Software Test Engineer Education and Training

Software test engineers generally hold a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, or a similar field. A master’s degree can improve job prospects, especially for leadership positions.


Software Test Engineer Resources

Software test engineers provide valuable services that ensure products live up to quality standards. If this computer-related profession sounds like a good match for your skills and personality, take a look at these other resources for further information:

Are You Smart Enough to Be a Tester? (An introduction to a career as a software test engineer) by Makesh Sharma – This paperback guide dismisses the notion that software test engineers are aspiring software developers who couldn’t find jobs. As well as being a career manual, the publication offers insight into why testing is so important.

Software Testing Career Package – A Software Tester’s Journey from Getting a Job to Becoming a Test Leader! by Vijay Shinde – Both students and seasoned software testing professionals can learn from this e-book that looks at what it takes to succeed in the field. Issues covered include daily performance, career advancement, becoming a leader, and dealing with fellow team members.

The Way of the Web Tester: A Beginner’s Guide to Automating Tests by Jonathan Rasmusson – If you’d like to get a better idea of what testing procedures involve, this book provides an overview.

Software Testing: Essential Skills for First Time Testers by Umer W. Ghazali – Reviewers of this e-book speak of its benefit to students and those looking to enter the field of software testing.

QA & Testing Group – This LinkedIn group has more than 100,000 members, making it a leading spot to connect with other software test engineers throughout the world.

Association for Software Testing – This organization’s mission is to advance the understanding of the science and practice of software testing. If you have a specific question you’d like answered, it may be a great place to turn.


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