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The key function of a Tester is to conduct both manual and automated tests of software products. No matter what company they work for, their ongoing goal is to reduce the number of bugs in software and identify as many mistakes as possible.

Testers work in the tech industry, although the type of software they test can vary from organization to organization. For example, a Tester at one company might test mobile apps, while another might test the user interface of a website, while still another might test a streaming service.

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Tester Duties and Responsibilities

To ensure that their company’s software products are as effective and glitch-free as possible, Testers perform a variety of tasks. We analyzed several online job listings to identify these key duties and responsibilities.

Analyze Specifications

Before they begin performing any tests, Testers will need to review and analyze the specifications of their company's software. This involves going over code, familiarizing oneself with the software''s objectives and evaluating the system requirements.

Develop Tests

After they've analyzed the software's specifications, Testers must collaborate with Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers to develop comprehensive test plans. Those plans will be used as the blueprint for the testing process.

Execute Tests

Once they've developed an effective testing plan, Testers will execute the tests. These tests can be either automated or manual, and they can test the software as a whole or just part of it.

Document Bugs

As each test is executed, Testers will be required to record bugs, glitches and other flaws in great detail. This documentation will later be used by developers to fine-tune the software product.

Troubleshoot Issues

Often, Testers will need to do more than just identify bugs; they'll also need to help developers think of ways to fix those bugs.

Re-Test Software

Even after a software product has been released to the public or implemented in an organization, Testers must continue to test the software on an ongoing basis. This ensures that software will only improve as time goes on.

Tester Skills

Successful Testers are meticulously detailed individuals with a high degree of focus. They are excellent problem-solvers and observationalists, and they are capable of communicating with a wide range of people. In addition to these general attributes and personality traits, employers are seeking Testers with the following skills.
  • Software knowledge - First and foremost, Testers must be intimately familiar with the type of software they're going to be testing.
  • Communication skills - Although working in the tech industry is often viewed as a career path which requires less communication skills than other fields, it's necessary that Testers have excellent verbal and written communication skills to effectively work with cross-functional teams.
  • Attention to detail - Since glitches in a program might not make themselves entirely apparent, it's important that Testers have excellent attention to detail to identify even the most well-hidden bugs.
  • Documentation skills - Because such a large portion of their job relies on recording and reporting the problems they find, Testers must have advanced documentation skills.
  • Problem-solving skills - Testers will need to work with developers and other colleagues to find solutions to the glitches they find. Because of this, it's important that Testers have strong problem-solving skills.

Tester Tools of the Trade

To accomplish their daily goals, Testers use a wide variety of tools. If you plan on becoming a Tester, you should be familiar with the following.

Programming languages – From C++ to Java to PHP, Testers use their knowledge of programming languages to analyze and test software.

Testing software – Testers will commonly use testing tools to ensure that the software under their care is as thoroughly tested as possible.

Standard office equipment – Given that they work exclusively in an office environment, Testers need to be able to operate equipment such as printers and copiers. 

Tester Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Systems Analysts, which includes Testers, make a median annual salary of $87,220 per year. The lowest paid earn $53,110 or less per year, while the highest paid earn $137,690 or more per year. Testers in the District of Columbia, New Jersey and California enjoy the highest median annual salary in the United States, earning $99,030, $97,430 and $96,540 per year, respectively.
National Median Salary


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Additional Tester Resources

We put together this list of resources to help you continue exploring your career as a Tester.

Technology Jobs Network

With over 100,000 members, this LinkedIn group is a great place for Testers to learn about and find job opportunities.

Software Quality Assurance

This LinkedIn group of approximately 20,000 members allows Testers to discuss ideas, tips and techniques with other tech professionals.

Software Testing Help

This active blog contains a wealth of information on nearly every aspect of software testing.

A Friendly Introduction to Software Testing

This book can serve as an introductory text for new Testers, or as a reference guide for veteran Testers.

Tester Resume Help

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