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Mobile Test Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

The role of mobile test engineer varies from company to company, and the tasks an engineer is responsible for completing depend on a variety of factors. However, there are certain duties all mobile test engineers perform at some point, such as:

Test Software Mobile test engineers, as most people would assume, are responsible for conducting automated and manual testing on newly developed mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other related accessories.

Update Operating Systems Smartphones use various operating systems, primarily Android and iOS, to run programs. Over time, these systems are updated to remove bugs and fix problems. Mobile test engineers create these updates and test them for effectiveness.

Report Software Issues Mobile test engineers often work closely with research and development professionals. Since they are responsible for testing various aspects of mobile technology and devices, they may report their findings to other professionals and work with them to find practical solutions.

Test Applications There are millions of mobile applications on the market, but before they are released to the public, they must be extensively tested. Mobile test engineers often test for stability, security, and functionality when working with applications. They report any potential problems to the maker of the application.

Ensure Devices Meet Carrier Requirements Smartphones and other related devices must meet carrier requirements before they are allowed to connect to a network. Mobile test engineers use a variety of tests to ensure such devices are capable of connecting to mainstream wireless network providers.


Mobile Test Engineer Skills and Qualifications

The skills and qualifications needed to become a mobile test engineer vary from employer to employer, but in general most companies require at least a bachelor's degree and a strong understanding of wireless technology. Employers also seek mobile test engineers with the following abilities and characteristics:
  • Testing experience - most employers prefer to hire mobile test engineers with at least two to three years of direct testing experience. Potential hires should be aware of the most up-to-date testing methodologies and techniques
  • Understanding of wireless technology - mobile test engineers should have extensive knowledge of wireless networks and the technology that governs them, such as GMS, 3G, 4G, CDMA, and LTE
  • Mobile operating system knowledge - proficient mobile test engineers should understand common mobile operating systems (such as Apple iOS, Android, and Windows) and how to perform tests on them
  • Communication skills - mobile test engineers should feel comfortable working in groups and conveying their ideas to others in a professional and mature manner. They should also be capable of communicating their ideas in writing
  • Attention to detail - testing mobile devices and the software that runs on them requires a keen eye for detail. If even a single aspect of the testing process is overlooked, the outcome of the test can be greatly influenced

Mobile Test Engineer Education and Training

A bachelor's or master's degree is required to become a mobile test engineer. Students do not have to major in specific field, but degrees in computer science, engineering, mathematics, or a related science are desirable to employers. Earning a bachelor's degree usually takes three to four years, during which students take courses in computer programming, calculus, statistics, engineering, and other related disciplines. A strong love of math and science is required, and many students work as interns at technology companies to gain the experience they need to break into the field. Earning a master's degree may take an additional two to three years.

Mobile Test Engineer Salary and Outlook

According to Glassdoor, the median yearly salary for a mobile test engineer is $84,846, with more experienced individuals earning salaries in the six figures. Mobile test engineers in the top 10th percentile earn more than $104,000 annually, while those in the bottom 10th percentile earn less than $61,000. Mobile test engineers are often provided additional benefits such as health insurance, retirement options, and performance-based bonuses. The employment rate for mobile test engineers is expected to climb by approximately 4 percent over the next few years. This is slightly lower than the national average of 7 percent for all professions, but the field is projected to expand in the future due to an increased reliance on mobile devices and applications in society.

Helpful Resources

Take a look at the following resources to learn more about the field and its requirements:

Association for Software Testing - with members in nearly 50 countries, AST offers membership to anyone working or interested in the software testing field. Founded by one of the world's leading testing experts (Cem Kaner), AST strives to continuously educate the public and private organizations about current and important testing developments and research

Lessons Learned in Software Testing - mobile test engineers looking for help from three of the world's leading software testers will rejoice when they receive this book. Designed to help testers avoid some of the most common mistakes and pitfalls, this book provides readers with more than 200 lessons. There are also tips regarding test design, bug reporting, and testing strategies

App Inventor 2 Essentials - anyone with a strong interest in mobile app development should take some time to read App Invention 2. Written by two leading app developers, the book shows readers how to build, test, and troubleshoot their own apps. It features information about basic computer science principles as well as more complicated elements such as fusion lists and tables

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