Software QA Tester Job Description
Software QA testers, also known as software quality assurance testers, evaluate and review software programs and systems to check for quality and functionality. Software development companies and other businesses hire software QA testers to work full- and part-time hours, both independently and as part of a team. Some software QA testers work on a freelance basis, but most work for companies either in the office or at home.
Software QA Tester Duties and Responsibilities
Job tasks for software QA testers vary depending on the software they’re testing and the environment they work in. However, these core duties are generally the same:
Establish Quality Standards
Software QA testers establish quality standards for software programs, features, and applications.
Design Test Plans
Software QA testers design test plans and test schedules for all software.
Software QA testers test new software code, features, programs, and systems.
Software QA testers document all defects and bugs found in tested programs and apps and write bug reports that outline these problems.
Supervise Software QA Team
Software QA testers supervise and lead quality assurance and software development teams. This can include teaching staff members how to use software programs and implement test plans.
Software QA testers identify software and quality risks in tested programs.
Software QA testers write recommendation reports for fixes to bugged or otherwise defective software programs.
Software QA Tester Skills and Qualifications
Software QA testers are highly detail-oriented and analytical thinkers who can find and isolate software bugs. Employers look for these specific skills when hiring software QA testers:
- Attention to detail – because software QA testers methodically test and evaluate software, strong attention to detail is required to find bugs and other defects in programs and applications
- Communication skills – software QA testers use good verbal and written communication skills to create reports and testing plans, and to effectively train and supervise software QA teams
- Analytical thinking – software QA testers use sharp critical thinking skills to devise fixes for software problems, create testing plans, and set software quality standards
- Computer skills – because software QA testers work with programs of all types, excellent computer skills are an essential component of the job
- Personnel management – software QA testers supervise software design and quality assurance staff members, so employers prefer professionals with strong leadership and management skills
Software QA Tester Education and Training
Software QA testers are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar technical field, though some employers will consider candidates who have an associate’s degree in addition to past work experience in software testing.
Because software QA testers already have the education needed to perform their duties, little to no job training is provided. After a brief orientation period that usually lasts no more than a week, software QA testers begin performing their regular job duties.
Software QA Tester Salary and Outlook
PayScale data shows that QA testers earn a median income of $56,217 annually. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer systems analysts (who are similar to software QA testers) earn $88,270 in median annual pay. The BLS expects employment in this field will rise 9 percent through 2026, which is as fast as the national average growth rate.
Full-time software QA testers typically receive complete benefits packages that include health insurance with dental and vision coverage. Paid vacation days, retirement plans, and paid holidays are usually included in these packages. Some companies offer additional perks such as free parking, free meals, and employee excursions. Freelance software QA testers do not receive benefits, as they are responsible for finding their own jobs and managing their own healthcare and vacation needs.
Find career tips, learning resources, software testing strategies, and job information for software QA testers with these books and websites:
Association for Software Testing – watch videos, find training courses, look for upcoming conference dates, and discover educational webinars at this website geared toward all types of software testers
30 Things Every New Software Tester Should Learn – this practical guide to software testing, written for beginning software QA testers, provides hands-on tips and techniques
Software Testing Magazine– read articles about software testing, watch videos, and stay up to date on software industry news with this digital magazine
Software Testing: Essential Skills for First Time Testers – learn skills for testing computer software in real-world environments with this book, which serves as a beginner’s guide to software testing
American Software Testing Qualifications Board – find education resources, training programs, certification courses, and downloadable study materials at this software testing website
Software Testing: A Guide to Testing Mobile Apps, Websites, and Games – read about various techniques for testing websites, mobile apps, and games in this book, which include tips for manual testing, automated testing, and strategies for becoming a more effective software tester
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