A software tester is an IT related professional whose function is to uncover bugs or unexpected flaws in completed software applications prior to public release. These individuals are valuable team members whose role is to assist the software development team in uncovering faults or undesired behaviors in programs or applications.
Testers can save the developers time and money by discovering program flaws early, thereby avoiding the necessity of having to release patches or fixes down the road. And in the worst case scenario, early detection of critical bugs will prevent the need to rebuild the software application from the flawed code on up.
Some testers are third party contractors. The reason for this is to ensure that the tester is completely objective and performs their job to the best of their ability. Software testers perform standardized tests as well as customized tests that often were never considered by the designers, but that are logical from the perspective of the end-user.
Software is constantly evolving, and as such is becoming more and more complex. The programming languages and coding schema are so intricate that software testing is becoming more critical over time. Additionally, the software testing industry is part of the general IT field, which itself is experiencing tremendous job growth. Job growth from 2008 to 2018 for software testing is predicted to grow at a much greater-than-average rate with an increase of 38%. Few fields offer as many careers with such a fantastic potential as Information Technology careers and particularly that of testers.
The IT field is relatively new and testers’ job descriptions are constantly being updated. No degree is necessary for some software testing careers but certain characteristics and skills are required. The software tester who understands at least the most basic of software languages such as C, C++ and java will have an easier time uncovering bugs and flaws. Knowledge of software programming languages helps in understanding what parts of the code may be at fault. Software testers may also have a four-year university degree in programming, software design, or computer engineering, or they may be recruited to learn on the job from suitable applicants.
The role of a tester in a company is a proactive one and requires excellent communication skills as well as a large amount of tact. Software testers must be able to communicate well both verbally and in writing, and communicate to both professionals in IT as well as those in charge of funding.
There are many career opportunities for software testers. With the correct mindset and personality, a career in software testing can be a fulfilling one. Software testing opportunities exist for both the individual with a degree and for the determined and interested individual willing to learn on the job and study to improve their marketable job skills. Most companies know that even with a Bachelor’s degree in IT, much of the software tester’s true job skills will be learned by doing.