Career options for Software Test Professionals

This is a guest post from author Gunasekaran Veerapillai, Bangalore

Over the last one decade the profile of software tester has undergone tremendous changes. Testing has become show-stopper for several application/product implementations and business has realized the importance of structured testing of applications before release.

Testing has created several levels and types and specialization in these various types of testing has increased the intrinsic value of a software tester. From being a

monotonous test case executor, several career options have evolved in front of the testing community. The following diagram depicts the various options available to a software tester.

Career options for software test professionals:

Of late, testing is looked after as a good professional career for many of the aspiring youths. As mentioned above, from being test engineer one can move to senior test engineer, test lead to test manager; else can become QA lead, QA Manager. The options available in the testing tools side are enormous. There are numbers of functional, performance, security testing tools besides test management tools like Quality Center from HP, CQTM from IBM etc.,

The demand for niche skills like SOA testers, Security testers are on the increase. There is a dearth of skills in test automation areas – scripting skills in the tools languages like VB, Java and other scripting languages like Perl, Shell, Python etc., Technical resources with capabilities to evaluate automation tools, create automation framework and reusable components are on demand. Always there is demand for good performance testers who can analyze the performance test results, identify the bottlenecks and suggest tuning techniques.

Specialization has come to stay in the testing career – following are some of the key areas where one need to specialize to move ahead in a career path in testing apart from good knowledge in the software lifecycle testing process.

1) Domain Knowledge

– Good knowledge in domain area of the application adds value to the testing professionals. There are ever living domains like BFSI, Telecom, Healthcare, manufacturing, embedded etc. Numbers of certifications are available for each of these areas where the tester can get them certified.



2) Automation Testing Tools Knowledge – There is great demand for automation and performance testers. A good skill on scripting languages of these tools is the basic necessity for succeeding in test automation. Knowledge on creation, validation, and enhancement of test automation framework is very much required.

3) Certifications – QAI, ASQ, ISTQB and several other institutes are offering testing specific certifications. These certifications improve the confidence of the clients on the testing professionals. CQTM, PMP are some managerial certifications, which help the testers to scale up in the professional ladder. Certifications on the testing tools offered by vendors like HP increases the technical competency of the individual.

4) Niche areas in Testing – Experts predict that the niche areas like SOA testing, Security testing are gaining momentum in the testing space. Many tools are emerging in these areas. As testing professionals, we should be aware of where the industry is heading and update our knowledge in those areas.

Knowledge updating is a continuous process. Several websites like stickyminds, QAForums offer excellent insight into various facets of the testing arena. I always request my team members to spend at least two hours in a week in these selected websites to update themselves to the current happenings and events.

As the saying goes “you need to run continuously to keep yourself in the same place”, as testing professionals we should always work towards sharpening our testing skills to succeed in this competitive environment.

What is your career goal?

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