How to Get a Software Testing Job as a Fresher? (Guide)

Most freshers who want to build a career in IT opt for software testing as a stepping stone.

Even if you plan to switch to Software Development in the later stage of your career, it is always a good idea to start as a Software Tester.

This post will cover what you should and should not do to get your first job as a testing professional.

How to Get a Software Testing Job as a Fresher_

How to Get a Software Testing Job When You Have No Experience?

#1) Be Passionate About Testing

Why do you want to do a testing job? This is probably the most commonly asked question across all testing interviews.

You should have a clear answer to the questions below:

  • Why do you want to become a Software Tester?
  • If you are a computer science engineer, why did you not choose Software Development?
  • If you are from some other stream, why don’t you look for a job in your field of specialization?

Only those candidates who are passionate about this field and want to grow as a Quality Tester end up getting the best jobs available in the market. Anyone can be trained but only the people with real interest in this field can make a name for themselves.

So, get to know the basic idea of Software Testing & Quality Assurance and develop an interest in it. You will be able to survive in your Software Testing job only when you have real interest and passion about it. Else, you will start finding testing as a burden and finally end up losing your performance and efficiency.

So, apply for a Software Testing job only when you actually want to do it.

#2) Have The Right Skill Set Required For The Job

As a Software Tester, you’d be spending most of the time trying to “break” the software. You should have excellent aptitude & analytical skills coupled with knowledge of testing methodologies and tools.

The interviewer will definitely ensure that you have all the basic required knowledge of Software Testing and have the necessary skills to do the job.

Use the following resources to develop Software Testing skills:

Training Institutes

As a fresh graduate, you will not be having any significant exposure to Test scenarios & Test cases. In such a situation, you can join any leading institute that offers training in software testing.

By doing so, you will gain a good knowledge of Software Testing as well as some hands-on experience that will prove to be very useful in grabbing a software testing job.

The link below will take you to some of the best Software Testing training institutes in India: Software Testing Course: Which Software Testing Institute Should I join?

Freelancing & Crowdsourced Testing

You can also take up some freelance work which will be an added benefit to your experience. You can also do Crowdsourced Testing for a few months before applying for a Software Testing job. Showing this experience in your CV will add weight to your candidature for the job.

You can also take up software testing projects through communities like uTest.

Certifications

Nowadays most of the job openings require you to have some certifications in testing. This has been made mandatory by most of the companies so that the candidate can be productive from day 1 of his joining and no amount of time or money needs to be spent on training the candidate over the basic software testing concepts.

So, it’s a feather in the cap if you hold certain certifications before applying for a Software Testing job.

Suggested Read =>> How and where to list certifications on resume

If you are serious about a testing career, you can go for certifications like ISTQB which will enhance your value in the job market.

Tutorials

You can also attend online software testing courses or read the software testing tutorials available online. There are a lot of tutorials available online for learning software testing and preparing for job interviews. Please refer to the list of tutorials available on STH: Software Testing Tutorials

Books

Another good option to build your software testing skills is reading books on testing.

Given below are some excellent eBooks available on Software Testing for beginners:

Agile methodology in software projects is very popular these days and there is a high chance that you might have to work with an Agile team in your first job.

You can learn more about Agile testing in the following book:
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

Tools

There are many popular software testing tools that offer free trial versions. I would suggest you to start exploring Selenium first. It is the most popular open-source and one of the best automation testing tools available in the market. Here is the website link for Selenium: What is Selenium?

Other tools that you can explore are QTP, RFT, Bugzilla, LoadRunner, etc. Knowledge of at least one popular software testing tool can prove to be very helpful in getting you a software testing job as a fresher.

#3) Choose Your Niche

Have you heard the saying “Jack of all trades but master of none”? Well, these days, especially in the IT field, you need to specialize and not generalize.

A specialist is always preferred over a generalist by most companies (Although it’s not a good idea to choose specialists as they have limited scope, most HR’s find the easy way out to fill up the position fast).

Some of the most popular testing niches you can choose from are:

  • Manual Testing: In this method, a tester has to mimic the role of an end-user. The end-user is the one who will be actually using the software product. In this process, the tester has to use all of the software features manually to find the bugs.
  • Automation Testing: In automation testing, a tester has to validate the features of the software by writing scripts that automate the test activities. It saves a lot of time because it does not require manual efforts. This is often the most cost-effective way of testing software over the long term.
  • Performance Testing: In this method of testing, the software is tested against a specific workload. Some of the metrics that will be evaluated are responsiveness, maximum load capacity, etc.

Similar to Software Development, Software Testing is also a vast field. So you should focus on one area of testing. This will increase your worth in the job market. Along with specialization in one area, it is always advisable to be familiar with other areas of testing as well. You must also be flexible enough to shift to another domain if required.

Being a fresher, a combination of Java, Selenium, Manual Testing and SOA knowledge will give you an edge over the other fresher applicants. Recruiters will definitely approach you first if you have this skill set.

Also, one of the most trending roles seen in Software Testing these days is SDET (Software Developer in Test). An SDET is a developer as well as a tester. So, if you have a blend of good programming and testing skills, then you can hunt for an SDET job role. The average salary of an SDET in India is Rs. 768,557 per year.

In the year 2017, the most demanding skills for software testing are anticipated to be Big Data Testing, SDET, DevOps, TDD & BDD, Docker Container, IoT Testing, Lifecycle Testing, and Mobile Testing.

#4) Bust All Myths

Sadly, the industry and students have a lot of misconceptions about software testing jobs.

Some of the myths that are still prevailing are:

Software Testing is a simple job. So anyone can do it:

Although it’s not a rocket science, still testing requires a lot of work and intellect from the part of the tester.

So, don’t assume it to be a child’s play as testing will require one’s technical skills to be on point so that the tester is able to understand the technical complexities of a system under test as well as he is able to develop/execute test scripts in an efficient manner.

Testing is a second-tier job when compared to development:

Testing and Software Development are two different processes. Any type of comparison about the difficulty level of both does not make much sense.

In one of the job interviews that happened for the role of a software tester, we came across a candidate with previous experience in software development only and no testing experience. The candidate was overconfident about cracking the interview because of the perception that testing is a second-tier job compared to development.

The candidate argued that testing is inferior to development and since she has already worked on development projects, thus no testing experience is required for her to get the job. Sadly, she was rejected because of no knowledge of testing concepts!

Software Testing is just as important and valued as software development. So experience in one domain doesn’t necessarily entitle you to a free pass to another.

Testers get paid less as compared to developers:

It is a misconception that testers have a low pay scale compared to developers. The salary of a tester purely depends upon factors like job role & responsibilities, skills, company standards, nature of employment, the kind of testing you are involved in, etc. Comparing salary between a tester and a developer is not a good idea!

Automation testing means clicking a few buttons and the software will do it for you:

While this can be true for some existing test cases, most of the time you’d have to create a script for automation testing. So don’t think that it will be easy and since you don’t know/hate programming, it’s the perfect opportunity for you.

Testing is boring:

If you find testing boring, then it means that you are not doing it in the right way. Testing is fun! Testing gives you the perfect chance to explore the product, think out of the box and learn new things each day.

#5) Write A Perfect Cover Letter And Resume

How many times have you applied to a set of jobs at a stretch using the same resume and not even thinking about including a cover letter?

If you are like most people applying for a job, your reply here would be “most of the time” or “always”.

We receive several resumes each day from candidates who simply attach their raw fresher level resume and blindly apply to the job without even reading the job titles and requirements. Do you really think a recruiter will take the pain to evaluate you after such an attempt?

Always customize your resume and make sure that you include a custom cover letter with each application. Instead of trying to apply to 50 different employers at a stretch, apply to just a few relevant ones.

This will drastically improve your chances of hearing back from your employer.

Make sure that whatever you have written in your resume reflects your personality and skills. Do not include fake experiences and skills in the resume because when the interviewer will ask questions about it, you will just get blank at that moment and this will throw a negative impact on the interview panel.

Read your resume twice or thrice thoroughly before attempting the interview. Most of the questions come from the resume itself because your resume is the only bridge that makes a connection between you and the interview panel.

Recommended reading =>> How to email a recruiter

I have embedded a sample cover letter here which you can use as a template to apply for the Software Testing jobs. I prepared and used such a cover letter when I applied for my first testing job and grabbed it successfully :)

Download Sample Cover Letter

#6) Get Recommended

The fastest and easiest way to land a job is by entering through friends’, family or relatives’ recommendations. Many of the vacancies get filled by asking current employees to recommend to their known people having the matching skill set as required by the company.

It’s a two-way benefit as the employer easily gets a candidate and the employee gets a referral bonus. So, reach out to your contacts who are working in the field of software testing or in a company that has Software Testing opportunities and request them to refer your candidature for the job openings in Software Testing in their organization.

#7) Try Applying In Startup & Small Company First

It’s easier to make entry into startups or small companies than an IT MNC. Small companies are more flexible in evaluating candidature. Also, as they are into the initial or growing phase, they need more testers to test their products. They tend to take a risk of hiring a fresher more often when compared to big companies.

Also check – Possible reasons why you are not getting hired

#8) Cherry on the Cake: Proficiency in Communication

It is very important for a software tester to have good oral and written communication skills as you need to document the test related data properly and explain the bugs/issues to the stakeholders in a way that there is no gap in understanding.

So, brush up on your communication skills before you apply for a Software Testing job.

#9) Float Your Resume

Join software testing forums, job portals and social networking sites like LinkedIn and upload your CV everywhere.

You can join forums like STS where a lot of Software Testing jobs get posted.

Upload your resume to job portals like Naukri, Indeed, Monster, etc.

#10) Few Other Tips

Since you are a fresher, there won’t be many expectations from you. Just be confident, revise the basic testing concepts and speak without any hesitation in the interview.

Be true to yourself!

Don’t add fake things to the CV. You should be able to speak about the things that you have written in your CV.

Read on the web about the interview experiences of software testers who have joined companies as a fresher. This will help you visualize how your interview is going to be.

#1: Be Passionate About Testing: Remove all other tracks/paths that you’re working on. e.g. one fresher may be searching for a job on Oracle, c, c++, java, testing, blah, blah, blah. If you want to get into testing, just keep on the testing path – NOTHING ELSE. If not today, tomorrow you get the job. But until that time keep mastering your testing skills!!!

#2: Have the Right Skills Required For The Job: This is achievable just through friends/relatives who are already working or from good institutes. Don’t draw any pictures/conclusions blindly (just my assumptions). This definitely kills your interviews!!! Learn, Learn, Learn. Google online, Practice Practice Practice.

#4: Bust All Myths: Well said. No primary. No secondary.
All are of equal priority. How much a dev engineer draws his/her salary, same or more the test engineer draws every month. Just keep in mind that you need to beat the competition. Nothing else matters @ interviews.

#3: Choose Your Niche: Don’t enter into automation/performance testing without knowing the manual testing. What’s wrong if you go step by step? It’s always good to know the ins and outs of manual testing before stepping into automation or performance. Slow & Steady wins the race.

What do you answer for “why you chose for Testing?”.
Ans: Just say that you have a passion for testing and are not interested in programming (or you can always tell that you’re poor at programming). It’s not a crime!!! Just add a tag that “you can’t make better software but you can make software better” :-)

Remember that all questions have answers one way or the other. But don’t act very smart!!! No vendor prepares a lock without a key. Respond wisely.

You can see my other comments on this website but on different articles.
Just use Google for software testing interview questions by Govardhan Reddy M’ and you will end up digging for more information.

Software Testing Advice for Novice Testers

Novice Testers have many questions about Software Testing and the actual work that they are going to perform.

As Novice Testers, you should be aware of certain facts in the Software Testing profession. The tips included here in this tutorial will certainly help you to advance your Software-Testing career.

These ‘testing truths’ are applicable and helpful for experienced testing professionals as well.

Apply each and every testing truth mentioned below in your career and you will never regret what you do.

Software Testing Advice for Novice Testers

#1) Know Your Application

Don’t start testing without understanding the requirements.

If you test without any knowledge of the requirements, then you will not be able to determine if the program is functioning as designed and you will not be able to tell if the required functionality is missing. Clear knowledge of requirements before starting testing is a must for any tester.

#2) Know Your Domain

You should acquire a thorough knowledge of the domain on which you are working.  Knowing the domain will help you to suggest good bug solutions. Your test manager will appreciate your suggestions if you have valid points to make.

Don’t stop by just logging the bug. Provide solutions as well. Good domain knowledge will also help you to design better test cases with maximum test coverage.  For more guidance on acquiring domain knowledge, read this post.

#3) No Assumptions in Testing

Don’t start testing with the assumption that there will be no errors. As a tester, you should always be looking for errors.

#4) Learn New Technologies

Without a doubt, old testing techniques still play a vital role in day-to-day testing, but try to introduce new testing procedures that work for you. Don’t rely on book knowledge. Be practical. Your new testing ideas may work amazingly for you.

#5) You Can’t Guarantee a Bug-Free Application

No matter how much testing you perform, you can’t guarantee a 100% bug-free application. There are some constraints that may force your team to advance a product to the next level, knowing that there are some common or low priority issues that remain.

Try to explore as many bugs as you can, but prioritize your efforts on basic and crucial functions. Put your best efforts into doing good work.

#6) Think Like an End-User

This is my top piece of advice. Don’t think only from the aspect of a technical guy. Think like customers or end-users. Also, always think beyond your end-users. Test your application as an end-user. Imagine how an end-user will be using your application.

Technical plus end-user thinking will ensure that your application is user-friendly and will pass acceptance tests easily. This was the first advice to me from my test manager when I was a Novice Tester.

#7) 100% Test Coverage is not Possible

Don’t obsess about 100% test coverage.  There are millions of inputs and test combinations that are simply impossible to cover.  Use techniques like boundary value analysis and equivalence partitioning testing to limit your test cases to manageable sizes.

#8) Build Good Relations with Developers

As a tester, you need to communicate with the other team members, especially developers. There are several situations where a tester and developer may not agree on certain points. It will take your skill to handle such situations without harming a good relationship with the developer.

If you are wrong, admit it. If you are right, be diplomatic. Don’t take it personally. After all, it is a profession, and you both want a good product.

#9) Learn From Mistakes

As a novice, you will make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you are not testing hard enough! You will learn things as you get experience. Use these mistakes as your learning experience. Try not to repeat the same mistakes. It hurts when the client files any bug in an application tested by you.

It is definitely an embracing situation for you and cannot be avoided. However, don’t beat yourself up. Find the root cause of the failure. Try to find out why you didn’t notice the bug and avoid the same mistake in the future. If required, change some testing procedures that you were following.

#10) Don’t Underestimate Yourself if Some of Your Bugs are not Fixed

Some testers have assumptions that all bugs logged by them should get fixed. It is a good point to a certain level but you must be flexible according to the situation. All bugs may or may not be fixed.

Management can defer bugs to be fixed later as some bugs have low priority, low severity or no time to fix. Over time you will also learn which bugs can be deferred until the next release. Read the article on “How to get all your Bugs resolved” for extensive knowledge on resolving Bugs.


5 Things a Beginner Developer and Tester Should Know About Software Testing

My Experience:

Whole conference room went silent and after waiting for couple of minutes, I could not keep patience and had to repeat my question:

Who would like to join testing team?

We had 20 trainees on board and they were being trained on different aspects of software projects. Leads and managers from different departments like business analysis, development, testing, and sales held meetings with those trainees to provide the knowledge and to help them in understanding what and how actual software project looks like. As a test lead, I explained basic testing aspects and importance of testing life cycle to those new faces.

developer and tester

With excitement, when I dropped the question, I never thought of pin drop silence. No one was ready to join testing. I sighed sadly and picked up another track to educate this future generation of IT.

I tweaked my question to know the reasons behind declining software testing as a profession

Why don’t you want to join software testing?

Answers were interesting (and practical at some point)

  • Anyone can do testing but not development (good to know)
  • Testers are paid less (slightly true but not always)
  • It’s a thankless job (totally agree but that’s not the valid reason)
  • There is nothing to learn about it (Hooh……who said that?)
  • There is no reason to choose software testing as a career (the worst reason)

Why software testing exists?

Ok, so it was time to train those new people about why software testing exists and what should they know about it if they are going to join software development.

How I changed Their Mind?

Here I am just trying to brief out what we have discussed during that afternoon and how I was successful to change mind of at least 20 people, while clearing perception about software testing.

#1) Software testing is not waste of time

What happens when you have guest at home and you hurriedly prepare lemonade for them and serve them? When the guests leave the glasses unfinished, you feel that something must have gone wrong and when you taste the lemonade, OMG……it felt stinky. You wish you would have spent only 10 seconds more and taste the lemonade before serving.

While being in hurry to deliver the project in a timeline, companies/management/anyone gets ready to compromise on the time for testing because the perception about software testing really takes long time than required is still alive in people’s mind. But isn’t the time taken for testing is worth compared to the customer’s call at midnight to let you know that he is going to cancel the next assignment as the current assignment delivered exhibited more than 5 critical bugs within first two hours of internal usage. Bang!!

#2) Software testing is mandatory

Software testing is an unavoidable part of software development lifecycle. The way

  • Editors help in making the movie better
  • Proofreaders help in making a book better
  • Security guards help in making people’s lives peaceful and secure
  • Oil helps in running machinery faultlessly

Software testing helps software in being better. I don’t think I need to spend even single more word to explain it.

#3) Unit testing is a complete responsibility of developer

When you develop something, you need to check it before asking someone else to check it. The way

  • The chef always tastes and smells his/her recipe before serving others

The developer is completely responsible to test his/her own code before sending it to testers. Testers are there to help you in improving quality of code and ultimately the product and not to find out the silliest mistakes you did while writing the code.

In addition to that, never assume that quality is the responsibility of testers only.

In today’s agile world, developers and testers are supposed to take combined responsibility of product quality. Developers are expected to do pair testing with tester and provide insight about what and why something can go wrong and encourage tester to generate testing ideas based upon your insights.

#4) Developers and testers are equal

Any work/project is a combined effort of team and that means each and every person is equally important. If a developer thinks that he is doing best and should be given more importance because he is creating something from scratch, re-consideration of the thought is required. Yes, developer develops something from scratch but he is not able to complete the creation without help of tester.

Tester provides a user’s eye for the product. A well-trained and experienced tester can show the loopholes in the product, a developer can never think off. A tester brings in new ideas about how product should be, how it should look at particular instance, how it should work, how it can behave and how it can crash.

The way it is important to add salt to every recipe to make them eatable, testing is needed to make the product deliverable.

And therefore, developers and testers are equally important. They are the left and right hands of body called project.

#5) Tester should be involved from first day of project

As a developer, you should never make that mistake to assume that there is no need for a tester to become aware about something like requirement analysis, logic applied while writing code, change requests by client, feedbacks by client etc.

Tester is a stack holder and should be involved from kick-off the project. Initial involvement of testing team gives them confidence, constant discussions nurtures an understanding between development and testing team, kind help boosts their spirit to do something better, demands for suggestions make them feel worth.

Tester is not to test a module / product only, he is there to help in delivering best product, he is there to help by suggesting some proven ideas about users’ expectations, he is there to let you know that how frequently your beloved code gets crashed……and you, as a developer, really need it, aren’t you?

Over to you

Are you trying to get a job as a software tester and getting stuck somewhere? What are the challenges you faced? Let us know in the comments.

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