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Over the years of its existence, the modern QA industry has become such a high-tech market segment that it is possible to succeed in it only with deep and versatile knowledge.

Therefore, the answer to the question posed in the article’s title can be divided into two parts.

  • Does an applicant for a well-paid job in a software testing firm need programming skills?

Yes, it is necessary, unless you aren’t planning to be limited to the role of an extra with a narrow range of routine manual operations.

  • What specific kind of programming knowledge and skills do you need to have as a person who plans to take a worthy place among experienced testers and intends to grow as a professional?

In this case, we should talk about the synthesis and mutual integration of various languages, tools, and frameworks and learn how to effectively apply these skills in practice.


In this article, we outline the range of challenges that experienced testers face in their daily work.

Programming Skills Each Software Tester Should Possess

Intellectual equipment for the universal QA engineer

Speaking about the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful software tester, we will rely on the experience of TestFort, a software testing firm that has worked many years in this IT segment. In particular, let’s consider the intellectual arsenal of the company’s experts involved in functional testing: https://testfort.com/functional-testing.

Since 78% of different development companies favor automated testing or at least combine automated and manual QA approaches, we will discuss the challenges that face a tester using process automation.

Let’s divide the typical web application testing process into QA areas:

Interface

When looking for errors in the appearance of a web application page as a whole and checking the performance of its individual elements, a tester cannot do without knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Having found a bug, an experienced tester can reproduce it in the console to understand what part of the code is causing it. In addition, if an error occurs due to some complex action, the expert conducting web app testing can place breakpoints in the code in order to understand at which stage the failure occurs.

Automated Regression

It would be a mistake to think that one successful operation means the end of the verification of one or another program element or code section. You need to be sure that the program always works flawlessly. If a failure does occur, the conditions under which it occurs must be identified and documented. Obviously, for the routine performance of repetitive operations, for example, entering data into form windows, it is necessary to write an appropriate script.

For the qualified performance of this operation by a software testing company specialist, they will need knowledge of such languages ​​and tools as Ruby, Python, Java, and WebDriver API.

Test environment and version control

Although the graphical interface at the level of ordinary users has long replaced the command line, the knowledge of this tool is vital for a tester. In addition, a tester needs to be able to double check their own code so as not to introduce their own errors into the application they are examining. In this case, they clearly cannot do without knowledge of BASH, Git, and SVN.

Programming Skills Each Software Tester Should Possess

How can I fit all of this knowledge in my head?

It goes without saying that no one requires a person who decides to build a career in the QA business to possess all the listed knowledge and skills from the start. Moreover, the testing areas discussed above are often covered by different team members.

However, the presence of skills confirmed by convincing practice, at least in their outlined areas, will allow you to immediately become a full-fledged part of the software testing agency team and reap a decent reward. In addition, the richer your arsenal is, the more complex tasks you can handle. This means that you will be able to see the whole picture, not just one of the parts.

And this ability is a direct path to the position of project manager and higher.

Summing up

Ultimately, the peak of your professional growth is limited only by your ambitions and the ability to self-educate. Whatever storms would shake the labor market, you can be sure that qualified programmers will not have to worry about salaries and comfortable working conditions for years to come.

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