The past two decades have shifted the way of daily life around the globe in every industry. The evolution of technology means we had to adapt, but that adaptation resulted in the ease of life as we know it.
Billions of people depend on technology from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep. Software products have to be dependable, and someone has to make sure that happens. That’s where software testers come in.
From apps to products to programs, people rely on software. When it breaks down, it can be anything from a minor inconvenience to a fatal error.
Only after undergoing rigorous testing are software applications released to the general public. And software testers are the people who do this. You don’t need a fancy education to become one, but you should hold a certification.
Having a software testing certification helps you get your foot in the door to this competitive and essential career. When you opt for online courses to get your certificate, many benefits come with it.
1. What’s a Software Tester?
When you look at the basics of a software testing job, it sounds pretty cushy. You get to sit around and play with apps all day and make money for doing it.
In reality, though, the role of a software tester can be intense. The people who do this are always on alert for software bugs.
If you decide to go into software testing, it’s your responsibility to verify the computer program or system and make sure it’s ready for release. You’ll have a list of requirements and an outcome to look for. You’ll thoroughly work on every aspect of the program and point out any possible problems.
As a software tester, you can make an average of $68,359 per year. Not too shabby, especially since many of these positions let you work from home.
And, since the world is going digital quickly, there are tons of job opportunities. The demand for software testers will increase steadily as more companies get on board the app train.
2. The Requirements to Become a Tester
Essential education requirements vary depending on where you want to work. Some companies require certified professional testers, and others prefer those with a degree.
No matter where you work, you’re going to get training. No professional company wants to take the chance that you just “know what you’re doing.” But to get hired, you’ll need to prove you have some basic requirements.
Not all these skills will come from the education you get. Some are “soft” skills, like:
- Communication skills: To explain the bugs you find, you must communicate them verbally and in written form. You also have to read and understand what the software designer is trying to create in their program.
- Analytical skills: You’re going to have to look at the big picture and break it into smaller components. Analytical skills are necessary to do this. If you find a bug, these skills will be what you need to hypothesize and test the reason for that issue.
- Organizational skills: Testing can be pretty demanding, with lots of little nuances from coding to paperwork. If you’re unorganized, you’re going to make small mistakes that can turn into massive headaches. You’ll also miss a lot of deadlines.
The Hard Skills
In addition to those soft skills, a lot of basic software knowledge is necessary. You won’t know everything going in, and that’s fine.
Have a working understanding of these skills by the time you get your certification:
- Database/SQL: You must validate data running in the background, so you’ll need to know how to perform queries.
- Linux commands: Universal commands used by the major software applications. They’re shortcuts that will save you time and make you more effective.
- Test Management/Automation/Defect Tracking tools: Get trained in the right test management techniques to track and record defects. Your company will give you the tools to do this, but it will be up to you to know how to use them.
Automation tools will only come with a lot of hands-on experience. To be an automation tester, you have to prove mastery of these tools.
When you have the requirements and knowledge to program on a deep level, you can provide more accurate help. The better the testing, the more likely it is to create software that meets the stakeholder’s needs.
3. Benefits to Online Testing Certifications
When a tester reports bugs to the developers, they must share lots of information. Collaboration between developers and testers is a crucial part of the job.
Testers learn how to communicate and identify minute details that developers need. They must also handle the psychological component of their work through certifications.
Another benefit to getting certified is that you’ll have more access to higher-paying jobs. Students gain practical skills and have the hands-on experience they take into the work arena, so even top multinational corporations recognize people with specific certifications as advantageous.
4. Types of Certifications
The two top certifications are the ISTQB Certified Tester and the Certified Software Tester (CSTE). Each of these has prerequisites to help you decide which one is right for you.
ISTQB is short for International Software Testing Qualifications Board. This is a certification that deems you as an ISTQB Certified Tester able to work anywhere in the world.
This certification is popular because you don’t need educational prerequisites. People who are just starting in the tech world use the ISTQB certification to get more job opportunities.
Those who have experience but are looking to switch career fields often find it advantageous to have this certification, too.
ISTQB offers a Foundation CTFL that you can get without any experience. But, they prefer six months of professional testing. To get the Advanced CTAL, or the next level certificate, you need to have the Foundation CTFL first.
After taking the 60-minute, 40 question exam and passing with a mastery of at least 65%, you can earn the CTFL. That said, it’s not a difficult certification to obtain if you know what you’re doing. But it’s also not going to be too impressive on your resume.
The Advanced CTAL requires the CTFL, plus mastery of three sub-exams. Passing is still 65%, but with four levels to get through to get the CTAL, it will open more doors for you.
The CSTE, or Certified Software Tester Exam, is entirely different. You do have to have the education to take this test and get the certification.
The requirements for a CSTE include at least one of the following:
- A four-year degree obtained at an accredited learning institution plus two years of experience in the information services field
- A three-year degree from an accredited institution plus three years of experience in the information services field
- A two-year degree from an accredited institution plus four years of experience in the information services field
- A verifiable time of six years of experience working in the information services field
Certification candidates must also work, or have worked within the last 18 months, in their chosen field.
This is a much stricter certification, and all applicants have to agree to follow the ISCB outlined Code of Ethics.
5. Step-by-Step Certifications
So how do you get from wherever you are to mastering a certification if you don’t have experience?
That’s where online software testing programs help. The right program helps you with efficient test planning. You learn how to test, monitor and control, design, implement, and execute your software.
There are three levels of programs: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Knowing which level you are at will help you choose the right online software training course.
Beginner programs are for anyone who has no experience up to five years’. This is considered “level one.”
It’s hard for a lot of people in this field to accept that even after five years of experience, they’re still beginners. But that shows you how quickly things change in technology and how much there is to learn!
Once you have five to eight years of experience, you can move into the Intermediate category. Advanced programs are for anyone with at least eight years of experience looking to become a Test Manager.
Now that you know where you need to get to, the next step is finding the program that will teach you the skills. Two of the most highly recommended software training course companies are Udacity and Guru99.
There are many others, too. Look for the one that appeals to your learning style and works with your budget and schedule.
The job of a software tester is essential in today’s mostly digital world. Without you, the public can’t access any apps or programs to help them or make their day smoother.
The path to this job can be as easy as taking a few online courses, passing a test, or getting a college degree. Whichever target you’re aiming for, it’s a worthy one!
Online testing certification courses will offer guaranteed returns on your time and money. They’ll assuredly open you up to more job opportunities and a higher salary.
The benefits of getting a software testing certification will follow you for the rest of your career!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Broadstone 25 One 20 with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making Broadstone 25 One 20 the place to call home