What Are the Roles of a Software Tester?

What Are the Roles of a Software Tester?

    Becoming a software tester is a great way for anyone with a methodical mind to enter the tech world. If you like hunting down problems, taking notes, and planning exploration ventures, then you will likely enjoy the work of a software tester. Every piece of software ever released needs testing. It’s how they work the bugs out of the system. Someone had to send the first Gmail. Someone connected the first microphone to a zoom call. Every bug a software tester finds and reports is a bug that future users won’t have to deal with. Software testing is a noble career and one that anyone can start with some tech experience. If you’re considering software testing as a career move or your first step into the tech industry, you’re probably wondering just what a professional software tester is responsible for. Here are the roles of a software tester in the workplace and what you can expect from your first software testing job.

Software Testers Fully Understand What Needs Testing

  • Read all documents
  • Understand what needs testing
  • Understand the goals of each test
  • Know the system being tested
  • Understand the testing parameters and methods
Your first role as a software tester is to fully understand the task at hand. The software you are testing, the issue being tested, and the desired methods of testing are all an essential part of the task. First, you must understand the software – likely a product currently being developed by your employer or their client. Fortunately, you only have to learn this once. Next, you need to understand what is being tested. For example, you might be testing the “send” feature on a messenger app, sending a few hundred different types of message to make sure nothing throws an error. What are your testing goals? If you’re testing the ‘send’ feature, perhaps you’re trying to replicate a specific bug that was seen before, or see if you can overload the system by sending messages with increasing speed. What are your testing parameters? These are the borders of how you will test. For example, you might be testing specifically to see if sending special characters will cause an error or generate the desired emoji.

Build and Implement Plans for Testing

  • Implement an outlined testing plan
  • Build your own testing plans based on what you know
  • Handle and/or request resources needed for each testing plan
The second stage is what you might consider the core part of the software testing role. You may receive a testing plan to implement or someone may ask you to independently build a testing plan based on your research. You will then execute the testing plan based on the outlined goals and methods. Some testing plans are extremely precise, involving doing something with the software and changing exactly one variable with each test repetition. Some tests are more free-form, simulating more organic human use in order to test pathways and user experience. Lastly, if your test requires specific resources, your role includes requesting and handling these resources. For example, you may check out several tablets of different sizes and operating systems to test the performance of a mobile app.

Accurately Record the Results of Each Test

  • Take notes or record your work
  • Create a report on the results of each test
  • Be ready to report your results to a testing lead or team
A big part of testing is taking notes. After all, seeing a bug isn’t useful unless you can show the developers how the bug happened and, ideally, can replicate your results so the source can be found. This requires careful records of every test. You can use screen capture to record your work and take notes after the test is through or take notes in-process, depending on which works best for you and what is being tested. From there, your role as a software tester includes writing a detailed report from your notes, compiling your notes into a format your developers can use, and/or discussing your results with your team and lead.

Discover and Report Bugs in the System

Of course, not all testing is just routinely running through the test plan. The entire goal is to find and document bugs so your developers can remove them. This can be a great deal of fun, as bug-hunting can feel like treasure hunting. Indeed, a supportive developer team will be glad to see bugs they can investigate and solve. Every team will have their own way of reporting and handling bugs. Your role as a tester will be to master your team’s bug reporting routine and prepare each for your developers.

Collaborate to Achieve Group Testing

  • Understand your part in the test
  • Work together to test complex systems or use-cases
  • Communication to coordinate with your testing team
Finally, you may find yourself in collaborative testing. This is when two or more people on a team work together testing issues that require more than one user. You may test sending messages back and forth, coordinate simultaneous tests, or simulate the use behaviors of a team operating the software as it’s intended for final use.

Become a Software Tester With Apprentice Now

Software testing is both a great way to enter the software industry and a specialization you can develop. You can learn the skills to work through an apprenticeship, involving pre-training and opportunity placement to kickstart your career in tech. When you’re ready to begin the journey and new career, Apprentice Now is here to help connect you with an employer. With many different opportunities to match with, you can start your journey to a career in tech today! We look forward to helping you launch your tech career.  
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