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Tester Career: What Skills to Acquire from Beginner to Senior Engineer

Are you really know a tester career? Whether you're a novice or an experienced professional, having a basic understanding of a career path outside your own expertise is often lacking.

Many people have questions about software testing: Does a software tester need to know programming? Let's have a comprehensive understanding of the skills required at different stages of a tester career.

Software testing varies based on software product requirements and industry, and exceptional testing engineers play a crucial role throughout the product testing process. A skilled testing engineer should possess:

1) extensive industry knowledge
2) excellent logical reasoning abilities
3) proficient programming skills.

 

In other words, different skills are required at different stages.

Beginner Level - Junior Testing Engineer:

When starting out in the software testing industry, there is a lot to learn in order to become a competent software testing engineer.

  1. Gain a solid foundation in software testing theory.
  2. Learn test case design, test coverage, and apply them in real-world software testing projects.
  3. Develop a precise understanding of the business domain and cultivate initial bug handling and analysis skills.
  4. Over time, develop a sharp eye for identifying bugs during testing.
  5. Improve communication and expression skills. If you can't clearly articulate a bug, it can be awkward. If you can't communicate effectively with developers, it can also be problematic.

During this stage, functional testing is the primary focus. You simulate user scenarios and manually operate the system like a user would. Programming skills are not necessary at this stage, so getting started in software testing is not difficult.

Functional Testing and Testing Tools - Junior Testing Engineer (After gaining some experience):

As you accumulate more experience in testing, you need to acquire additional skills to expand your technical capabilities.

  1. Database operations, such as MySQL or Oracle.
  2. Linux operations and environment setup.
  3. Various testing tools like Fiddler and Wireshark for network packet analysis.
  4. Understand the system architecture, HTTP communication protocols, interface testing, and tools like Postman, SoupUI and JMeter.
  5. Specialized testing for applications, compatibility testing, and usability testing.

At this stage, some individuals may become team leaders or supervisors. Their main responsibilities include assigning testing tasks, monitoring and reporting task progress, and completing testing work. There is no programming requirement at this stage either.

Automation/Performance/Security (Programming skills required) - Intermediate to Senior Testing Engineer:

At this level, possessing both testing and coding skills improves testing efficiency and software quality. Let's take automation testing as an example.

  1. Choose a programming language to learn, such as Java, Python, Ruby, etc.
  2. Understand automation testing, automation testing tools, and basics of web/app/interface/PC automation.
  3. Familiarize yourself with framework concepts, project practices, and workflows.

After working as a functional tester for a few years, you may start feeling anxious. You sense limitations in your professional growth. Besides becoming more familiar with the business, work simply becomes repetitive, lacking growth in other areas. You may desire a job change or a salary increase but feel frustrated and helpless because your value is confined to this role. You may want to self-learn and progress toward high-paying roles like automation testing, performance testing, and security testing.

Of course, automation testing tools can help with automation, but there is a distinction between good and bad tools. You can explore exceptional automation testing service providers like Wetest Automation to address the challenges you encounter, freeing up your energy and time.

Furthermore, to become an excellent security or performance testing engineer, proficiency in programming is just the beginning. A broader understanding of computer-related knowledge is also required.

Conclusion

The tester career path offers opportunities for continuous growth and specialization. To stay competitive in the industry and elevate your professional capabilities, programming is a must for intermediate and senior-level technical testers. In the field of software testing, programming skills will serve as a valuable asset throughout your career.

The pursuit of more efficient software testing is one of the driving forces behind testers continuously improving their skills. While programming skills are important for testing engineers, they are not the sole core competency. The purpose of programming is to enable us to discover bugs more efficiently, which is ultimately the most essential skill for testers.

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