As software capabilities increase, the importance of software testers has increased. Software testing is a priority for businesses as they come up with new ways of building systems and processes. This makes it a priority to ensure flawless products.
Software testers must ensure that the program is not affected by bugs or other errors. Although this may seem like a difficult task, it is not. Software is becoming a giant thanks to technological advances.
Below is an article by Eric P. Bloom from ITworld.com. It is a response email about what Software Testers do, how they do this, and what they need to do to do their job well.
Question: I love IT and I love working with business people. However, I don’t enjoy writing large requirements documents or programming. Any suggestions?
First, thank you very much for your email. You might consider a career in software testing. Software testers are the guardians of software quality and the quiet giants of IT.
Software testing requires both knowledge and skills. Software testing requires a combination of knowledge and skill. A professional tester must also be familiar with testing-oriented best practices, bug tracking protocols, and the software development methodology (most likely Waterfall, Agile), as well as project management and other related disciplines.
Testing professionals need to have a working knowledge in automated testing tools, bug tracking, reporting software, and other related technologies.
There is a school that believes software developers should be able test the software they create. I am a software developer by trade and have always disagreed with this premise. Although developers can test their code rudimentarily, a developer’s first love is creating new software, not testing it. If testing was their first love they would be testers and not developers. I can also speak as a software tester. While programmers test software to verify that it works, professional testers test software for bugs. This simple but crucial distinction makes professional testers more likely find hidden bugs, functionality that is inconsistent or system malfunctions.
Another school of thought is that Business Analysts make great software testers. They are the ones who define the software functionality and are therefore the best people to determine if the software has the required functionality. This is true, but Business Analysts are not professionally trained testers. They lack the formalized testing skills needed to create high-quality state-of-the art test scripts and the practical skills to use automated software testing tools. Business Analysts also love to work with business users to define and build application functional requirements. Programmers love to program. Testing is, therefore, best considered a second activity if they are interested in it.
To be fair to Business Analysts, they have three additional strengths that could make them great testers. They are willing to dig into the details and have an investigative mentality that was honed through the process of defining and uncovering the required functionality.
All that being said, you should agree with my previous statements that while programmers and Business Analysts can perform testing, it is expected that the testing process won’t be as thorough, detailed, or well executed as if performed by a professional, experienced tester.
Professional testing could be a career option. You may get the technical feel you want without having to program. It allows you to stay close to the business without having to write business specifications. It’s a rewarding profession for those who love the challenge of discovery.
Eric P. Bloom wrote the above article and it originally appeared on ITworld.com.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Eric P. Bloom is a former CIO and is the president of Manager Mechanics LLC. This company specializes in information technology leadership development and is the governing body for the Information Technology Management and Leadership Professional and Information Technology Management and Leadership Executive certifications. He is also a nationally syndicated columnist, National Speakers Association Member, and author of several books.
Eric can be reached via email at [email protected] or found on Twitter at @EricPBloom. You can read his weekly blog for ITworld right here.
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