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Skills required to become a QA Tester

By Smuruthi Kesavan, Community Contributor -

QA Testers are the guardians of the company’s reputation. They are the people who ensure that consumers get the best user experience from the software product/technology and weed out errors that may crop up during the software development cycle. They ensure no faulty, erroneous, or bad software or technology is shipped to the customers. QAs find maximum bugs in software by setting up software quality goals and set up QA processes from scratch to ensure that these bugs do not reach the end user and hinder their user experience.

The job of a QA tester is to check the software by performing tests (manual and automated) that take the technology/software through every scenario to find malfunctions. If a QA tester spots a bug then they will report it to the developer and ensure that they redo the part of the software that’s malfunctioning until it works as expected, overseeing the Defect Management Process. Then they need to reiterate the testing process till no bugs are found.

QA testers are the chief who play an important role in establishing efficient software quality management process. They are pivotal in determining the right testing metrics and following them for high-quality software delivery. World-class products are shipped out by tough QA engineers who test the product threshold till it doesn’t break! 

With the customer experience taking the forefront and becoming the key differentiator – QA testers are needed now more than ever! As DevOps methodologies are advancing, continuous developments and deployments are becoming complex. This makes testing critical, and in order to gain that level of finesse and eye for detail every tester must possess some skills and hone them over time.

Every tester entering into this realm must be able to – keep up with the latest trends, stay upbeat with new developments, effectively combat the issues in the defect lifecycle of the product, implement new testing methods, reduce testing time and improve testing quality, think proactively, and effectively communicate failures and defects through defect report and test summary report

Here are 5 testing skills we believe every aspiring and existing tester should possess to scale and conquer in their career! 

Skills required to become a QA Tester

1. Programming Knowledge

Programming knowledge needed for testers needn’t be as deep as required for a developer. But every tester needs to understand the functionality and create tests according to the language used. This will help testers understand errors in the code and effectively communicate it to developers. They can also effectively communicate workarounds to the developers and help shorten TATs. 

2. Agile Testing

Agile Testing follows the methods of agile development methodologies. In the agile testing method, the development is directly correlated to the customer requirements. It starts from the beginning of the project, and there are iterations along the way, from testing to development. Agile development is to have a high product quality.  

3. Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Software Development CycleSource

For a tester, it is very important to know the entire SDLC cycle. SDLC framework will help testers plan their testing cycles and also learn more about the development tasks. This will help testers evaluate the complexities in the application and take the right measures. Alongside learning the SDLC cycle, testers need to learn methodologies like Scrum, Lean, Kanban and Waterfall – so that they can determine which one fits the best. 

4. Cross-Browser / Cross Platform Testing Skills

Testers aren’t siloed to one type of browser. Any new development needs testers to run parallel tests on multiple devices and in various versions of browsers. All the variations should be tested for an error-free operation. Irrespective of what browser, device or version your customer uses, the software should run seamlessly. 

Cross Browser compatibility beyond Chrome is needed in this digitally-savvy world now more than ever. Cross-browser testing skills help the testers deliver products without any bugs or errors. 

Similarly, for mobile apps, it is important to perform cross platform testing and ensure they are consistent and seamless across different OS-platforms like Web, iOS, and Android.

5. Testing Tools & Techniques

Every tester should be proficient in testing techniques like black-box testing, functional testing, UI testing, regression testing, etc. These methods help the testers pick up any project that is irrespective of the domain and application. Additionally, learning essential automation testing tools like Selenium, Appium, and Cypress are needed to serve different requirements and project complexities. 

How to become an efficient QA tester

If you are new to testing and would want to learn all the basics about Testing, there’s nothing better than a free course straight from the industry insider like BrowserStack. Test University by BrowserStack is a great way to learn about testing in detail.

BrowserStack test university has compiled a number of in-depth courses on manual and automated testing. Certification is provided at the end to people taking up the testing course. The content is broken down into bite-sized format, which is easier to follow. This course is suitable for beginners who want to venture into testing without any previous testing knowledge and is a good way to learn the basics. 

The learning experience is gamified and there are interactive use cases that simulate real-world scenarios that will help you in your learning and development. 

Here’s what the course covers: 

  1. Learn BrowserStack Live Features
  2. Local Testing with BrowserStack Live
  3. Introduction to BrowserStack Automate
  4. Run tests on BrowserStack Automate: WebdriverIO
  5. Run tests on BrowserStack Automate: Nightwatch.js
  6. Run tests on BrowserStack Automate: TestNG

The course is available free of cost and is widely recognized in the tech world. Additionally, testers can use implementation samples from Github to understand the features, patterns and best practices. 

Enroll in BrowserStack Test University Now

Learn Different Types of Testing to become a Tester

The testing landscape is huge with a number of topics. Aspiring testers need to learn the basics from this plethora of topics. 

Different Types of Testing a QA Tester must learn

Here are the different types of testing methods: 

1. Unit testing

Unit Testing includes testing every component, like – a function of classes, modules or components, and every small aspect. Unit tests are time-consuming when done manually but are easy to automate with continuous automation software. 

2. Integration Testing

Integration Testing is needed to verify if different modules work well together and blend in for a uniform experience. These tests are pretty expensive as multiple aspects of the application need to be run simultaneously. 

3. Functional Testing

Functional Testing is directly correlated to the output and don’t check the intermediate states. Functional tests need multiple components to synchronize together. The functional test’s main function is to get a specific value from the database. 

4. Acceptance Testing

Acceptance Testing verifies if there is a business system fitment. It focuses on replicating user behaviour and requires the entire application to function fully while the testing happens. It helps in measuring the performance of the system and also rejects aspects of it – if your set goals aren’t met. 

5. End to End Testing

End to end testing are very useful as it replicates the user behaviour in their environment. It helps in simulating workflows and seeing if it works as expected. This helps to modify the experience and also counter more complex scenarios. 

6. Smoke Testing 

Smoke Testing check the basic functionality of the applications. These are quicker tests to run and help you in understanding if your system is working as expected. 

The job of a tester is challenging and forms the cornerstone of any company’s product experience. Therefore it is essential for testers to keep themselves updated and learn new technologies with ease.  As Einstein finely put it “Never lose a holy curiosity”, it somewhat applies to the role of testers. 

Every tester should be curious and should step up to learn. The role of a QA tester will in fact increase but will never fizzle out. The technical skills listed above will prepare you for the knowledge requirements needed for a tester but to sustain, it is important to have – great time management, communication, passion, and inquisitiveness to learn. 

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