It was not that many years ago that software testing service was considered the Rodney Dangerfield of the IT world. Software developers were the rock stars, with the prestige and income befitting its glamorous reputation.

The tester? Well, when not considered a mundane secondary role, often performed by the developer as a ‘necessary evil’ between coding assignments, the testing task was often times relegated to the ‘new guy’, the IT apprentice, if you will.

That’s because, in its infancy, testing new software systems was predominantly a manual process, designed to find errors or ‘bugs’ in the developer’s code. The task was tedious, laborious and routine, often done at the end of the system development process just prior to production implementation. When project schedules got squeezed due to various reasons, it was generally testing that was sacrificed to meet deadlines.

What a difference a decade makes! The internet revolution has transformed the face of business, creating new and exciting avenues for growth and profit. Along with this growth, rapid technology gains have and are evolving to meet this business transformation. However, with rapid growth also come growing pains.

As a result of this revolution, applications that involve direct and frequent interaction with customers are vital to a company’s success. And stellar software quality is essential for guaranteeing such applications’ acceptance in the marketplace. Inadequate or poor testing is the bane of many a company, leading to poor performing, non-intuitive, error-prone, and/or late products that disappoint customers and diminish a company’s profits, reputation and/or competitive edge.

The problem today lies in the dearth of quality test engineers capable of meeting the new and challenging requirements of product quality. While this is not good news for many in the business community, this is excellent news for those seeking a rewarding, lucrative and challenging career in this emerging and rapidly growing discipline.

The old paradigm of the software tester is fast becoming obsolete. A clear career path has evolved where a person can progress to senior and even executive management completely in the Quality space, be it in a product or a services company. So, what has caused this transformation? The criticality of web inspired applications has spawned a plethora of new products and methodologies requiring a new set of sophisticated skills and knowledge.

Today’s software testing objectives are much broader and wide-ranging in scope than in the past. More than finding ‘code bugs’, it’s a process of uncovering defects, not only in the code, but in the analysis, design and development process as well. Emphasis weighs on improving the quality of code and providing a supportive feedback mechanism to the developer. It’s a process that goes beyond a single SDLC test phase and becomes integrated into every phase of the lifecycle.

In other words, we test our analysis, we test our design, we test our development, etc. We go beyond assuring that our application is merely doing what it is supposed to do, but is also NOT doing what it is not supposed to do. This expanded test role adds a heavy layer of responsibility to the testing process, far beyond the traditional way of testing. All of this requires a level of expertise and skill, that commands a lot of respect, and is designed to attract and interest the best and the brightest IT professionals. For those interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, career options are plentiful, gratifying and profitable.

So, what traits are necessary for becoming a software test engineer? Today’s software test engineer must possess keen analytical skills. They are logical thinkers with a sharp eye for detail, with an ability to break down and translate metrics. A desire for constant learning and an ability to quickly absorb new technologies, domains and methodologies is essential. Unflustered by the pressures of tight deadlines, the software test professional brings both excellent oral and written communication skills to the job. They converse comfortably with diverse IT personnel, such as technical experts, developers, end users, vendors and with various levels in management. They possess a level of sophistication in dealing with such personnel in a professional and tactful manner.

More than a one-trick pony, today’s software test engineers must broaden their knowledge base to thoroughly understand their company’s products, understand multiple domains and become proficient in one or more automated tools and processes used across the various testing disciplines, all necessary to meet the demands of today’s expanded testing role and responsibilities. Such expertise allows the test engineer to make valuable contributions across the entire product development life cycle.

What are the opportunities? With today’s IT tester’s expanded role and importance, opportunities abound for software test engineers interested in specialization. Professionals interested in horizontal specialization, (for example, functional test automation or performance and load test automation) develop expertise with the automated tools and unique processes and methodologies of the specific area of test. The vertical specialist obtains specific knowledge and expertise with the products and protocols used within their particular specialized domain, be it mobile/wireless testing, network/data communication testing, VOIP testing, to name a few. Currently, demand for such expertise significantly exceeds the supply. However, an expanding number of advanced training and skill enhancement programs and certifications exist to help meet this demand.

As one of the young and rapidly growing independent quality assurance and software testing companies created to meet the expanding role and new challenges posed by this software testing revolution, QA InfoTech constantly seeks to recruit and acquire top talent to train in the software testing profession.

In its role as a leading software testing company and QA testing partner with a number of well-known and prestigious companies, spanning a number of industries, QA InfoTech is on the lookout for passionate, out of the box thinkers and problem solvers to work alongside its seasoned industry veterans, and grow and prosper in this challenging, exciting and dynamic environment.

Visit QA InfoTech website at http://www.qainfotech.com, or contact us at campusconnect@qainfotech.net, for more information regarding our comprehensive job-guaranteed three month training program.

Author's Bio: 

Mukesh Sharma is Founder and CEO of QA InfoTech a leading Independent Software Quality Assurance and Testing Company with five testing “Centers of Excellence” in the United States and India. Few years back Mukesh Sharma found his true passion and a business opportunity in Software Testing. In this article he shares his insights into the Testing industry and Testing as a lucrative career option.