Professional software testers are very important for app development. Developers need their help to detect any bugs, to improve performance, and to solve any issues with the interface. Testers are responsible for a variety of tests, including functional tests, stress tests, scalability tests, performance tests, etc. Usually, testers start working on a product at the very first stage of planning and designing. They also make sure that the final product meets the necessary requirements regarding quality and usability. Many testers also continue to be involved in a project after the release.
When hiring software testers, most companies are looking for candidates with a background in mathematics and engineering. Those candidates who hold a bachelor degree in computer science often have a considerable advantage. However, it’s still possible to land a job in this area without a college degree, especially if you have a good work history and impressive references. To be considered for a software tester position, you should have up to six years of experience in testing, or at least some experience and the necessary education — more than just a few informative videos.
Is a Certification Worth It?
Getting a certification is a tiresome experience, which is a reason why many testers don’t think of it at first. However, many testers realize the advantages of certification sooner or later. If you’re a beginner, QA certification will make you stand out from competitors. Most people who apply for testing jobs are not certified professionals. Of course, many of them have real-life experience, but a certification allows you to offer more than that.
Many hiring managers pay particular attention to certification during the initial screening of candidates. Samantha Schwartz, a hiring manager and writer at College Writers, explains: “This way, hiring managers make sure that their candidates have the necessary knowledge. Initial screening is also often done by people who don’t have any technical background. In this case, a certification will make your resume look professional.”
Certification is also beneficial for experienced QA professionals. Not only does it expand your knowledge, but also introduces you to proven testing methods which allow you to detect problems easier. Certification gives you confidence and allows for career development within your company. Obviously, it also enables you to look for new opportunities beyond your current company. Seasoned testers often lose touch with some types of testing, working on a specific project for years. Preparing for certification, you can minimize this knowledge gap by learning the basics of different models.
Top QA Testing Certifications
- CAST – Certified Associate In Software Testing
This is a starting point for those who are looking for a job in software testing. To apply for CAST certification, you should have a two-year degree in college and a year of experience in IT, a three-year college degree, or three years of experience. The test includes 100 multiple choice questions, and you have 75 minutes to answer them. To prepare for CAST, you should register and pay a $100 fee. After this, you’ll receive the Software Testing Body of Knowledge for CAST, which contains a lot of helpful information.
- ISTQB – Foundation Level
This certification is intended for test automation engineers, user acceptance testers, mobile app testers, test designers, business analysts, test managers, and many others. It requires you to have at least six months of experience. During the exam, you should answer 40 multiple choice questions in an hour. The fee is $250.
- CSTE — Certified Software Test Engineer
This is an intermediate level certification. To be eligible for it, you should have a four-year degree and two years of experience, a three-year degree and three years of experience, a two-year degree and four years of experience, or six years of experience in your field. The test itself includes two parts: 100 multiple choice questions (75 minutes) and 12 questions of the essay type (75 minutes).
- CTM — Certified Test Manager
This is an advanced level certification for test managers. To prepare for this test, you should familiarize yourself with the Test Management Body of Knowledge. This book will provide you with some necessary information on managing the test process. If you choose another path for your professional growth, you can also get a different certification — ISTQB – Advanced Level – Technical Test Analyst. In this case, you will need your ISTQB Foundation certificate.
- CSSBB — Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
This certification includes knowledge of various tools and support systems. Black Belt professionals should be leaders who perfectly understand the dynamics of their team and know how to properly assign responsibilities. The certification is mostly focused on Lean concepts and non-value-added elements.
- ISTQB – Expert Level
This expert level certification is intended for those who are looking for QA/OA leader positions or want to become delivery managers. To apply for this certification, you should have an Advanced ISTQB certificate, at least five years of experience in testing, and at least two years of experience in the chosen Expert specialization. The test includes 25 multiple choice questions (45 minutes) and 3 questions of the essay type (90 minutes).
You need to know a lot to become a software tester, and hiring managers should be able to determine whether or not candidates possess the necessary knowledge and skills. Certifications allow you to prove that you’re indeed a good fit for a position. There are many certifications both for beginners and experienced software testers that will make your resume more professional and give you a solid basis for career growth.
About the Author
Ester Brierley is a junior QA Engineer in software outsourcing company, seasoned content creator and virtual assistant for College Writers. When she’s not writing about cutting-edge digital trends, Ester takes online courses to improve her marketing skills. Follow her on Twitter.