by July 1, 2011 0 comments

Gone are the days when software testing was considered second to software development. As organizations have given impetus towards ensuring quality, the focus on software testing and quality assurance is equal or even more than the software development activity. Software is present everywhere today in our lives and is becoming increasingly mission critical; ranging from simple e-commerce websites to complex avionics programs. To ensure quality, it is extremely important to test and to make sure that the QA processes followed are impeccable. Nowadays companies just don’t focus on detection of defects, but also on the prevention of such defects from occurring from the beginning. That’s why they adopt standards like CMM, ISO, Six Sigma, etc. Even some IT companies have started positioning themselves as Independent Software Testing (IST) service providers who provide specialized software testing to other organizations to test their products or to device software testing practices for their processes.

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Software testing is fast emerging as a lucrative career option and has significantly moved away from the notion that if someone can’t make in development, then he will settle down in testing.

Career Prospects

As the software testing is becoming more focused towards specialized and niche segments, the software testing professionals have many interesting options to design their career path based on these verticals. They can either move towards the world of business applications by moving into functional testing where they should have the domain knowledge of the filed; on the other hand they can plunge into the world of technology by focusing on automation testing.

A fresher who enters the industry as a test engineer can choose the testing line or else move towards the quality assurance line where he can become QA lead and then QA manager. A typical career path for a professional tester would unfold as a junior test engineer, test engineer, test analyst, test lead, QA manager, followed by program manager/COE head.

College Education Is Not Enough

The freshers or the new workforce, who are just out of their colleges, should have the understanding of the testing processes as well as performance testing. They should also have understanding of the tools that are used in testing. In college curriculum, topics like GUI testing, database testing, systems test design may not be included. Therefore, the knowledge gained in academia software testing is not sufficient as chances of the person going in depth to study a specific topic is rare as the student does not have the industry specific contents. In the market, there are many courses available that cater to individual silos of software testing, like functional testing, performance testing, etc.

What has happened in last four five years is that, organizations have started identifying partners who can give them a talent which is out of college and is based on three major stone –technology, process and automation. There are institutions like Edista Testing Institute dedicated for Quality and Testing curriculum. Professionals who want to seek their career in software testing or want to enhance their understanding of various quality standards can gain certifications from these institutes. As these certification courses consist of what the organizations expect, and that help the individual to be ready when he enters his job role.

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Certifications That Can Help

Certifications in testing also play a major role in meeting the industry trends. A stamp of approval from a credible institute by means of certifications improves the confidence of the employers as well as clients of the testing professionals. There are several institutes such as, International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), American Society For Quality (ASQ) and Quality Assurance International (QAI) that offer vendor neutral certifications. Tool specific certifications are available from OEMs such as IBM, HP, Borland, etc. Obtaining certifications like CSTE (Certified Software Test Engineer) from recognized institutions or from online certification site like Brainbench can help a professional get a competitive edge over others during recruitment.

The Indian market itself requires 35,000 testers approximately to bridge the gap. And, that gap is continuously increasing to almost 1,65,000 in the year 2013, as per the projection. Thus a professional can safely bet on this niche domain for his career and having some domain experience behind can be of much demand by software testing organizations.

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