Must Have Skills for Software Tester in 2024 [In-Demand QA Skills]

Importance of Software Testing in 2024

Software testing plays a crucial role in software development. Software testers assist in ensuring the quality of a software application, evaluating its performance and establishing security. The scope and demand of software testing have immensely grown in the past few years. 

The professional prospect in software testing is increasing with time, making it a sustainable career choice. The role of a software tester comes with numerous advantages, like professional growth, regular salary upgrades, job flexibility and security. 

The basic software testing skills required to become a professional software tester can be classified into the following categories. 

Fundamental Skills: Understanding of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) 

SDLC, or the Software Development Life Cycle, is a vital aspect of every software development program that can help create effective products, track work progress with accuracy, and manage time. Software testers must clearly understand SDLC to ensure cost-effectiveness and efficiency in time management while working. 

SDLC is a structured process for producing superior software versions that exceed customer demands and meet their expectations. Developers use SDLC while designing and creating high-end software applications. A software tester can use SDLC to plan and eliminate probable risks in a project by meeting the customers’ desires. 

Knowledge of SDLC is one of the major tester skills since it has a long list of applicability and includes several advantages, such as:

  • Cost saving benefits
  • Protecting against external sources
  • Time-saving
  • Reducing risks in business
  • Guaranteeing the product quality
  • Increasing software demand and supply
  • The overall growth of the business 

Technical Skills: Proficiency in Test Automation Tools

Software testing can be conducted manually or by using automation. Test automation tools like Selenium and Perfecto are used in automation testing to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the testing procedures. It also helps eliminate human error and increases the feedback time speed. 

A clear perception of the automation testing tools can upgrade a manual tester to the position of an automated tester. It is one of the crucial technical skills required for software tester roles.

Automated tools allow the incorporation of multiple changes and upgrades while working on a software development project. Within these parameters, there can be an increase in the regression tests, which might ultimately cause a bold impact on the estimated budget and timeframe. 

Some test models are unattainable when applying manual processes, such as large queries of performance tests involving an application or a specified server. Learning and understanding the concepts in automation testing is essential to create a well-designed and coordinated model.

Knowledge of essential automation testing tools like TestComplete, testRigor, Virtuoso and ACCELQ comes under the critical technical skills required for software testing professionals. 

Soft Skills: Communication and Collaboration Skills

An important job role of a software tester is maintaining decorum and managing synchronisation while adhering to the organisation’s guidelines. Hence, testers must communicate diplomatically with developers, stakeholders, peers, and others. Software testing professionals must stay assertive, approachable, pleasant, and have strong interpersonal skills.

Effective communication is important in testing since the role includes liaising with fellow team members, working with other departments, and discussing with the stakeholders, customers or suppliers. Most organisations hire employees in software testing after evaluating their communication and collaboration skills. 

Software tester skills include working proficiently in teamwork scenarios like discussing bug reports, sharing recommendations, providing constructive feedback, and offering relevant insights using appropriate technical terminology. 

In-Demand Software Development Skills

Analytical Skills: Ability to Analyse Requirements and Identify Test Scenarios

The job of a software tester involves working with different software development stages and inconsistent data sources. An analytical mind is necessary for creating organised plans, scanning complex systems and identifying the incorrect outcomes of bug tests, security checks and other challenges.

 Some of the basic analytical skills required for software testing are as follows. 

  • Testing the cross platforms and devices in B2B and B2C models cannot be confined by a single browser. Software testers must check the compatibility of any application with the software to ensure satisfactory customer experiences. 
  • Testers have to conduct thorough planning along with accurate execution using successful implementations. Therefore, they require a clear understanding of the test plans that can help identify the correct strategies. 
  • Software testing professionals must prioritise the workflow and its components based on their critical impact. A lack of understanding and planning according to priority levels can lead to delayed outcomes for crucial projects, resulting in financial losses or serious failures in worst-case scenarios. You can improve your software tester skills by enrolling in a Full Stack Software Development Bootcamp at upGrad. 

Domain Knowledge: Understanding of Industry-Specific Requirements

One of the primary test engineer skills includes understanding the industry based on the different domain-specific requirements. These skills include tester abilities in organisational aspects, business development and database knowledge. 

Organising Techniques 

The job of a software tester comes with tight deadlines and effective production rates. Prioritising the deadlines based on specified demands and executing the operations as per the urgency levels is mandatory while working in software testing. 

Awareness of the Business 

Software testers must maintain a general awareness of the business prospects and processes, evaluate the urgency standards, and align the cases per the company’s betterment and goals. 

Knowledge of Database 

Software organisations use databases like MySQL and DB2, where the testers need to verify the data from the pre-stored vast information by running database queries. 

Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development

Quality Assurance: Knowledge of Testing Metrics and Techniques

Software testing professionals require a vivid knowledge of the testing procedures to identify and remove possible system issues. The testing procedures are designed after considering the time span, customer demands, application type and team budget. A tester must be capable of working with different software testing models like agile, spiral, V and waterfall. 

Identifying and resolving issues in a system is one of the essential roles software testers play. It includes continuous monitoring of the processes and reporting the recorded defects. Consistent tracking of the system issues can assist the entire team in having a better hold of testing procedures and their outcomes.

Check out our free technology courses to get an edge over the competition.

Agile Methodologies: Experience with Agile Frameworks and Practices 

The different techniques in project management are typically conducted by agile methodologies, which involve breaking the project into smaller sections using cross-team interactions. The testers and developers work with the business teams daily in an agile environment. Software testers need to possess the capability of working under such flexible conditions. 

Check Out upGrad’s Software Development Courses to upskill yourself.

Security Testing: Understanding of Security Testing Tools and Techniques

Security testing is a process that reveals the probable flaws in the security operations of an information system that maintains and protects data. Testers use it to fight against malicious software attacks and vulnerabilities in the infrastructure. 

Security testing applications come in two categories: SAST or static application security testing, and DAST or dynamic application security testing. Software testing professionals require expertise in important testing applications such as the following—

  • Coverity
  • Semgrep
  • GitHub
  • GitGuardian
  • Checkmarx
  • Snyk
  • HCL AppScan
  • GitLab

Continuous Learning and Skill Development 

The perfect software tester candidates must remain curious about the innovations in software techniques and stay updated with the growing tech market. Testers go through continuous learning, which allows them to understand the latest advancements in software testing applications and assists in keeping up with the trends and best practices. 

A software tester must be able to think critically and anticipate potential outcomes. Software testing personnel can only hone their ability to identify bug issues and achieve desired results through continuous learning and skill development. 

If software testing is your forte and you have the relevant soft skills, you can enrol in the Master of Science in Computer Science from LJMU offered by upGrad to enhance your competency. 

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A software tester must have varied skills to enhance professional growth in 2024. They need to portray detailed technical knowledge alongside possessing the necessary soft skills that help in delivering the best possible outcomes. 

If you find passion in software development and testing procedures, you can check out relevant courses on upGrad to build your expertise, like the Executive PG Programme in Full Stack Development from IIITB


Does programming come under software tester skills?

Automation testing requires substantial coding knowledge involving code coverage, cyclomatic complexity and statement coverage. Automated software testers need appropriate programming skills and database knowledge to conduct tasks like verifying a database.

What makes a good software tester?

Experienced software testing professionals have a vivid knowledge of testing methods and techniques for tested products. They also need to work with the implemented automation checks while providing insights based on the product details. Good testers are eager to learn, have high adaptability standards and find passion in their work.

What is the eligibility for software tester jobs?

A computer science, mathematics or engineering degree is the essential eligibility criteria for software tester candidates. They also need relevant skills in automation tools, SQL, analytics and Linux.

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