Those who have a sound understanding of the software development process, who are naturally curious and who have sound judgment, solid writing and communication skills, the ability to work both on their own and with a team, concisely present conclusions and who are comfortable working under pressure to meet tight deadlines may be perfect candidates to become software application testers.

What Does A Software Application Tester Do?

It is the primary job function of a software application tester to assess and evaluate new applications, programs and software that allow a computer to function correctly. In the software development process, there comes a point when developers will hand over the new application to the tester to conduct this evaluation; this is a very important step in the process of creating software for many common products, such as cars/trucks and electronics.

In addition to basic software application testing, common job functions include:

  • Participating in application planning meetings
  • Recording and documenting test results
  • Detecting failures to be corrected
  • Operating and maintaining test networks
  • Performing security audits
  • Generating analyses/final reports of test results
  • Presenting findings to the client
  • Writing application instruction manuals

Work Environment

It’s common for software applications testers to work on multiple projects at one time; usually a tester will have one project in the initial stages of testing and a second project in later stages. This reality makes it difficult to maintain a Monday through Friday, nine to five work schedule. Testers must work with the demands of the project, and this sometimes means working long, odd hours.

Expectations: Salary and Career Advancement

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report on the salaries of software applications testers, specifically. It does, however, report on the similar career of application developers. Those in this career earned a median annual wage of $90,060 in 2012. The occupation of software application tester falls as a specialty career within the software development industry.

Successful testers may find themselves promoted to software test leaders, software test managers, software test architects or software test designers.

Education and Other Qualifications

Most companies prefer software applications testers to have a degree in information technology, web development or a related field, but those interested in this occupation should also consider The Software Guild’s boot camp program. Program enrollees will receive staff expertise and personalized attention they may not get in traditional classrooms.

This boot camp is intended to help students master the techniques they’ll need to test and make solid recommendations for software developers. Participants will learn how software programs are built from the ground up, for companies in a number of industries – health care, finance, retail, manufacturing, e-commerce, insurance, etc. – in a collaborative, hands-on way. Graduates of this program will have a strong grasp on major computer programming languages used in the industry today, a skill that will give them an advantage over the competition in this field.