Software testing is a great career that offers a lot of varying and challenging work and has become an essential part of software development. There are drawbacks to it, as with any career, but it can be well-paid, rewarding, and fun. Software testers can earn a decent salary, and will often be seen on par with software developers in most major tech companies.
There is a misconception that software testers are low on the ladder and not particularly well respected but that isn’t true. Software testing is a good career but it is not for everyone. It’s important to consider the positives and negatives of moving into the industry if you’re looking for a change.
In this article, we’re going to answer the question, is software testing a good career? This will help you to determine whether this move would be right for you. We will also help you to understand the expectations of this role so you know whether you have the skills that you need to take it on.
Is Software Testing A Good Career Option?
Software testing can be a good career, although it has unfortunately been stigmatized in some cases in the past. It is sometimes seen as secondary to software development, like a less skilled profession that those who “couldn’t make it” as a software developer might go into.
Fortunately, this misconception is not common and is being challenged, so you will generally find that software testing is a good career move. It is paid pretty well on the whole, although the salary range can vary enormously depending on where you are and what stage in your career you have reached.
A lot of companies treat their software testers in the same way as their software developers and offer similar compensation and benefits packages. If you would rather be in development, you might be able to use software testing to move across into this field, but it should be respected in its own right.
Overall, software testing is considered a respectable and good career for many people. If you are looking to make a change, it could be the right move for you – but what skills does it require? We will cover this next.
What Do You Need To Be A Software Tester?
There are quite a few necessary skills if you want to be a software developer, and these include:
- Excellent communication skills, so you can explain issues to the developers and understand what software is supposed to do.
- Strong analytical skills, so you can test the software and quickly determine whether it is doing what it should, or whether changes are needed. You should also be able to pinpoint what changes are needed.
- Good time management skills, as you will often be working independently to manage your workload and make sure you are meeting deadlines and prioritizing important tasks.
- Good attention to detail, so you don’t miss bugs or flaws in the code, and you can help the developers produce a watertight product that does what it should.
- A positive attitude and willingness to learn. A lot of software testing involves back and forth between you and others, and being upbeat, friendly, and keen to solve problems is key to success.
- Knowledge of Linux commands and Database/SQL, as this will be needed in almost all software testing roles if you are to succeed.
- Understanding of test management tools, which is key for software testing. Different companies will probably use different tools, but if you have some hands-on experience, you are much more likely to succeed in this career.
- Understanding of defect tracking tools, which are also key for software testing. Coupled with automation tools, these will be necessary for you to thrive in this job.
You will also often need some academic background in computer science, preferably a degree. Not all workplaces will require this, but it is frequently considered a baseline for the tasks you will be doing on a typical day.
6 Reasons Why Software Testing Is A Good Career
There are a few significant advantages to this career path, and different benefits will appeal to different individuals. We will explore them below.
Multiple Industry Opportunities
Many people are attracted by the variety of roles that are available in software testing. Almost all industries now require software testers to ensure that their products work, or that their websites are useable, and this means that it can be easy to slip into software testing in any given industry.
There is also flexibility about what kind of testing you do. You might want to try automated testing, performance testing, or manual testing. This sort of flexibility and variety tends to be appealing to people looking at this career path.
There Are A Lot Of Jobs Available
Alternatively, you might be drawn to it by the fact that it is a high-demand career. Because so many companies need software testers, they tend to be sought after. Anyone who produces software will need testers, and often multiple testers. This can make it much easier to get competitive and attractive job offers, even when the job market is quiet.
The number of testing jobs is set to grow by 25% from 2021 to 2031 which means it is a great place for career-minded people. This brings a sense of security that may be lacking in other career paths and encourages many people to learn how to test software.
There Are Opportunities To Learn New Things
Another one of the major appeals of this job is that it provides consistent opportunities to learn. You will never get bored, because you will constantly be given new programs to explore and try out, at the forefront of technology. People who love learning will thrive in this environment, and it means that your days will constantly bring new challenges. It means that around there is a chance for growth and it means software testing is a good choice and makes people happy.
Creativity Is A Must
The learning aspect of this job is often paired with opportunities to be creative – which might surprise you in a testing role. A lot of people think that software testing must be boring and repetitive, but it often involves a high degree of problem-solving that can be very creative.
Software developers have to put themselves in the shoes of the potential end user and try to identify the pain points that the user will experience. They will need to look at the latest trends and explore the whole journey from end to end. This often involves a surprising degree of creativity. The findings can then be passed back to the developer.
Challenges aren’t always good, but if you’re someone who gets easily bored by work and appreciates grappling with something difficult, software testing is perfect for you. Every new kind of software you test will present you with new difficulties and will require innovative approaches.
You will find yourself having to think up new tactics for identifying and tackling problems, and this means that the face of the job changes regularly. Most people in this career appreciate that capacity to change their approach, and the ongoing sense of a new challenge to stop them from getting bored. The role being challenge also means that it is incredibly fun for those who enjoy it.
Software testers also make great money which means it is perfect for those looking long-term. On average they earn between $78,580 and $109,020 depending on experience and also get fantastic benefits.
The quick answer to “is software testing a good career” is yes but bear in mind that it isn’t for everyone. Check out our list of the required skills and the advantages that this job offers before deciding whether you want to become a software tester. It can be a great job and it certainly isn’t second to being a software developer, but it isn’t for everyone.
Nathan Britten, the founder and editor of Developer Pitstop, is a self-taught software engineer with nearly five years of experience in front-end technologies. Nathan created the site to provide simple, straightforward knowledge to those interested in technology, helping them navigate the industry and better understand their day-to-day roles.