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Is Software Testing a Real Profession?

Software Testing As a Profession

I am a software tester and yes, software testing is a real profession and a lucrative one depending on your expertise. Although this might not be my dream job (still dreaming of becoming a rock star someday), I have learned to accept it and now I’m passionate about it.

Probably, I’m not the only one thinking about this, but if you’re a Computer Science graduate, it’s only natural that you want to be a developer. I might be dozing off most of the time during my university days but I remembered seeing only 2 slides of the lecture dedicated to Quality Assurance. I haven’t heard anyone from my batchmates aspiring to be a software tester. Everyone wants to be a Java or Web developer back then. I had the same idea too.

Come my first job; and guess what, I was assigned to a testing capability. Coming out fresh from university, especially if you’re not one of the A+ graduates, most of the time you really don’t have much choice on your career direction. That’s what happened to me. I asked my manager to transfer me to a Java capability but as per the company, there’s a business need for QAs and Testers and that there are just too many developers wanting to do Java. He bargained to give me a test automation role and that bargain was actually one of the best bargains I accepted.

What are Testing, Quality Assurance and Quality Control?

There are a lot of definitions about QA and Testing but I’ll take the (Certified Software Tester) CSTE definition where I am certified at. There are two quality methods — preventive and detective. Quality Assurance (QA) does preventive methods while Quality Control (QC) does detective methods.

QA establishes and evaluates the processes that produce products. This includes methodologies, processes and standards from which quality is measured and improved upon.

QC focuses on activities that identify defects in the products produced. It is possible for QC to exist without QA.

Testing is a Quality Control activity. Therefore, software testing is the process of identifying defects in the application and software produced or developed.

The diagram below explains the relationship between the three.

QA-QA-Testing

Software Testing Specializations

Four of the most common specializations are the following:

  1. Manual Testing – Testing of applications and software through manual user interactions.
  2. Automation Testing – Testing of applications and software using test automation tools . This will require some development background to do complex test scripts.
  3. Performance Testing – Testing of applications’ and software’s performance using tools under certain application conditions and specifications.
  4. Security Testing – Testing of the applications’ and software’s security and vulnerability using penetration testing tools. This employs ethical hacking.

Usual Salary

I hope I was able to establish that the software testing profession is real and for a more concrete evidence, we now go to the salary of a software tester. Using Payscale, below are the median salary per specialization here in Canada:

  1. Manual Tester – C$67,407
  2. Automation Tester – C$73,774
  3. Performance Tester – C$80,000
  4. Security Tester – C$81,347

Takeaway

Mainly, university students, at least in the institution I went to, doesn’t really give students exposure to this type of career. I mean, this could have been an elective subject by itself. Probably it’s because of the awareness level, small number of experts and limited resources 10-15 years ago were the main culprits for lack of interest. Now, I believe that the testing career has a long way to go and that newly grads or other career shifters should explore this.

So yeah, I have a testing job and it’s real. 😀

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply Mark |

    Hi Kulas,
    This is great post.. I’m curious of software testing now that you brought it up.
    By the way, I’m also from SG and nag ffeast sa SDVP.
    Currently, I’m a Network Engr in one of the polytechnics in SG. OK naman ako. But your post here made me curious and if its easy to shift from hardware to software.. hmmm..

    Kamusta dyan sa Canada bro?

    Im also waiting for my PPR, it has been 4mons since my AOR (Aug4). Under NBPNP naman ako. Hope to get it soon.. 🙂

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Bro,

      Thank you. 🙂 It shouldn’t be hard, but doing it midway through your career is a little bit risky but not impossible. Especially if you’re moving here in Canada and you will be looking for your first job, they’ll look for experience. I suggest, use your experience in Network Engineering to land a job here, then ask your company if they offer career shifting. But if you really like to shift, try applying for testing positions too, there’s nothing to lose. 🙂

      OK kami dito bro. Malamig, yun lang ang di OK. haha.

      Wow. It’s ok bro. Your PPR will come in God’s perfect time. Niluluto pa nya ang perfect timing. 🙂 God bless bro, welcome to Canada in advance and thank you for visiting my site.

  • Reply Jeh |

    Hi Kulas,
    A friend of mine directed me to your blog. She and her family attends LOJ Singapore (Rose and Arnold). My family migrated this year in Toronto. I am a manual tester/UAT coordinator from the banking industry and we also come from Singapore. Just wanted to reach out in any case you know of any opportunities around. I have been applying through Canadian job websites but nothing successful yet. Hope to hear from you soon. Best regards.

    • Kulas Reply Kulas |

      Hi Jeh,

      I am not aware of specific job openings but you can try registering directly to company job portals. I got my job doing that. You can also add HRs from different companies using LinkedIn especially those who have posted job openings (I got interviews this way). Lastly, browse through all of the openings in job portals, apply to whichever is applicable to your experience (even if it’s not that close, you can still try and apply). You can read through my post here on how I got a job in Canada.

      God bless and hope you get a job soon, let’s pray for that. 🙂

      Regards,
      Kulas

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