The Software Testing Engineer – An Essential Part of the Software Development Team

Software testing is one of the most important milestones in the software development life cycle (SDLC); this also is the most difficult part in it’s development. The testing is carried out from the start of development of the product until the product is ready for shipping to market or the customer. Different testing methods are used during this period until the product is released. The software testing engineer must be a qualified professional having sufficient knowledge of the code details to enable him to make the code work and find any existing problems before market release. The intelligence and experience of these engineers are mainly responsible for having such a large amount of quality software in the market.

They are normally connected with the testing of code and is a part of the quality assurance team. QA Engineers may test software , but are not always expert test engineers. They test the software for performance, functionality, usability, portability, efficiency, compatibility, scalability, resource usage, security etc.

Black box and white box testing are two of the most important testing types. The black box testing requires no knowledge of internal logic or code structure and is mainly focused on the testing for requirements and functionality of the application. In this the tester is not concerned with the internal operations which make the data do what it does. The white box testing deals with the internal logic and structure of the code. Both these tests are performed by the software testing engineer and are equally important. However, they serve different purposes.

During the various stages of the software development life cycle (SDLC), a number of testsare conducted at different stages of code development. The testing is carried out starting with the smallest module and increasing to complex integrated modules in the later stages of testing. The process includes unit testing, integration testing, system testing, system integration testing, alpha testing, beta testing, functional testing, regression testing, security testing and acceptance testing. The testing may be done manually or it may be done using automated software. In some cases it may be tested both ways. It is the responsibility of the software testing engineers to ensure that these technical tests are completed properly before the product is released to the end market.

Anyone interested in taking up the career path of a software testing engineer should possess requisite educational qualification and training. Some of the engineers go to schools where Computer science degree is awarded. It is not necessary that the testers should have computer science degree. There are many accredited institutes such as American Society for Quality (ASQ), Quality assurance International, and International institute for software testing training courses and award certificates for completed training. Some schools are also conducting online courses for this.

A number of companies recruit persons who do not have adequate qualifications for testing positions for entry level jobs in the computer department; these persons can come up from ranks to qualify for the position. Alternately they may get assistance from the company for getting training and becoming certified. The greater the experience of the software testing engineer, the more will be his efficiency in testing. He will also be able to set up simple tests right up to writing the test codes and doing the white box testing. This profession offers challenges for people having knowledge and aptitude for problem solving and compensates them well.