“We are looking for Software Tester to join our team!” is a commonly seen job advertisement. But what the software tester really is? What is the role of such an employee among software developers? Is it really necessary in the company structure? In this article, we will take a close look at some business organizations and we will try to define the main role and responsibilities of the software testers in a software development process.
Testers are usually employed by the organization to join the technical project in which new software is being developed, or work on maintaining the already existing one. The main role of the software test engineer is the identification and subsequent removal of errors. Testers are involved in performing automated and manual tests to ensure that the software program created by the developers is meeting its purposes and quality assurance.
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Software testing professionals can be specialized in slightly different areas and it does not refer to the experience period where we define three stages: junior, mid and senior. The distinction we are pertaining to are rather skills, technical knowledge, individual preferences, and past project experience. (It is worth mentioning here, that lack of past experience can also be an attribute!). Based on that, we can distinguish the manual tester, test manager, and automation tester. The verification of required skills and knowledge of software testing lifecycle should take place during the recruitment process and a properly selected specialist is the one who fits into the project and organization.
It is crucial to consider the soft skills of the testing specialist as the tester's role is more than just technical testing. Quite often happens, the testing specialist is responsible for communicating with business analysts or is one in-person, contacting the client directly in order to discuss requirements, performing some of the project management elements, such as running scrums, and communicating with the developers. In some organizations, such skills may be more critical, than technical know-how itself. It is always worth remembering, that technical knowledge can be gained, but human skills may not.
There is never one smart answer to the question as if the testing skills are something required in the developing team. But for sure, thinking of a tester as a necessary role to support the quality of the software, provide documentation, reports and test scripts, and quite often oversee good communication flow in the team, may help to understand the complexity and necessity of the software testing professionals in the project.
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