The IT industry is rapidly growing, and the competition for quality IT jobs can be intense. If you want to land your first software testing or QA job, you landed in the right article!
Whether a newbie or inexperienced in the IT field, landing your first software testing QA job is still doable with effort and determination.
What attributes and skills do you need to hone to be a great software tester?
The role of a software tester requires a combination of technical and non-technical skills, so you must prepare yourself before applying for a software testing or QA job. Some of the attributes and skills that make for great software testers are:
• Analytical Skills: First and foremost, software testers need to be analytical. This logical way of thinking is essential in solving any programming issues that may arise during the testing process. It is also important that software testers have strong problem-solving skills and be able to detect any flaws in the codebase.
• Communication Skills: As a software tester, you must also be able to communicate clearly and effectively. Software testers must be able to explain complex technical issues in a way the development team can understand, so excellent communication skills are essential.
• Attention to Detail: A software tester should have an eye for detail and be able to identify any flaws in the software. Additionally, software testers should also take the initiative to identify potential risks that could interfere with the product’s functionality or user experience
• Time Management Skills: Managing your time efficiently is essential for software testing and QA jobs, as you must prioritize tasks and work within tight deadlines.
• Flexibility: Since software development and testing is an ever-changing process, software testers must also be flexible. They must be open to learning new tools and technologies as the environment constantly evolves.
• Familiarity with Testing Tools: To be a successful software tester, you should have a good understanding of testing tools and be able to work with them effectively.
Finally, it is important to remember that having a good attitude and approach when working on software testing tasks is also essential. You should be enthusiastic, flexible, and open to learning new things. With the right attitude and skillset, you can easily land your first software testing or QA job!
Tips on How To Land Your First Software Testing QA Job
1. Determine your skills and interests.
Before applying for any IT job like a software tester, it is crucial to identify your skills and interests. Speak about these skills and how they apply to the position during your interview. Find a software testing opening in your current industry as having industry knowledge will put you ahead of the competition.
2. Seek out training and education opportunities.
While having an IT degree or related experience is often preferred, hands-on experience and certifications can boost your resume. Consider taking courses or getting certifications to show employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge for the job. Taking courses is worthwhile as it shows initiative and would expose you to terminologies and concepts in the IT field.
Famous platforms like Udemy or Coursera offer a wide range of software testing courses that you can take to boost your skills. Additionally, many companies offer training programs where you can get hands-on experience and learn from experts in the field. Utilize these resources to gain valuable knowledge and skill sets required for software testing.
In addition, continuing education and understanding the latest technology trends are crucial in the IT industry. Many successful people in the industry emphasize the importance of being lifelong learners. They, too, came from humble beginnings and did not have all the required skills at first. But they were determined to learn, and that determination landed them their job.
3. Network with others in the industry.
Networking can be a valuable tool in finding job opportunities and getting advice and insider information about the industry. Being this is your first job in the industry, you will need to hustle/network and be creative to land your first job. Attend software testing events similar to DAQAA or join online QA communities to meet other professionals in the field. This can help you build connections that could potentially lead to job opportunities.
To further boost your networking efforts, consider joining professional groups on social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. You can also attend local technology events or hackathons to meet other professionals and potential employers.
You should also reach out to contracting companies that can put you through a boot camp and place you at a client. Or, you can reach out to startups in your area and see if they need a QA.
4. Apply for positions, and don’t be afraid to follow up.
Make sure to tailor your application materials for each job you apply for. Be bold and follow up with potential employers to show your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Landing your first IT job will take effort and persistence, but you can increase your chances of success with the right skills and approach.
5. Leverage your past or current employers
In addition to networking and building relationships with professionals, you can also take advantage of your past or current employers. You can ask them if they need a software tester to help with a project or if they could put you in touch with someone else who may be hiring in the industry.
Having prior experience or connections can be a big advantage when applying, and you should do everything you can to leverage these resources.
6. Take an intermediary role as a first step
The exciting and dynamic IT industry requires many different roles to operate successfully. Taking up an intermediary role may be a good way to start your career in the IT industry if you do not yet have the necessary skills and experience.
Intermediate roles would include positions such as help desk support, technical writer, or business analyst.
Business Analyst: Say you have a degree in journalism, customer service, or sales. You can apply your writing, problem-solving, and customer service knowledge to become a business analyst. As a business analyst, you’ll coordinate with developers and stakeholders to understand customer desires, create requirements documents, and ultimately ensure that software meets business objectives.
Help Desk Support: If you have strong problem-solving skills and a knack for customer service, you might consider help desk support. Help desk analysts solve customer technical issues, similar to a software tester’s job of finding and resolving software issues.
Technical Writing: Technical writers communicate complex information in a way that is easily understood by non-technical audiences. They also create documentation, user manuals, and support for software or hardware. A large component of a software tester’s job is documenting findings and test cases, so having technical writing experience can help you transition into a software testing role.
These roles require less technical skills, but they can still help you develop your IT knowledge and build relationships with professionals in the field. By taking one of these intermediary roles, you can gain experience and learn the skills you need to transition into a software testing position.
Advice for those who would want to land their first IT job
- Say “Yes” as opportunities come your way (once you are in the industry).
- Don’t be afraid to apply to jobs for which you don’t meet every qualification.
- Be willing to learn and then continue to learn throughout your journey. Being malleable is a considerable benefit.
- Openly share knowledge as you acquire it. This makes you indispensable and a go-to resource.
Some QA-specific advice:
QA job descriptions may vary depending on the company, but typically you will need strong technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. Here’s more advice to help you become successful in your QA job:
- Attention to detail is everything – notice when the system is amiss, users have difficulty using the system, or Acceptance Criteria are unclear or wrong.
- Maintain superb test cases – they are documentation for the next person.
- Adhoc test like crazy –this is where the bugs are found, in my experience.
- Create checklists (UI, Performance, Common Bugs, etc.) and use them with each story.
- Learn SQL. It is a great way to get your foot in the door and is used all over the industry.
- Learn how to write Gherkin scripts. They simplify your QA life and make it easier to communicate expectations to stakeholders.
- Remember the law of diminishing returns. If the requirements say X + Y = Z, testing 1 + 1 = 2, 1 + 2 = 3, 4 + 7 = 11, … to infinity … loses value with each iteration.
- Learn how to write and read code. You can often find bugs by just looking at developer check-ins. Reviewing the code changes also helps hone in on where you spend more time testing the application.
- Look for creative ways to solve problems. Does your current tool/setup not quite fit the need? Come up with a solution for it. Talk to the stakeholders and implement it if they like it. You will be recognized and appreciated for your hard work.
- Actively participate in meetings and not be afraid to speak up or ask for help. Everybody’s journey is different, and you may need guidance. Take up those opportunities to learn from others around you.
When you’re at it, you will learn and immerse yourself in the language and culture of IT, becoming a key member of any team.
Questions you may ask
Is it true that nailing the interview and being able to land an IT job is one of the most complex parts of working in tech?
Yes, nailing the interview and being able to land an IT job is one of the most complex parts of working in tech. It is because the industry is very competitive, and many highly qualified candidates are often vying for the same positions. Therefore, it’s essential to showcase your technical skills during the interview process and highlight your unique qualities and experiences that make you stand out from other applicants.
Is it a good idea to learn coding before applying?
It can be helpful to have some coding experience before applying for a testing job, as it shows dedication and understanding of the industry. However, it is optional to have coding experience to get an IT job, as there are a variety of roles within the industry that do not require coding skills. It is essential to highlight any relevant experience and skills you have and be open to learning and growing in the field.
Are IT books a valuable source of IT/Coding knowledge?
IT books can be a valuable source of information and knowledge. Still, it is vital to remember that technology and coding languages constantly evolve. Therefore, in addition to reading books, it can also be helpful to attend workshops or take online courses to stay up to date with current trends and practices in the industry. It is also essential to gain practical experience through internships or projects. Overall, a combination of book knowledge and hands-on experience can be a strong foundation for success in the IT field.
Is it better to attend a coding boot camp instead of just QA to get qualifications and experience before applying for jobs?
It ultimately depends on the individual’s specific career goals and interests. For example, attending a coding boot camp can provide intensive training in a particular programming language or skill. Therefore, it can be a good option for those focusing primarily on coding in their career. However, a QA role also requires a strong understanding of technology and problem-solving skills. It can be a valuable stepping stone for further career advancement in the IT industry.
Conclusion- Your First Software Testing QA Job
As many say and believe, the first step is always the hardest, likewise with getting your first job. But if you are determined and focused, you can land that first QA tester role. Taking advice from experts in the field, building a solid skill set, and being proactive in your job search will all help you succeed. So don’t be afraid to take that first step!