What is a software tester

A software tester is a person who reviews software for defects. Errors found are subsequently corrected, but by another specialist.

After testing, the specialist prepares a report and sends it to the developers to work on the bugs.

The profession appeared not so long ago, but as the IT market grows, it becomes more and more popular. Any digital project needs to go through several stages of verification in order for the consumer to receive a ready-to-use interface.

The software tester profession is heterogeneous: it is divided into several levels. Different specialists are engaged in different areas of testing. Each of them has its own area of responsibility, tasks, responsibilities and required expertise.

This is a specialist who analyzes software developed by programmers.

There are testers who check the functionality of the finished product: a website, an application, a computer game, etc. And there are QA engineers, from the English “quality assurance”, which means “quality assurance” in translation. These specialists test the software at the development stage, making changes in the process.

Testers are divided into many varieties depending on the level of skills that a specialist owns. There are those who own automated testing methods, there are analysts, testers, etc.

Why the work of a tester is important and useful

Because the business wants to sell a quality product that is easy to use, get positive reviews and increase sales. And not the negativity on the Web and the drop in the company’s rating due to the abundance of errors in the software.

The goal of the tester is a digital product that will not give errors, no matter what the user does. There is also an element of psychology here: a tester needs to be able to think like a user who is far from IT, to put himself in his place. Therefore, companies value beginners: they notice such details that professionals do not see from the height of experience.

To be honest, testers really have to click on all the buttons and links, fill out all the forms and try to make all the possible mistakes that the user can think of. You can’t do without it.

Because of this, politically incorrect developers once insultingly called testers “clicker monkeys.” The term was so common that Android named its test automation tool MonkeyRunner, in the sense that it’s like a monkey, only faster.

But don’t think that testers are just randomly hitting keys in the hope of finding a bug – this is unproductive. They have their own methods for identifying program weaknesses and quickly finding bugs.

QA engineers come up with instructions for testing – test cases. At an elementary level, it looks like this: analysts write requirements – what data should be at the input, how it is processed, what should be the result; testers write step-by-step instructions to test the program against these requirements.

The tester must scrupulously check what will happen if some action is taken, and whether the result is as expected.

But errors are insidious – in laboratory conditions they may not manifest themselves, but the user will stumble upon them after the release. Therefore, QA engineers come up with different standard and non-standard situations to check how the program will behave. This is a creative process, in order to find hidden bugs, you have to be smart and analytical.

It is necessary to provide for all possible and impossible options. What happens if the user enters numbers instead of letters? What if his computer is buggy? What if many users will work at once and overload the system?

Manuals and autotesters

Programs for automatic testing help to facilitate the work of the tester. Automation reduces testing time and reduces routine work. In large projects, automation is indispensable: there are a lot of elementary repetitive actions, there is not enough time to do them all.

All testers are divided into manual and autotesters. The former look for errors in the code manually, the latter write programs that do this automatically. But this is a very conditional division. You will not find an automator who would not be able to test the program manually. And many manual testers do not like routine, so they master programming languages and write automated tests. Experienced specialists can perform the work of both a manual operator and an autotester.

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