Software test engineers are responsible for the testing of software solutions both during and following their design and implementation. The work of a software tester is highly complex and technical in its nature and is constantly evolving due to advances in technology. Discover how to train as a software test engineer in the UK.
Depending on the type of organisation for which they work, a software tester may test whole systems or applications. Typical work activities for a software tester include:
- Analysing user requirements;
- Testing new programs and finding faults;
- Rewriting programs to aid in the solving of any faults found;
- Evaluating the software and systems that make computers and hardware work;
- Working with a range of computer coding languages;
- Maintaining systems through the monitoring and correcting of software defects;
- Working closely with a range of other staff, including project managers, developers and systems analysts;
- Updating their own technical knowledge by attending courses, reading relevant documentation and using the latest technologies.
The majority of software testers are graduates in software engineering, computer science, electronic engineering, mathematics or physics. Work experience, gained through work placements or sandwich years in industry during the course of a degree programme, will aid graduates in acquiring jobs.
Large graduate employers typically provide a structured programme of training, allowing new testers to gain experience in a range of areas. The majority of companies offer their employees on-going training to enable them to keep up with industry developments.
Salary and working conditions
Salaries for software test engineers depend on the company for which an individual works, the location of the company, and nature of the projects conducted.
Working hours Working hours are typically standard office hours. However, longer hours are often necessary as projects draw to a close. During project launches, software test engineers are often required to work shifts to handle problems at all hours of the day.
The majority of software test engineers work in an office or computer laboratory. Computer software testers spend long hours in front of a computer monitor.
A high level of commitment is required to become a software tester. The costs of software projects are often very high and project deadlines tight. This means that stress will increase as deadlines approach and staff must be required to put in extra hours to complete the project on time.
International travel may be an option, depending on the location of the client requiring software development and testing.