Software testing as an independent discipline was born nearly two decades ago. There once was a time when IT professionals had to be convinced that testing could be a career; many people thought software development careers were more attractive and that testing meant a manual, monotonous job. However, testing and quality assurance (QA) as a career has evolved over years and these myths have since been shaken. Testing and QA careers are rewarding and challenging, like other fields in IT industry. This blog discusses the various opportunities and careers in software testing and QA, career paths, and how to enrich your career in this field. IT veterans and young professionals alike have found their place in the QA and testing world.
Currently, close to 50% of the global testing outsourced work is carried out in India. The size of the testing market is estimated at $40 billion, with 40% of it labeled as “specialized” testing (done by independent testers) against 60% traditional testing (embedded in the development lifecycle). The specialized testing share is continually on the rise in line with advancements in software development lifecycles, the movement towards DevOps and agile, and continuous testing.
(2) Career Options in Testing Services
Testing professionals can choose from various career paths—technical, architect, consulting, project management—to move forward in their careers. The SMAC (Social media, Mobility, Analytics, and Cloud) world today has made QA even more important. The cost of failure in the digital world today is very high, particularly when one includes the reputational damages, which have made robust QA processes essential. The agile and DevOps world has not eliminated the need for testing; rather, such testing is carried out in sprints, with increased sprints driving the need for more testing and automation. The testing profession has continued to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of dynamic business and the various development methodologies used.
Practitioners in testing services can progress their careers by doing the following:
- Cultivating knowledge in a diverse set of testing solutions, processes, tools, methods, architectures and disciplines
- Applying industry expertise and domain-specific knowledge.
- Navigating any one of the four peaks by acquiring breadth and depth in core capabilities
- Enhancing engagement experiences, undertaking training and mentoring in order to progress to the executive level.
The majority of testing services practitioners are in the technical peak, although career paths are available in each of the four peaks. Practitioners grow core testing skills and capabilities as they progress. Typically, practitioners can decide on a career path in one of the four peaks.
(3) Typical Roles in Testing Services
Testing services practitioners come from a variety of backgrounds. Typical job roles that a testing services practitioner may have today or in the future can include:
- Test Specialist
- Test Architect
- Technical Team Leader
- Test Consultant
- Test Manager
The testing services skill sets include test consulting, test management, planning, execution, test environment and data management, defect management, automation tools comparison and selection, test automation architecting, security testing, performance, and capacity management.
(4) The Importance of Industry and Domain, Technology and Tools, and Process Skills in Testing Careers
Testing careers can leverage domain and analytical skills, process, technical knowledge, technology and tool skills, communication, and soft skills. Above all, attitude, flexibility, and learnability are some of the most desired skills for test professionals. The figure below indicates the plethora of industry and domains and technology skills one can choose from in order to specialize in their testing career path at providers such as Capgemini.
(5) Required Skills for Agile and DevOps Testing—Findings from World Quality Report 2016
The World Quality Report 2016 surveyed the Agile and DevOps skills needed and an organization’s readiness with these skills. As per World Quality Report 2016, the testing skills which would see higher demand in the evolving world of Agile and DevOps include test strategy and design skills, test environment virtualization, and non-functional testing (performance, security).
Testing comprises 30-40% of SDLC and despite all advances in tools, the percentage is not likely to drastically change. There is always need for testing, whether one implements a new technology, enhances existing implementation, or maintains existing code!
New methods and tools for testing are continually evolving, so testers will always be relevant—be they independent testers in TCOEs and large managed services test factories, or testers in smaller agile and DevOps projects, or testers to customer development projects with Java, .net, or testers for enterprise applications such as SAP and Oracle.
Testing is a field that can leverage an individual’s multi-faceted skills in business, technical, process, soft skills, domain, and industry skills.
Main Author – Renu Rajani, Vice President, Testing Global Service Line, Capgemini India; firstname.lastname@example.org