What does a Software Tester do?
A Software Tester/Software Test Engineer performs testing of software applications and is a member of the Quality Assurance team in a software company. Various types of testing are performed on different phases of the Software Development Life Cycle to find errors and assure quality. The main responsibility of Software Tester is to validate that the software works according to the requirements and to make sure that it is reliable, secure and easy to use.
The training and skills required are easy to learn (4-6 months of software testing training is sufficient to get entry level position). Salaries are high (from $25-$30/hour starting rates to $60-$75/hour for more experienced specialists) and the demand for testers is high and growing every year.
Software testing is a unique niche in a job market that allows regardless of your previous profession, background, and age, to get an interesting, respected, and well-paid job in a relatively short amount of time.
How big is demand for Software Testers now? Is it going to stay?
Currently, there are more than 4000 open positions in Software QA for US and more than 400 for Canada. Computer software quality assurance career will be amongst the fastest growing occupations through the year 2016-2022, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. Employment in this area is expected to increase by 22 percent from 2016-2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
How can I find out if a profession in Software Testing is in demand in my City/State/Province?
and make a search using the following keywords:
- Software QA
- Software Tester
- QA Analyst
You can also use local job search engines. For example, for British Columbia go to www.bctechnology.com and make a search using the same keywords as above.
Here are some examples of the current monthly demands for Software Testers:
- California - 1100 open positions
- New York - 600 open positions
- Illinois- 200 open positions
- Ontario - 200 open positions
- Quebec - 80 open positions
- Alberta - 50 open positions
- British Columbia - 50 open positions
There are quite a few courses on your website...What are the differences between them?
- "CF109 Software Quality Assurance and Software Testing" is our major QA course. It is delivered online and should be taken if:
- you choose Software QA as your career choice, but never worked in this field before
- you've already worked as a Software Tester, but decided to refresh, polish and expand your knowledge in this field
- "CF110 Software Quality Assurance and Software Testing" - is the same as CF109 from a content point of view. It is delivered in class and is only available in Vancouver, BC Canada.
- "CF102 Software Testing Methodology" - a practical course that covers fundamentals for manual testing. Materials of this course are covered in CF109
- "CF103 Software Test Automation" - a practical course that includes most popular automation tools Selenium WebDriver and HP UFT. All materials of this course are covered in CF109
- "CF107 Software Test Automation with Selenium WebDriver" - it covers Test Automation with most popular test automation tool on the market. The materials of this course are covered in CF109
- "CF106 Software Test Automation with HP UFT" - this course teaches fundamentals of automation with HP UFT and best industry practices to create sustainable automation. The materials of this course are covered in CF109.
Are there any pre-requisites to take CF109 program?
You don't need to have a computer science degree to take this program, but you do need to be computer literate and comfortable with Windows Operating System (as a user), Microsoft Office (fundamentals of MS Word and MS Excel) and the Internet. You also need to have access to a computer system with Windows Operating System, MS Office, and Internet connection. Before registration please take Quiz 5 in "CF101 Software Testing Course - FREE TRIAL (Sample Lessons)". Quiz 5 serves as an entrance examination that we use to select students for admission. It determines a candidate's preparation for a course of studies. A candidate passing Quiz 5 with at least 60% marks is eligible to take a program.
What if my education and background are not computer related?
In difference to Software Development, Software Testing open for the people from other industry domains. For example, if your background is in economics or accounting, then companies developing financial and accounting applications will be happy to hire you as a tester. Or if you are a doctor or nurse, then you will have a value for the companies developing software for medicine or pharmaceutical industries. A former pilot would be a great tester of air traffic software and former school teacher for educational, School Management or Course Management applications. Why? Because a software tester is validating software from the user point of view and being a subject matter expert will help to uncork potential problems easier.
Are there any books I need to buy for the course?
No, our QA course contains enough theoretical materials and does not require any book. At the same time, there are excellent books for software testing that will benefit the students who are going to pursue a career in this field. They don't just make your understanding of software testing methodologies deeper, but will also serve as great references in years to come. The books we recommend are:
- Testing Computer Software by Cem Kaner, Jack Falk, Hung Q. Nguyen
- Testing Applications on the Web by Hung Q. Nguyen
Does this course provide me with enough knowledge to find a job as a software tester?
Yes, our "Software QA and Software Testing" course is sufficient enough to successfully pass an interview and start working as a software tester (or equivalent job title). And while software testing as a separate profession is relatively new, there is a well-defined set of skills and knowledge for the Software Tester profession. Please take a look at the table below:
|Knowledge and Skills||Description||Note|
|Windows OS||Working knowledge of Windows Operation System is required||Pre-requisite for the course|
|MS Word/Excel||Working knowledge of MS Word and MS Excel is required||Pre-requisite for the course|
|Software Testing Methodology||That subject covers the place of Software Testing in Software Development Life cycle, various types and levels of testing and testing techniques||Covered by the course|
|Defect Tracking||That subject covers procedural knowledge of finding, reporting and tracking software errors. Defect Tracking Software is learned||Covered by the course|
|Test Plan and Test Cases||That subject teaches students how to design and write the state of the art Test Plans and Test cases. Test Management Software is learned||Covered by the course|
|Test Automation||That subject teaches students to work with Test Automation tools for Functional/Regression and Performance/Stress Testing. Various automation tools are learned||Covered by the course|
|Software Architecture||That subject introduces students to different types of Software Architecture||Covered by the course|
|Relational Databases and SQL||That subject introduces students to relational databases and Structured Query Language||Covered by the course|
|UNIX operation system||That subject introduces students to basic Shell commands and vi editor||Covered by the course|
|Virtual Machines||That subject introduces students to the world of virtual machines. Virtualization software is learned||Covered by the course|
|Introduction to Programming||Introduction to programming is an integral part of Test Automation lessons||Covered by the course|
|Practical experience in Software testing||Every student is entitled to an internship - practical work as Software Tester||The internship provided by the school|
Find more about software testing at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_testing
Should a tester be a good programmer in the first place in order to test other programmer's code?
Not exactly. To understand why let's talk about the types of testing. There are 3 of them:
- Black box testing - the tester feeds the program with input and observes an output using the software's user interface. The simplest example of black box testing would be clicking a button OK on the dialog box to verify that the button is working properly. If dialog box closes, then the test passes, if not, it fails. The tester does not actually need to know the code and internal structure of the program in order to perform black box testing.
- Grey box testing - similar to the black box, although tester is using some limited knowledge of the software internal structure during testing. Example of such testing would be a database testing, where knowledge of database schema (technical description of the database) is required.
- White box testing - testing a code. That type of testing is performed by software programmers. It requires programming skills and excellent knowledge of internal structure of a software product.
90-95% of all job openings on the market are black and grey box testing positions. And that is the kind of specialists we are providing training for.
Is an age a factor in getting a job as a software tester?
Skills that come with age such as common sense, judiciousness in decision making, patience, and tolerance to the routine are highly valued for Software Testing and viewed as an advantage, not a disadvantage. Software companies perfectly understand this when hiring new employees. The majority of our students are between 25 to 50 years old and have all found jobs without problems.
Can Software Testers work from Home?
Yes, there is a fast-growing demand for Software testing done remotely/from home and many companies are looking for professionals who are willing to do that. You can find information about this on Google by searching "freelance testing". Having said that, the majority of Software Testing positions are still in traditional workplaces (company office). The current trend in the IT Industry is so-called "telecommuting," where the software tester works regularly at the office, but is also permitted to work from home a couple days a week.
If I have questions in regards to the lesson or assignment, how I can contact an instructor?
- Every online lesson has special section called "There are no dumb questions..." that accumulate typical questions that arise during lesson and answers to them.
- Students can contact their instructor through email or phone.
- Students can discuss questions within Questions Forum.
- Students can use Hitek School Messenger to chat with an instructor directly.
Whatever may be the right choice for you, we assure that students' questions are always answered as thoroughly and quickly as possible.
How easy to get telephone support from an instructor whenever needed?
Easy and straightforward. Simply call USA/Canada Toll-Free 1-800-604-0254. We provide telephone support 6 days a week. Our core business hours are:
- Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM PST
- Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST
How fast is the instructor's response to the students' emails with course-related questions?
All emails are answered within 1 business day. (Usually within 1-2 hours).
I am an American living in Panama City (Panama). Can I take your course?
Yes, absolutely. You can take our software testing course online from any place in the world where an Internet connection is available. Majority of our students are from United States and Canada, but we also have students from Europe, Middle East, and South America.
What types of testing tools will I learn during the course?
Defect Tracking tools, Test Management Utilities, Test Automation tools for Functional and Regression testing, Test Automation tools for Performance and Load testing.
What is the difference between the online and in-class course?
There is no difference between the online and in-class qa course from a content point of view. All learning materials are the same.
What's the benefit of taking an online course?
- Time flexibility: with online course, it is much easier for people to work full time and go to school. An online class allows you to tailor your learning schedule to your needs (you can work the class around your schedule, instead of having to work your schedule around the class). It's also helpful for parents, especially those with small children. The course can start at any time and take as long as you need. Learn entirely at your own pace - no pressure or deadlines.
- Geographic flexibility: you don't need to be in a particular location to take a class. No need to leave your home - at all. No traveling costs. If you live in a remote area, or simply don't live near our school, this is a great opportunity.
- Price: an online course is significantly cheaper, due to the absence of typical expenses associated with the in-class course (rent, utilities, instructor's salary, etc.)
How long does it take to complete an online course?
On average, it takes 4 - 6 months for a student to complete the course. However, the pace you are willing to proceed with is completely up to you. We recommend 1 lesson per week, which results in 29 weeks. Your enrolment in the online qa course is valid for one year from the date of payment. However, if you need more time, inform your instructor and he will extend your access as needed.
Do I get a certificate upon completion of the course?
Yes, you get a Certificate in Software Quality Assurance. If your marks are 60% or higher you will get Certificate of Successful Graduation, if lower than 60% - Certificate of Attendance.
I did some research on job search sites as you suggested. There are indeed many open positions for Software Testers in my area, but many of them require at least 1-2 years of experience in the field. My understanding is that after graduation I will have no experience at all. How I can I find a job then?
It is true that without having related experience chances for employment are very slim. Here is how we provide experience for our graduates:
- First of all, at Hitek Computer School, each student participates in an Academic Project where they test web-based financial applications. Students will work as testers on this project - writing test plans and test cases, performing different types of tests, and designing and running test automation. This experience (usually equal to the timeframe of a student's study at Hitek - up to 12 months) will be reflected in student's resume. A Reference will be provided to potential employers by the student's team lead based on student requests.
- Next, our school will provide an internship after graduation ? an opportunity to work for one of our cooperative software companies as a Software Tester. The Internship can be up to 1 year or more (2 months minimum). If necessary, our school will provide two or more internships. This experience will be reflected in the student's resume and the company's representative will provide a reference to potential employers.
Together the academic project and internship(s) will result in software testing experience up to 1.5 - 2 years or more.
Will I get paid for participation in Internship program?
No, there is no payment or compensation in any form, for participation in the Internship program. It is a bonus for successful students with grades of 60% or higher. Essentially it is an extension of the course learning process.
How will my participation in the Internship program work? Should I leave my current job to participate?
No, you don't need to leave your day job for it. You will participate in testing web applications online from home. The number of hours you are willing to allocate is up to you and will be discussed with you by the project team lead before the internship starts. Based on that number, certain tasks will be assigned to you. On average, we expect 6-12 hours a week for about 2-3 months. However, it can be tailored to your preferences. When you identify the number of hours you are willing to spend, a commitment to that level is expected.
Do you help graduates in job searches and job placement?
Yes. We cooperate with a number of recruitment agencies to help our students find jobs post-graduation. Recruiters will inform us when new positions become available, and we pass this information onto our students. We also send student resumes to recruiters when requested. It is worth to note that there are more than enough open positions in this field on the market, and everyone can find them easily using job search engines such as monster, dice, workpolis, etc.
Really crucial factors towards attaining a job are:
- Subject matter knowledge demonstrated during an interview - we provide this during our training
- Industry Experience (ideally obtained in North America) - we provide this in the form of an internship
- Reference that confirms industry experience - your internship company will provide this for you
We also write resumes to our students and provide intensive training in answering interview questions for Software Testers.
What does the course price cover? What will I get?
The following is covered:
- Software Testing Methodology
- Defect Tracking
- Test Automation
- Introduction to Relational Databases and SQL
- Software Architecture
- Interview and Resume training
- Internship + Reference
How can I pay for the course?
For online courses, we accept money orders, personal cheques, INTERAC eTransfer, credit cards and PayPal payments - secure, quick and easy way to transfer money online. If you don't have PayPal account, you can create one here: www.paypal.com Money orders, personal cheques and cash payments accepted for in-class course.
What is the procedure to register and pay for the course using PayPal?
- Create an account for "CF101 Software Testing Course - FREE TRIAL (Sample Lessons)". Take a Quiz 5 in CF101 - it serves as an entrance exam for the course. A candidate passing Quiz 5 with at least 60% marks is eligible to take a course.
- On the main page, click link "CF109 Software Quality Assurance and Software Testing" (2nd from the top under 'Available Courses' header) or any other online course are you going to take
- Enter your username and password created for Sample lessons in Login page and click Login
- Login to CF109 page appears. Scroll down and you will see PayPal link on the bottom of the page under 'Please choose one of the following methods of enrolment.' header
- Click PayPal link and follow instructions
What is the procedure to register and pay for the course using a credit card?
Please call our office to process the payment between 9 am to 9 pm PST Monday to Friday and 9 am to 5 pm PST on Saturdays. Our phone numbers are 1-800-604-0254 or 604-617-0065
Your admission policy says that an applicant must pay a $250.00 non-refundable enrolment and registration fee. Does this mean that the applicant pays $250.00 in addition to the cost shown on the website?
No, the cost shown on the website is the actual price you are paying, and it already includes the $250.00 enrolment and registration fee.
Can I make arrangements to pay in installments?
Yes, it is possible to make your payment for "CF109 Software Quality Assurance and Software Testing" program in five installments. In order to pay in installments divide the course price into 5 equal parts and mail 5 cheques to our office as follows:
- First cheque dated on the date when you are planning to start an online course
- Second cheque post-dated 1 month later
- Third cheque post-dated 2 months later
- Fourth cheque post-dated 3 months later
- Fifth cheque post-dated 4 months later
All five cheques need to be mailed together. Please make cheques payable to Hitek Computer School. Our office mail address:
HITEK COMPUTER SCHOOL 1100-1200 West 73rd Avenue Vancouver, BC V6P 6G5, CANADA
Alternatively, you can pay in installments using Credit Card. Call us toll-free number 1-800-604-0254 and we will set up a pre-authorized payment option for you.
I am a new immigrant in Canada. Are there any programs that provide student loans/financial aid to cover the cost of the course?
Yes, there are. Please take a look here: http://hitekschool.com/mod/page/view.php?id=147
I was trying to register for the Sample Lessons, however, email that confirms my enrolment didn't arrive. What I am doing wrong?
It might take a couple of minutes for the email to arrive. If email did not arrive after 15 min, check your junk/bulk/trash folders. Your email system might filter it out. If you cannot find confirmation email there, try to register again using another email address. If it does not help, sent email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request enrolment to Sample Lesson. Our customer representative will enroll you immediately.
What does it mean that Hitek Computer School is registered with PTIB?
The Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education is the regulatory agency for private training institutions in the province of BC. The Agency is given its authority by the Province of British Columbia, Canada, Ministry of Advanced Education, under the Private Training Act, Regulations, and Bylaws.
PTIB has a responsibility to provide consumer protection to the students and prospective students of registered institutions. Students attending registered private career training institutions in British Columbia have their tuition protected by the Student Training Completion Fund (STCF). The STCF provides tuition trainout funding in the case of the closure of a private career training institution.
Also, when a school is registered with PTIB, students who are on EI (Employment Insurance) can apply to Service Canada to receive funds to cover the cost of the course. Hitek Computer School is in good standing with PTIB. You can check our status here: http://www.privatetraininginstitutions.gov.bc.ca/students/pti-directory (our registration #3556)