Test managers work on testing apps, programs, software production and the Internet of Things (IoT) for end users. They test software for usability and functionality. What makes a good test manager? Let’s look at their role, skills and responsibilities.
The role of a Test Manager
As the world continues developing at astonishing speeds, people from all walks of life are coming into contact with software apps and products of all kinds. This makes it very important to test the quality of these programs and applications.
Before a digital product is launched, test managers are responsible for testing them in terms of functionality and usability. In particular, they act as an interface between project management, other testers, the developers and finally, the customer.
It’s very important that test managers are part of the development process so that they can spot quality problems and solve them early enough and not when the development process is almost ready.
Test managers can work on different kinds of projects. From testing a simple app to testing complex software. Depending on the project, they will run different test strategies.
They will be in charge of the test management that includes:
- Planning (Analysis, Test planning and organization)
- Execution (Monitoring, issue management and reporting)
Quality is key. If an app or software doesn’t do what we expect it to do, it’s discarded and deleted.
What are the responsibilities of a Test Manager
Test managers are responsible for the planning, coordination, and control of various test activities. They first create a test process and test strategy that analyzes which test methods and tools are suitable and used for test activities.
This always depends on the test priority, i.e. which aspect of the subject is primarily tested. For example, they determine which tests are carried out manually and which tests are automated.
The test manager also defines which resources are used and plans the deadlines, budget, and personnel costs. A so-called test project plan can serve as an orientation, but it is constantly adapted as the test progresses.
Test managers take over the technical management and control of the test team. They ensure that team communication is smooth, delegate work processes and test activities, and bring together impressions and statistics that analysts have created, for example.
Among other things, their responsibilities include reporting to the client, the responsible project management or other stakeholders. Test managers document the tests carried out and analyze and evaluate the software quality before determining the further recommended procedure.
If necessary, a test management tool can be used to edit and monitor reports and statistics. These test management tools help in the management of both automated and manual tests.
Widely-used test management tools:
Typical tasks and responsibilities of a test manager:
- Organizing the testing process
- Planning, coordination, and control of the various test activities
- Development and definition of suitable test methods and test tools
- Technical management and control of the testing team
- Documentation of the test activities and preparation of the results
- Definition and monitoring of quality goals
- Ensuring high-quality products are delivered to clients
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Test Manager Skills
One of the most important skills for a test manager is their level of communication. This is because not only do they have to work in sync within a team but they must also correspond with different stakeholders.
Furthermore, unplanned changes and developments can always occur during a test phase. Therefore, test managers should also be flexible. They are also characterized by good analytical and conceptual skills, initiative and organizational strength, as well as keen leadership skills.
What are the necessary skills for a test manager?
- Ability to report, track, and create test status reports
- Project and test management experience
- Experience in working on migration projects
- Good knowledge of test management tools
- Familiar with IBM Mainframe and Unix
- Knowledge in frontend or backend coding is a plus
- Good communication skills
Test Manager Background
There is no particular degree or specific training to become a test manager. Test managers at IT companies always require sound knowledge and, if possible, a degree in computer science or business informatics. This background ensures that they are interested in technology.
However, somebody with a non-technical degree could also become a test manager. Ideally, the potential candidate already has relevant experience carrying out product tests.
It’s also possible to get a software testing certification such us:
- ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board)
- CAST (Certified Associate in Software Testing)
Where do test managers work?
Test managers can find employment in companies in almost all sectors and industries that use or develop software applications.
The automotive industry, aviation, medical technology, logistics as well as banking and insurance are just a few areas in which test managers can work both as employees and as freelancers.
How much does a Test Manager make?
Employees who work as test managers earn an average salary of around $80,000. The upper limit for Senior test managers is $187,000. The salary for newbie testers is just over $40,000.
How much does a Test Manager earn?
How much do Freelance Test Managers charge?
On average, freelance Test Managers charge $113/hr. When taken at an 8-hour day, this amounts to $904 per day (freelancermap rates index as of February 2020).