Almost every day we come across a new app or software that was designed and tested over and over again until it finally reflects what we as end-users see. So who does this testing? That would be Technical Tester. This week on Freelancermap’s Career Insights, we dive into who a technical tester is and what do they actually do.
The Role of a Technical Tester
A tester is an individual that tests software or similar projects for bugs, errors, defects or any problem that the end-user may come across. To put it simply, the role of a tester is to test out products and provide reports to the project team about any issues or improvements that the product may require.
To do so, they are first required to analyze a project and identify the various types of tests that need to be run. A plan is then created by the testers implementing these various tests.
Technical testers work as part of a development team and perform functional as well as non-functional testing of a range of technical products using manual and automated testing techniques.
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Tasks and Responsibilities
Technical Testers generally have a strong grasp over technical tools and techniques, along with some level of software development knowledge/experience. In the test planning and preparation phases of the testing, technical testers usually review and contribute to test plans, as well as analyzing and assessing requirements and specifications.
They are usually involved in or are completely responsible for identifying test conditions and creating test designs, test cases, test procedure specifications, and test data. They may then automate or help to automate the tests. They often set up the test environments or assist system administration and network management staff in doing so
Once the tests are implemented and run, technical testers are required to log tests, evaluate the results and document problems found. They monitor the testing and the test environment, often using tools for this task, and often gather performance metrics.
To list it out, a technical tester is responsible for –
- Understanding the architecture of the product being tested
- Planning out the testing strategy, to execute tests and find the hidden issues
- Analyzing the pros & cons of the specific plan, as well as the risks linked to each of the components and interfaces in the product.
- Reviewing the code they need to test
- Working with scripts & automation tools
- Staying up to date with the technical aspects of the project infrastructure (e.g. browsers, databases, languages, etc)
- Analyzing and logging issues, and providing appropriate feedback.
Technical testers are often required to have testing skills that have nothing to do with automation. It is invaluable for any tester to be able to skilfully use the different tools available to them.
Here you’ll find some of the most valuable technical skills that a technical tester can have –
- Basic knowledge of Database/ SQL: Technical testers deal with projects that work with a large amount of data in the background. This data is stored in different types of databases like Oracle, MySQL, etc. In such cases, having the technical know-how of database/SQL comes in handy!
- Basic knowledge of Linux commands: Most software applications like Web-Services, Databases, Application Servers are deployed on Linux machines. This makes it almost crucial for technical testers to have knowledge of Linux commands.
- Working with Test Management tools: Test Management is an important aspect of a technical tester’s day to day role. Without proper test management techniques, the software testing process will fail.
- Working with Defect Tracking tools – It is extremely critical to manage defects properly and track them in a systematic manner using tools such as QC, Bugzilla, Jira, etc.
- Working with Automation tools: Automation tools such as Selenium, Ranorex, and Cucumber are the basic necessity when it comes to being any kind tester, not just technical.
- Analytical skills: Any good tester can benefit from great analytical skills. They allow you to break up a complex software system into smaller units to gain a better understanding of each individual element.
- Communication skills: This one goes without saying. When working on a collaborative project, good communication skills can go a long way when it comes to relaying information and providing reports on tests you’ve run.
- Time Management & Organization Skills: Technical testing can at times turn into a demanding role. Being able to efficiently manage workload against time constrictions can benefit a tester. Further skills to have are high productivity, optimal time management, and organization skills.
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How to become a Technical Tester?
Wondering what it takes to become a technical tester? Most technical testers are generally required to have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as engineering, computer science, or technology.
You may also undergo certifications to improve overall expertise and knowledge of relevant tools and techniques. For e.g. – ISTQB Certification or CSTE Certification.
The annual salary that a technical tester can hope to bring in lands around $50,000 per year on the income scale for beginners. Candidates with a few years of experience can expect this amount to go up to almost $65,000 per year, while those at the peak of their careers stand to receive an average of $89,000 per year. These numbers, of course, are heavily influenced by factors such as professional experience, the size of the company and also the region.
How much does a Technical Tester earn?
The average freelancer hourly rate for a Technical Tester is $111 per hour. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $888 per day. (freelancermap price index – as of May 2019)