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Considering that most professions do not offer the opportunity to keep working remotely, people are starting to look for new career paths. What seems to be the easiest choice for those in need of a new beginning is becoming a QA Engineer, QA Analyst or software tester. How hard can it be for someone who uses technology on a daily basis to test apps?

The demand for IT specialists

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of IT professionals is expected to grow 13% between 2020 and 2030, surpassing the average growth for occupations. Such an accelerated pace is reasonable considering that computer and information technology jobs benefited from the pandemic due to the new norm of working remotely. In just a few weeks the great majority of employees were forced to adapt to this trend which now seems to keep growing even after offices start to reopen. Reaching higher levels of productivity, and saying goodbye to the dreaded commute are just a few of the advantages. To put it simply, these changes benefited those working in IT since companies adapted easily to a digital workplace by taking advantage of the already used technology -such as Slack, Drive and Google Meet- to communicate remotely. There are no obstacles for companies to follow through with the transition and to even stay remote indefinitely.

During the current pandemic, employees are rethinking their careers, a common pattern after life-changing events, and as already mentioned above, job opportunities for IT professionals are increasing. The information technology world seems to be the best possible solution with well-paid positions, significant growth opportunities and the chance to work remotely. Such abrupt change is not easy to accomplish but many have found the way to do it.

Quality Assurance

One way of getting into the tech industry is by becoming a software tester, a QA analyst or a QA engineer. Some may think it is the quickest and easiest way since testing comes hand in hand with career growth. The experience and apprehension provided by this opportunity to explore different angles of the software development process can be later applied to different positions, such as test automation engineer, product manager and even software developer.

Nowadays, with the countless online courses anyone can become a software tester -at least an average one- and with this solid foundation, companies may hire you in view of the increasing worldwide demand.

The complexity of testing

Quality Assurance testers are responsible for testing websites or apps in order to find malfunctions or defects, a simple look at the app is not enough. The job consists of comprehensive and thorough tests, which are crucial. After all, it eliminates risks from the release process so companies can focus on their growth.

Knowing the responsibilities of a QA tester, it is important to understand the skills needed which most online courses tend to omit. First of all, good communication skills are essential, both written and verbal. Testers find themselves documenting use cases and bug reports that must be detailed and easy for the whole team to understand. For instance, developers should not have to ask for more detailed information once they read a bug report, and new employees should be able to become acquainted with a project by reading the use cases. To ensure well-detailed documentation, a tester needs to have a clear idea of UI/UX terminology and behavior driven development (or BDD).

Furthermore, as some may believe, using a phone or computer on a daily basis should be enough expertise for the job. However, this could not be further from the truth. A tester must have a broad range of knowledge in software applications, hardware, cloud computing and networks. This includes, for example, understanding the difference between desktop and mobile operating systems, such as Windows, MacOS, Linux, IOS and Android. With the increasing competition in the browser market, new features are added or refined with the intention to differentiate themselves. Consequently, the outcome of a project may vary depending on which browser is used. Therefore, testers need to assure the quality and accessibility of a software in every OS since no one can predict how an user chooses to interact with it.

Finally, a software tester must familiarize with all the tools used in IT jobs. Starting with a solid understanding of agile methodologies for team collaboration and knowledge of the most popular kanban boards to report bugs and organize work, such as Trello, Jira or Asana, frequently asked in IT hiring processes. Followed by database management systems, for instance, MongoDB Compass, MySQL and phpMyAdmin. In addition, the proficiency in automation tools is valuable: Cucumber with Appium or Selenium for those more advanced or TestProject for beginners. For writing test cases, TestRail is one that might come in handy, and Postman for API testing.

Even though learning manual QA can be fast, easy and affordable for those seeking a change in their profession, only those eager to learn, ready to persistently build on their skill set, and those who have the aspiration to become an expert at the job will make it. The demand for QA testers is growing but there are not enough qualified people to fill these positions since it takes time and resources to build on the skill.

If you think you got what it takes to become part of the Euda QA team, do not hesitate to contact us! Good luck!

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