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How to become a tester and earn from $ 3000: detailed instructions

A quick start, a sought-after IT profession, a salary in dollars, a social package and the opportunity to work in international companies – this is how many people imagine the profession of a tester

We at MS.today tried to find out if this is really the case, and also found out who the tester is, how to become one and who is paid $ 3000 +.

Who is a tester, what is he responsible for and what does he do

The tester is an important person in the team of programmers. It checks the software for errors and helps to eliminate them.

The software testing process can be compared to a car test drive, where your task is to understand whether the car meets your requirements and test it in operation.

Testers are often confused with Quality Assurance (QA) or Quality Control (QC) and vice versa. But these are three different areas, each with its own list of responsibilities and tasks:

  • The tester helps to correct errors in the finished software. It goes the way of the user and pays attention to everything: layout, convenience, functions, user interface. Simply put, conducts a test drive of the car.
  • QC is a specialist who evaluates the quality of a product and its readiness for release. It analyzes the code, looks for errors in the software and encourages the developer to correct the defects found. As a production engineer, he checks whether the materials, techniques and tools meet the parameters specified in the drawings.
  • QA is a specialist who is responsible for the quality of the product not only in the development process, but also at the planning stage. Again, let’s turn to the example of the car: it controls the compliance of all stages of the car to the prescribed quality standards. Starting from the drawings and ending with the assembly.

In Ukrainian realities, all these areas are often combined in the person of one QA-specialist.

Depending on the qualifications of QA-specialists can be divided into junior, middle and senior (beginner, intermediate, advanced). These levels differ in the set of technical skills and the ability to solve work problems independently.

Simplified, it looks like this:

  • The junior needs to be explained what feature and how to do it.
  • Middle needs to be explained what feature he needs, and he will understand its implementation.
  • The Senior himself will explain to you why this feature does not need to be done at all.

Testers are also distinguished by testing methodology

  • Manual QA (classic “manual” testing)

-The manual tester checks everything himself and trusts only himself.

  • Automation QA

—A tester who has pumped programming skills and writes self-tests – programs that perform testing automatically.

  • General QA (manual plus automatic testing)

—Such a specialist combines manual skills and the magic of self-tests.

  • Performance QA

—Performance testing specialist.

Testers are hired by companies that develop their own product such as Bitrix24. They can also be outsourced companies that provide testing services for development teams without their own QA department.

There is a myth that anyone can become a tester, even a taxi driver or a housewife. Yes and no. Successful careers in QA and the same $ 3000 + are most often achieved by specialists with education in programming, computer science, mathematics. If you can still find humanitarian students among juniors, technicians often become seniors.

How to become a tester. Which is better: courses or self-study?

If you look at the stories published on the forums and blogs of testers, there are two ways to get this profession: self-education and training in an IT school.

The first option assumes that you will master your professional skills with the help of training materials on Google and YouTube. Example:

  • General ideas about the profession can be obtained in a free basic course from the educational platform Prometheus.
  • Many useful things beginner testers will find on Bugza. They have a free course on manual software testing from scratch and before employment.
  • You can also learn video lessons at Artsiom Rusau QA Life.
  • The basics of the profession can be found in Roman Savin’s book “DOT COM Testing”.
  • You will find a lot of useful information in professional blogs and forums such as DOU.ua, Habr, Software Testing Tools, Software Testing Help, Software Testing Tricks.

The second option is to study in specialized courses. Proponents of this strategy believe that the Internet has a lot of outdated and unnecessary information. Without basic knowledge and experience it will be difficult to understand all this. In good courses you will get a quality theoretical basis and practice, as well as the opportunity to show yourself and even get a job before graduation. Large companies often hire newcomers from their own courses and educational programs.

Paid courses for testers:

  • IT-academy experts claim that up to 70% of their graduates become SoftServe employees. In fact, it created the Academy.
  • The ITEA All-Ukrainian Educational Project offers several levels of training: basic and advanced courses, as well as an automated testing course.
  • The Step Academy also has an individual program.
  • Udemy promises to show you step by step how to go from a beginner to your first job in QA.
  • Work with a real project, personal consultations of an HR specialist, assistance in finding a job and drawing up an individual development plan are guaranteed in QAlabs.
  • Advanced testers are invited to Lviv IT-school Lits for advanced training.

What to look for when choosing a school or course

Carefully review the curriculum: is it a complete test course or part of a marketing scheme where you need to buy additional modules. For example, QAlabs has three learning formats with different skill sets. It is good if you show the program to a person who understands this.

Don’t skimp on employment modules. Finding a job immediately after training is quite difficult, sometimes you can not do without consulting a recruiter. It is good if the module includes not just a lecture, but also feedback from a specialist on your resume. In the same QAlabs in the program #START there is only a lecture on employment, and the formats #BASE and #EXPERT already include work with HR.

Find out the level of teachers and mentors of the course. They must be practitioners at least of Strong Middle. This information is easy to get by studying the profiles of trainers on LinkedIn and other resources.

Pay attention to the number of homework assignments and the availability of feedback on them. The more tasks, the better. It gives experience and confidence that will be useful in interviews and in future work.

How to get your first job in QA

Often, first-time specialists get their first job while studying at courses at IT companies, or at a specialized university, where employers come in search of new staff. But if you are not lucky enough to receive an invitation to work while studying, do not despair, and start acting.

  1. Study the market

Visit vacancy aggregators, write down the requirements of employers for your specialization and make a list of your competencies.

Each company has its own specific requirements for testers, but the “skeleton” of skills is something like this:

  • know the types and kinds of testing;
  • know techniques of test design and test analysis;
  • understand the types of test documentation, be able to fill it;
  • know bug-tracking systems and be able to start bugs in them;
  • be able to form a clear report on the testing;
  • know the terminology;
  • know English not below the average level for communication and work with technical documentation.
  1. Write a re sume

The resume should not be too long. The optimal size is one or two pages. Format – PDF. Language – English.

The resume template can be downloaded from thematic resources, made on the designer or in Canva.

Experienced experts advise not to send one resume to everyone in a row, but to adapt it to a specific company.

3.Prepare a cover letter

This is a must have for a job search. To get to the heart of the recruiter, study the vacancy and the company you are applying to.

Advice. For convenience, create one common document, and write in it all your skills, experience and achievements that correspond to the profession. As well as accompanying text and links to job you have done before. Depending on the requirements of the employer, send this document in full or copy only the necessary blocks.

4.Create a portfolio

What to do if there are no completed projects yet? Testers’ forums are advised to choose the object of testing on the Internet. This can be a website, a mobile application or a desktop computer program. For this purpose, it is better to choose fresh products where not all defects are eliminated yet.

5.View vacancies and send resumes

You can do this yourself through job sites or seek the help of a recruiter.

Vacancies for testers can be found:

  • on vacancy aggregators: work.ua, hh.ua, rabota.ua, DOU.ua, djinni.co, upwork.com, freelancer.com;
  •  in telegram channels: forallqa, kpi_work, job_it_ukraine, itrecruit_ua, offer_ua;
  • on LinkedIn – recruiters actively use this social network;
  • on the websites of IT companies – they often post information about open vacancies and internships.
  1. Prepare for interviews

Find out on the Internet what questions are usually asked by recruiters and technicians in interviews, and process them. And repeat the theory of testing, tasks and logical problems.

7.Keep statistics

When looking for a job, be sure to keep statistics:

  • which companies you sent your resume;
  • how many came to the interview invitation;
  • how many refused immediately, and how many – after the test task.

Analyze the results, sometimes the causes of failures can be quite trivial:

  • illiterate resume;
  • the motivational part is not registered;
  • geographical distance of the employer.

And sometimes you need to improve specific skills: English or theory, for example.

If you are denied an interview or fail a test, feel free to ask for feedback from a recruiter or technician. This way you will quickly find your “blind spots” and speed up the employment process.

Where can a novice tester gain experience?

To get the first job, you need experience, and to get experience, you need practice. But where to practice, if without experience they do not hire?

Fortunately, there are many options, and we will talk about the three best of them.

Internship. IT companies often open free internship programs. The best performers receive a job invitation and an additional plus in the resume. Paid and free internships can be found on DOU.ua, MacPaw and NIXsolutions.

Crowd testing platforms. For example, uTest and Crowdtesting. They work on the principle of the exchange: customers provide a product that needs to be tested on a particular device and OS, and testers, in fact, test it. On a voluntary basis or for a nominal fee.

Joint projects. Beginners can assemble their first product team during the courses. Novice programmers and developers also need experience. With joint projects you can participate in grant programs, hackathons, ideatons and competitions. Or just create a project for a portfolio.

How much do testers earn in Ukraine?

It is thought that testers earn less than developers. In fact, talented QA engineers earn at the level of good developers.

According to an anonymous salary survey from DOU.ua, at the beginning of his career, a tester earns an average of $ 600, and an experienced QA engineer – $ 2600.

But a junior with automated testing skills receives an average of $ 150 more. For seniors, the difference is more noticeable – an average of $ 1,000.

QA Manager and QA Tech Lead already earn $ 3000 +.

The size of the salary also depends on the city, the format of work (remotely, or office), the company (in the grocery pay more than in the outsourcing) and even the profile university that the employee graduated from.

To earn more, testers have to learn additional or related skills.

Example:

  • business analytics;
  • load testing;
  • programming;
  • writing self-tests;
  • mentoring and tutorship.

Instead of conclusion

The profession of tester is really promising and in demand, but it is certainly not “easy entry into IT for people without technical education.”

Already at the start you need to know:

  • operating system at the level of the advanced user;
  • web technologies, mobile applications, game development;
  • IT-English.

Be attentive, sedentary, sociable and learn quickly.

And to achieve the desired $ 3000 +, you still need to have technical education and management skills.

But most importantly – the profession must be loved, otherwise it will be boring and difficult. Going to QA just for the money is definitely not worth it. Well, if you have made a decision, this article will help you make a plan. Moreover, let everything work out for you.

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