Software testers are computer technology professionals who use programs before they are released into a market in order to learn how they can be improved. In most cases, software testers consult software developers to learn about which features of programs are most important and to which demographics software might be marketed. It also is common for software testers to make suggestions regarding debugging programs and making interfaces more user friendly for target software users. Software testing qualifications normally include some formal academic training in computer science, such as through associate programs or undergraduate programs, where individuals learn basic programming languages. It also is common for software testing qualifications to include some professional certification, such as in quality assurance, as well as years of experience in the software testing field, specifically within certain industries, such as financial software or medical software.
People who work in the field of software testing normally are expected to have strong understandings of software development, the process by which new software is designed and existing software is updated or improved. For this reason, employers normally include formal academic training among software testing qualifications. It is not always necessary, however, to have a degree in a related field. While many people who would like to become software testers certainly can benefit from this kind of credential, individuals who have managed to acquire computer programming experience without enrolling in degree or certification programs also may be eligible for software testing employment.
It is still common for software testing qualifications to include some formal training, though, since software testers commonly are expected to communicate with clients on the user end of software programs, as well as with software developers. It is essential that software testers are able to speak and write clearly about sometimes complex concepts and actions. They must be able to explain complicated, highly technical ideas in common language to clients and must also be able to use highly technical jargon with information technology professionals, such as computer programmers. By earning some kind of certification or degree, software tester job applicants can prove that they have had experience communicating ideas at a formal level.
It also is common for software testing qualifications to include experience developing software in a related field. For example, a person who would like to become a software testing professional in the financial software industry should have an understanding of how this kind of software is used and how it is developed. In these cases, while software testing qualifications might not explicitly state that applicants need to have academic training in related fields, many successful applicants do have this experience listed on their resumes.