What Do Employers Want From A Test Engineer?
Good software requires excellent test engineers. This is why skilled and competent test engineers are in such high demand. So, what makes a good test engineer? If you want to impress employers and demonstrate why you are the perfect candidate for the role, here are the essential skills that employers are looking for from their test engineers.
The key skills that employers want from a test engineer
While test engineers will spend most of their working day managing their own workload, software engineers, at all levels, will have to communicate well to ensure everyone in the project is up to date. Collaborating, sharing ideas and liaising with colleagues are all essential parts of the role. As a result, employers will be looking for candidates that clearly show a strong team spirit and will favour those who work well with others.
Industry Best Practice
With testing developing at a rapid pace, employers need to find candidates who are up to date with the latest tools and techniques as well as following the best practice methods to ensure successful testing. The critical aspect employers will be looking for is the training that their employees take and any follow-up or refresher courses that would have added to the learning.
For entry-level test engineers, a qualification such as ISTQB Foundation in Software Testing will be highly regarded. (You can book this course here). As your experience grows in the industry, employers will be looking for your test engineer skills to develop. This may be by pursuing TMMi Professional for businesses that focus on the TMMi model. Alternatively, you may want to focus on App Testing or perhaps Test Automation.
While qualifications help to demonstrate your competencies, employers will be looking for test engineers with proven experience in the field. For entry-level roles, this may not always be possible. However, as test engineers require multi-layered competencies, there are ways that you can demonstrate your experience with particular skills, such as presenting, teamwork, communication and technical skills without having specific test engineer experience.
It is crucial always to link your experience back to the critical requirements that the employer is looking for.
When it comes to software developing and testing, there is usually an exact timeline complete with milestones and several deadlines. As a test engineer, you will be responsible for organising your workload around the schedule to make sure everything is ready in time. Being late or delaying your work will affect your colleagues and the next stage of the project.
Many employers will look for test engineers to have their own project management skills, so that they can not only manage their own tasks but look to plan the whole testing regime, and often manage other staff too.
Agile is a common practice that software companies adopt. More than just project management, it focuses on the key skills of communication, collaboration and operation to be fast-paced, high-quality and flowing. Many employers will look favourably on test engineers that are well versed in project management skills and have knowledge of aspects such as Agile too. If you manage a team of engineers or testers then Agile for Product Owners may be the course for you and your business.
Whatever level of testing you are currently at, a key component of your role will be to share feedback, ideas and information. Testing is actually a small aspect of the role; it is how you communicate those findings which will be integral to the business and your employers. Communication techniques will vary depending on the business structure, style and project you are working on.
The most important aspect of communication for test engineers is to communicate your feedback and findings in a way that is clear and understandable. Many people in the business will not have the technical know-how or specific testing knowledge. Test engineers need to speak in a way that colleagues can comprehend so that they have the necessary information they need to come up with the right solutions for the project.
From emails to conferences to presentations, it is wise to build up the soft skills of communication and to become comfortable with communicating across a range of formats.
Every test needs to be set up and implemented correctly. Test automation needs to be effective and successful. With this in mind, having a keen eye for detail and a strong analytical mindset will ensure that you are always implementing the correct quality control measures to ensure every test is successful and worthwhile.
Product quality is a hugely desirable skill that many employers are looking for, and courses such as iSQI Practitioner in Agile Quality (PAQ) can really help to increase your competitiveness and set you apart from the competition. Showing your quality mindset can benefit the whole team as you can educate the best practices and put in place measures of effectiveness that make projects more successful.
You can also be integral in lowering project costs and reducing timelines too as you learn to build quality into all of your testing techniques. Quality control hugely desirable skill for employers and will ensure you are in demand.
When it comes to software testing, there will always be obstacles to overcome. New systems and new software will undoubtedly have hiccups and issues which will all need ironing out. As a test engineer you will not only need to troubleshoot to problem, but also come up with a solution and make decisions that could impact the rest of the team and the project.
Your decision making will need to draw on skills such as reasoning and analysis. Your decision making will often also need to be quick-thinking without being rash. Working well under pressure is a massive benefit for test engineers and will be something that employers will look for.
Another critical aspect of decision-making is being comfortable with change. Your decisions may need you to divert from the planned course of action. Instead of taking the easy route, you need to focus and welcome changes that can bring the project success while also justifying these decisions to your colleagues and senior management.
Skills for testing engineers
While employers and looking for these vital skills from their software engineers, they will also know that many of the skills will develop from experience in the role. However, having a good understanding of these skills and where your strengths and weaknesses lie will help you to create a robust professional development plan to get to where you want to be. If you need support with your technical skills, then TSG Training is here to help with many different courses all for the benefit of testing engineers. Discover your next course here.