Building a Team of Application Testers: Job Description, Skills, and More

Software application testers are an essential part of any development team. 

This article will explore the role of an application tester, why you need them, which skills to look for, and more!  

What’s an Application Tester? 

Application testers, sometimes known as quality analysts or quality engineers, are key players in the software development process. In short, these professionals are responsible for evaluating and testing newly developed software applications for functionality.  

They work to ensure that applications are stable, secure, functional, and user-friendly while also checking for potential bugs and other errors. Additionally, application testers can assess software for the required specifications set by clients, developers, and other stakeholders.  

The role of an application tester is not an independent one; these employees almost always work in a team environment, collaborating with developers and product owners to facilitate product launches. Still, their daily responsibilities can vary based on a multitude of factors.  

Application Tester Job Description

Industry, the company, and the type of software being developed are just a few factors that can affect an application tester’s job duties. For the most part, however, these software experts spend their days:  

  • Coordinating with clients and other stakeholders to understand product requirements 
  • Developing and executing test plans for new and existing applications  
  • Using various application testing tools such as Selenium and Testing Whiz 
  • Monitoring and analyzing application performance 
  • Developing and maintaining automated test scripts  
  • Recording testing processes and documenting findings on risks and potential methods of remediation  

Software Developers vs. Application Testers

Are application testers really a necessary addition to your development team? Can’t your software developers act as testers, too? These are valid questions—ones that many IT hiring managers have probably asked themselves over the years. But the bottom line is this: you need app testers on your team.  

For starters, developers may have a bias towards their own code. Having separate employees dedicated to testing is a great way to ensure any overlooked errors get resolved. Additionally, hiring application testers is cost efficient. Your developers don’t have to spend time testing their software and can instead work on actively developing product.  

What Skills do Application Testers Need?

Like any technology expert, application testers need a robust combination of hard and soft skills to find success in their role.  

Effective communication, an eye for detail, and analytical skills are all important qualities for any application tester, but they must also have a strong understanding of the applications they’re testing, plus knowledge of different programming languages and software development tools.  

Let’s take an in-depth look at what skills and qualities to look for in your next software tester candidate: 

Soft Skills and Other Qualities

Here are three important soft skills for application testers:  

  • Communication. Every software application tester needs communication skills—no matter the industry or type of software. This is because they need to be able to communicate complex technical issues in simple language to clients or stakeholders who may not have a technical background.  
  • Documenting and reporting. Software application testers need documenting and reporting skills to create reports outlining their testing procedure. These reports are essential for managers and other stakeholders to understand the results of the testing process, and to make decisions about the software. Additionally, application testing involves a lot of repetitive actions and tests. Being able to accurately document the process is useful should another member of your team need to repeat those steps.  
  • An eye for detail. Having an eye for detail is a trait that every tester can benefit from—and it’s not hard to imagine why. Even the smallest errors or bugs can cause significant issues in the function and usability of software, so testers need to have the ability to easily spot any mistakes or inaccuracies.  

Technical Skills

Here are four technical skills every app tester should have on their resume:  

  • Programming languages. To identify errors and debug software, application testers need to have some familiarity with common programming languages. This includes front-end languages such as HTML, CSS, and Java as well as back-end languages like Python and PHP.  
  • Automation testing. More and more companies are scaling back their manual testing efforts and adopting automated ones; it saves time, reduces costs, and produces more accurate results. You should look for candidates with the ability to develop, execute, and maintain automated test scripts using tools such as Selenium or similar frameworks.  
  • Agile methodologies. Your application tester candidates should have experience in Agile testing methodologies. By hiring candidates with this expertise, you’re ensuring your testing process emphasizes collaboration, continuous testing, early feedback, and flexibility—all of which leads to high quality work that meets the needs of customers.  
  • DevOps. In line with automation testing, DevOps includes the practices and tools for release automation and compliance. This includes automated testing to see if any changes have broken something previously built. By applying this skill set, software changes can be pushed more quickly.

These skills are only some of the most useful qualities to look for in your next app tester hire, but there are several other traits that signify a high-quality candidate. Experience with bug tracking tools, mobile technologies, and database management are all useful hard skills, while project management, critical thinking, and adaptability are other valuable soft skills.  

Application Tester Salary and Job Outlook

According to Glassdoor, the average base salary of a software tester is $73,818, but this can fluctuate based on education, years of experience, skillset, location, and other factors.  

Applicator testers are also looking at higher-than-average job growth in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that the employment of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is projected to grow 25 percent from 2021 to 2031. So, if you’re a hiring manager looking to build out a team of software experts, expect to add a few app testers to your hiring roster.  

Hire Application Testers 

Looking to hire a skilled application tester, or a team of qualified software experts? Our experts at Evergreen can help.