Software Testing Roles and Responsibilities


There are many different roles in software testing. Companies make an effort to define responsibilities for their job positions and a meaningful name for each role. Similar positions across the software testing industry may have different names to best suit their career path. This post focuses on the most common positions and responsibilities in software testing, the type of roles you will typically find in job postings.

RoleResponsibility
Software TesterExecute manual test scenarios for software applications and report defects.
Automation TesterPrepare and execute automated test cases. Provide test execution reports.
Performance TesterExecute load and stress tests to evaluate application stability and response times. Provide performance test reports.
Test AnalystMonitor and improve the testing process. Contribute to testing, analysis, reporting, and defining quality metrics.
Test LeadPlan and coordinate test activities for a team of testers
Test ManagerElaborate test plans and test strategies. Manage and coordinate test team activities.
Software Testing Roles and Responsibilities

The table above lists the typical testing roles you will find in job listings and a short description of each position’s responsibilities.

Companies put a significant effort into defining job roles and what to expect of each employee for their role and seniority. Having clear responsibilities plays a big part in each testers personal development plan and career progress.

The remainder of this blog post comprises of detailed descriptions for each role.

Software Tester

A software tester’s primary responsibility is to perform manual testing on software applications to ensure the product quality fits everyone’s expectations. Testers will raise defects when they find errors in the application and when the implementation derives from the specified product requirements.

Software tester activities may vary significantly depending on the project and test team size. While in large QA teams, test leads can distribute the work so that testers only need to focus on test execution and raise defects. A software testing role may include more activities such as test creation and test planning and test status reporting in small QA teams.

Responsibilities

  • Review design and user documentation, project specifications, and requirements.
  • Write functional test cases and test steps based on product requirements.
  • Execute functional test cases to verify quality for product requirements.
  • Execute sanity, smoke, functional, and regression testing.
  • Perform error analysis and bug reporting.
  • Assist in requirement analysis, test design, and test documents.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Engineering Degree
  • Some working experience with test tools
  • Strong diagnostic skills
  • Organized, Task and Detail Oriented
  • Team player with great communication skills

Salary

The average salary for a Software Tester is $56,600. A Software Tester typically makes between $39,000 and $88,000.

Automation Tester

An automation tester’s primary responsibility is to prepare automated testing on software applications to ensure quality consistency and reduce manual testing efforts. Automation testers automate stable test cases to run regularly to guarantee code changes do not affect stable features with new bugs.

Automation tester activities may vary between using testing frameworks with user-friendly interfaces for test automation, to scripting and programming tests or testing tools for QA processes. It is not uncommon that automation testers participate in manual testing to improve the QA team’s overall productivity and gain experience with the test scenarios before creating the automated test case.

Responsibilities

  • Review design and user documentation, project specifications, and requirements
  • Design and execute automated test cases
  • Prepare test environment and test data
  • Track and report all defects from automation runs
  • Provide test execution statistics
  • Provide test summary reports

Qualifications

  • Engineering Degree
  • Some working experience with test tools and automation frameworks
  • Strong diagnostic skills
  • Strong technical skills
  • Some programming knowledge
  • Organized, Task and Detail Oriented

Salary

The average salary for an Automation Tester is $69,906. An Automation Tester typically makes between $45,000 and $111,000.

Performance Tester

A performance tester’s primary responsibility is to run load and stress tests to understand system behavior in terms of stability and response times.

Performance Testers activities include analyzing technical and business requirements for performance KPIs. Performance testing helps identify early on how much load the system can handle, for example, how many concurrent users can be using the system at the same time and if hardware upgrades are needed before going live.

Performance testers work closely with project architects and stakeholders to report on performance results.

Responsibilities

  • work with project stakeholders to gather requirements related to performance and system load
  • Work closely with the development team to solve performance issues
  • Prepare performance test scripts and test data
  • Perform load and stress tests
  • Prepare detailed performance reports

Qualifications

  • Engineering Degree
  • Some working experience with non-functional testing tools
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Organized, Task and Detail Oriented

Salary

The average salary for a Performance Tester is $63,070. A Performance Tester typically makes between $47,000 and $85,000.

Test Analyst

A test analyst’s primary responsibility is to identify and propose improvements in the software quality process. A test analyst may identify improvements for the testing workflow, methods, or reporting used.

Test analyst activities include testing, requirement analysis, documentation and process improvement, and technical analysis of specifications and error cases.

Responsibilities

  • Review design and user documentation, project specifications, and requirements
  • Work on Design Specifications, Test Plans, and Test Cases
  • Help define criteria and KPIs for evaluating test results
  • Help define and improve test processes
  • Perform software testing

Qualifications

  • Engineering Degree
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Experience with software testing methodologies
  • Organized, Task and Detail Oriented
  • Team player with great communication skills

Salary

The average salary for a Test Analyst is $65,250. A Test Analyst typically makes between $43,000 – $85,000.

Test Lead

A test lead’s primary responsibility is to plan and coordinate the activities for a team of testers. The test lead may also collaborate in team activities and test execution.

Test lead activities include mentoring testers and managing testing requirements. The test lead is often responsible for configuring and preparing QA environments for testing.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate a team of testers and testing tasks
  • Understand and analyze business and technical requirements
  • Assist the test team in investigating and resolving problems
  • Report, document, and track software testing issues

Qualifications

  • Engineering Degree
  • Strong diagnostic skills
  • Strong technical skills
  • Organized, Task and Detail Oriented
  • Team player with great communication skills

Salary

The average salary for a Lead Test Engineer is $93,602. A Lead Test Engineer typically makes between$67k – $126k.

Test Manager

A test manager’s primary responsibility is to plan and coordinate the team of testers and test leads. The role of the test manager and test lead is often very similar. In a broad sense, a test manager can accumulate more responsibility than a test lead. A test manager may have more than one QA team to manage, each headed by a test lead.

Test manager activities include mentoring testers and test leads. Activities also include managing testing requirements and choosing the test management tools to be used.

Responsibilities

  • Coordinate a team of testers and team leads
  • Understand and analyze business and technical requirements
  • Assist the test team in investigating and resolving problems
  • Report, document, and track software testing issues
  • Define Test Strategies and Test Plans
  • Decide on appropriate tools for testing

Qualifications

  • Engineering Degree
  • Strong diagnostic skills
  • Strong technical skills
  • Organized, Task and Detail Oriented
  • Team player with great communication skills
  • Experience in Test Management

Salary

The average salary for a Software Test Manager is $101,574. A Software Test Manager typically makes between$67k – $132k.

References

  • https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Software_Tester/Salary
  • https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Automation_Tester/Salary
  • https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/performance-tester-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm
  • https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Test_Analyst/Salary
  • https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Lead_Test_Engineer/Salary
  • https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Software_Test_Manager/Salary

Johnny

Hi there, I'm Johnny! Since the beginning of my career, I have tested a wide variety of software applications. I created Tester Tips to share my experience, help you master testing, and watch your career progress.

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