Test engineers (also known as software testers) are pivotal to the success of a company when developing and launching a new software, system or product. It is their responsibility to make sure the new product achieves adequate fault/test coverage, allowing them to eliminate any problems or bugs with the new development, as well as ensure the new product is safe, functional and meets the appropriate specifications before it is deployed to everyday users – it is their job to make sure the finished product is of the highest quality.
There’s a common saying in the IT industry that ‘behind every successful software is a careful Testing Engineer’ so their importance can’t be under emphasised.
To help explain exactly what a test engineer is and what they do in more detail, we’ve put together this handy guide.
Essential Skills & Qualities of a Test Engineer
In order to succeed as a test engineer, you’ll need to have a whole host of skills under your belt – it’s a complex and intricate role that requires very specific skills and competencies.
Here are some of the main skills and qualities employers often look for when hiring a new test engineer:
Functional Testing – Test engineers must be able to run and manage fault tests in order to assess whether the product meets stringent requirements. Having strong analytical skills and excellent attention to detail helps here.
Troubleshooting – With the development of a new product or system, hiccups and problems are inevitably going to occur, so engineers must be able to accurately diagnose the problem and come up with an effective solution.
Strive for Improvement – The engineers who excel in this industry are the ones who take the initiative and actively seek opportunities to make processes more effective. You need to be able to learn from what hasn’t worked so well and welcome the idea of changing how you work in order to become more efficient.
Ability to Work in a Team – It doesn’t matter what level you work at, you’ll need to be collaborating and liaising with colleagues to make sure everything runs seamlessly. You need to build and establish trustworthy relationships with various departments, and constantly be communicating so that everyone involved in the project is always kept up to date with the latest information.
Meet Deadlines – Test engineers usually have deadlines to meet, so it’s essential that these specialists work well under pressure. Most projects are likely to involve numerous members of staff who are all working to agreed goals, so it’s critical that they all maintain their deadlines in order to deliver an efficient service and ensure the project is completed on time.
Essential Responsibilities of a Test Engineer
The exact day-to-day responsibilities of a test engineer will depend on their specific job role and their employer, but general responsibilities include:
- Thoroughly test all aspects of the new product/system to make sure any faults or problems are detected as soon as possible and to ensure it complies with the relevant regulations. This will require you to design, set up and manage a range of suitable test environments.
- Document the results of product tests and interpret/analyse its results and patterns.
- Liaising closely with the development/production team to provide feedback on usability and serviceability.
- Work on both functional and non-functional areas of an application.
- Testing any returned or faulty products and fixing any bugs. The test engineer’s jobs aren’t over when the finished product has been delivered to the client – consumers will inevitably report bugs so new tests might have to be designed.
- Coach and mentor new testers.
What Industries Employ Test Engineers?
In the past, test engineers were mainly sought after in the technological industry. However, nowadays they are in high demand across a wide range of sectors due to the growing prominence of technology in businesses and organisations. All types of industries require test engineers, including the automotive sector, transport industry and healthcare sector.
You’re likely to see that many workplaces advertise test engineer vacancies multiple times throughout the year, especially larger companies who are often working on and releasing complex products.
Qualifications required to be a Test Engineer
For the vast majority of employers, a bachelor degree (preferably an electrical based engineering degree) is required as standard for employment. However, this isn’t always essential. Other engineering degrees or relevant qualifications can also be favoured by a number of businesses and can be an advantage over other candidates.
It can also be of benefit if you have a sound knowledge of software and hardware technology, and can demonstrate an understanding of the concepts regarding computer programming.
Test Engineer Working Hours
Test engineers are usually expected to work a standard office day of 8 or 9 hours between 8am and 6pm. However, shift and weekend work may be required during larger projects or projects taking place in different locations.
Test Engineer Careers & Opportunities in Bristol & the South West
Whether you’re an aspiring test engineer, or an experienced engineer looking for your next career move, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly recruitment specialists today. Here at BMR Solutions, we’re a trusted team with the network and support structure needed to help open the door to a range of exciting opportunities.
Or if you’d prefer, submit your CV with us today so that we can understand your skillset and help find a vacancy suited to you and your areas of expertise.
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