Are Development Skills Mandatory to Advance Your Career in Software Testing?

Listen on the go!

A Developer shall write code, and the Tester shall test it – and the two shall not interfere each other. Sounds like an adage from yore, for the current IT world is not the same anymore.

There was a time when a tester need not know anything about coding or programming language. Those were the days of the so called ‘Black Box’ testing – black referring to the code that was hidden in the darkness. Of course, a part of the whole was still visible and covered under ‘White Box’ (or code-based, unit) testing, but then this was a part of a developers’ role and did not fall under a Testers inbox.

Not so any more. In today’s world, Software Testing is not an ‘anyone can do career!’ Apart from software testing basics, it requires an in depth knowledge of SDLC, analytical skills, out-of-box thinking, and also a fair amount of programming language skills.

Today, with all things going Agile, there is a tremendous shift towards left that’s happening, and most organizations are trying to find the middle path between development and Operations, moving towards DevOps. This shift is also being reflected in similar other new approaches and new career options such as Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET). The term, believed to have originated from Microsoft, radically implies that an SDET is both a developer and a tester, and at times also an important part of the Quality Assurance team.

These testers proactively need to keep switching between the roles of a developer (use programming skills for solving complicated problems in testing) and a tester (testing the products for functionality, performance, security, etc.) While such testers will be doing the regular non-coding related tasks such as planning and manual testing for about 30% of their time, they will be required to write and run code for automated test scripts for about 60% of their time.

Most organizations these days are moving towards individual performance – product ownership of modules. Contributors who are ready to own the module they are working on. Organizations are also looking at some relevant hands-on experience on automation and bug tracking tools (such as QTP, LeanFT, Winrunner, Test Director, etc.), some experience of programming languages, as also QA. If you love testing, but also would like to dabble with programming and development, you may like to pursue being an SDET.

As per reports from leading analysts and job portals, currently there is a need for about 250000 plus testing/SDET professionals.

That said, to be able to successfully advance your career in the field of software testing, (even though not a mandatory requirement today,) you need to have programming and developer skills today, as the Agile world is slowly, but surely moving towards a time when testers would be required to write code as well.

Of course, when such time will come, the developers might be required to test their code as well, thereby becoming individual contributors leading organizations to success.

To work with a team that is capable of catering to such needs, contact specialists from Cigniti Technologies to achieve maximum benefits. Contact us today to know more about our wide range of testing services.


  • Cigniti Technologies

    Cigniti is the world’s leading AI & IP-led Digital Assurance and Digital Engineering services company with offices in India, the USA, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Australia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Singapore. We help companies accelerate their digital transformation journey across various stages of digital adoption and help them achieve market leadership.

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