Job Description of a Software Tester

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson

Getting paid to play video games might sound like a dream, but the job actually exists. Software testers are paid to run a variety of software programs, including video games. Even a job that sounds this appealing can be tedious at times, especially if the tester has to replay the same part of a game over and over. But for many people, finding bugs in software and helping developers bring products to the market is a great way to make a living.

Work Environment

A software tester often works independently from his own home. The tester may write codes to automatically test software applications or he may test each function of an application himself. He makes notes of any software bugs that he encounters and turns in detailed reports to his employer. Testing opportunities can range from highly technical software that runs in the background, such as Microsoft .NET frameworks, to video games that are tested by playing them from start to finish.


A software tester should have sufficient knowledge to do any coding that his job requires, and this knowledge can be gained through education or experience. There is no specific educational requirement for software testers. Some testers may find that they have a better chance at getting hired if they have an associate degree or bachelor's degree in computer science. Others may choose to become certified for software testing and quality assurance.

Coding and Technical Skills

The degree of coding skills that a software tester needs depends on the type of job he is assigned. For example, video game testers need fewer coding skills, because they may only be required to play the game and input information about bugs into a database. A tester needs a greater degree of coding skill if his job requires thoroughly understanding bugs and communicating possible solutions to developers. In general, the degree of skill depends on whether he is required to do what the industry calls white-box testing or black-box testing. Black-box testing just looks at the results or the output of the software. White-box testing includes testing the inner-workings of software, which requires a much higher degree of coding skill.

Other Qualifications

A software tester should be a good writer, so he can adequately communicate to developers any problems that he finds. He should be analytical and logical to pinpoint the source of an error. Because software testing is a dynamic field, he should be able to organize and prioritize his assignments. He should have a thirst to learn and stay updated on technology. Finally, he should be able to work well without direct supervision, as his job requires making a series of decisions without managerial approval each step of the way.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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