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Learn software testing with online courses and programs

Software testing ensures that products operate as intended, helping organizations impress and retain customers. Learn the skills to become a software testing professional with online courses delivered through edX.

What is software testing?

Every time you use an app on your mobile device or log in to your computer, you’re interacting with software. You expect those interactions to run smoothly. When they don’t, you may start to question the integrity of the program or whether you want to continue using it at all. This is the difference between properly tested software and hastily deployed software.

Before a software product can be deployed for real-world use, it typically goes through a testing, or quality assurance (QA) phase. This vital step in the software development life cycle provides organizations with valuable information about their products’ quality. If a software tester identifies any bugs or improvement areas, the development team can address them before the product reaches end users, helping to boost customer retention and overall satisfaction for the business in the long run.

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What is covered in software testing training?

An understanding of programming and software development sets the foundation for learning software testing. Fortunately, online courses and certifications cover both basic development concepts and advanced topics in software testing, so you can find an option that fits your unique needs.  

The exact curriculum for software testing courses online depends on the area of focus and who it's been designed for. Some software testing courses for beginners cover basics like Java and Agile before transitioning into specific software testing topics. If you don’t know programming already, this structure can provide you with a solid foundation for learning QA fundamentals.

More advanced courses for QA testing may introduce you to software testing topics such as: 

  • Software testing techniques, like specification-based testing, boundary testing, test adequacy, and code coverage

  • The software testing life cycle, from requirements to closure 

  • Modern development environments and tools for debugging and unit testing, like JUnit 

Courses may also explain how artificial intelligence can automate some of your testing tools, removing the need for manual testing and speeding up the development process. All of these skills can be helpful for those seeking software testing jobs.

If you’re considering a career in software testing, or simply want to brush up on your skills, edX offers relevant online courses and programs for learners of diverse backgrounds and career paths. Kickstart your software testing learning with courses and certificates in software development, automated software testing, and more. 

Software testing jobs

There are several types of software testing jobs in the technology field. Roles that commonly involve software testing include: 

  • Software developer 

  • Java developer 

  • QA analyst 

  • QA tester 

  • QA engineer 

After designing and developing software products, software developers usually help test and maintain those products. As a result, they can benefit from understanding software testing best practices and techniques. If you’re interested in both developing and testing products, software development could be a suitable career path for you. 

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to specialize in QA testing, you can pursue a career as a QA analyst or tester. These professionals create testing systems that evaluate software, documenting problems and inefficiencies as they go. After software is released, they continually run tests to evaluate performance.Footnote 1 A QA tester focuses on evaluating the software while it’s in development or after it’s complete, looking for any bugs in the process. A QA analyst takes a big picture approach, devising testing strategies from the very beginning of a project.Footnote 2

Whether you’re working as a developer, analyst, or in another related role, technical knowledge is crucial. You can build your technical know-how through a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or boot camp.  

How to become a software tester online

If you’re interested in a career as a software tester and prefer to study on your own time, you can  learn software testing online. Keep in mind that job requirements differ from company to company. Some employers seek software testers with a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related topic, while others may look for candidates with a data science master’s degree.Footnote 3 Depending on the organization, you may be able to get a software testing job by completing an online coding boot camp and having relevant experience. 

Beyond attaining a degree or certificate, it’s a good idea to be familiar with a few key programming tools and concepts. An introductory software development course can provide you with a strong foundation in Java, SQL, and other programming essentials. A familiarity with reporting and analytics can also help, given that software testers often provide their teams with metrics on a product’s performance. 

If you already have some programming experience, you may start your learning journey with more specialized online software testing tutorials. Whether you’re interested in exploring a new topic area or brushing up on your skills, an online program or course for QA testing can be a viable learning option that accommodates your busy schedule.