Building an IT Career in Indiana: Software Testing

One of Indiana’s fast-growing job sectors with high pay and solid job security is information technology. According to CompTIA, tech job openings in Indiana grew 34% from 2016 to 2017, and those jobs pay 70% higher than the average private sector salary. As a whole, the Hoosier state is becoming more innovative at a fast pace. Our Cyberstates Innovation Ranking, based on factors like number of tech startups and tech businesses established and number of new software or device patents issued, rose from 39th to 22nd from 2016-2017.

Wise job seekers may be looking to break into the tech industry in Indiana and feel like they are doing meaningful, cutting-edge work right away. We’d like to think software testing is one of the best specialties in information technology for those needs to be met. Software testers review digital products that are in development or already completed, looking for issues of functionality, security, or performance that might put the users or owners of the software at risk. Mastering this practice means a lifetime of exploration and study, but the good news for job seekers is it only takes a few weeks of training and practice to learn the foundational basics of software testing. Plus, there are unique personalities that do best in this role, and let’s face it—Midwest is best.

Practical Skills Required to be a Software Tester

The fundamental basics of software testing were defined and established in the early days of the Internet. An organization called the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) and their American arm, the ASTQB, update these requirements as the industry changes and maintain a database of certified quality assurance professionals. Some entry-level IT roles only require a high school diploma or GED plus the Foundational certification from ISTQB to begin.  Other of our positions require an Associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Ultimately, it is through ISTQB certification and completing internal curriculum and training that we find our testers learn the most and feel most empowered in their roles.

Soft Skills Required to be a Software Tester

The day-to-day work of software quality assurance means a team of iLAB employees work together at each of our client sites. This is because it’s essential for our testers and the developers to be in communication about the results of testing and how found issues can be solved. It’s also important for a tester to stay in touch with the other stakeholders who are concerned with the end product, to make sure they are testing the features and performance elements that are most important and essential from the very beginning.

All that is to say, testers have to be able to discuss bad news or challenging results without alienating the people they need to work with to find solutions. They also need to be detail-oriented and practical to stay focused on the desired outcomes and find every single way possible to break a piece of software. We think that nice, practical, and detail-oriented also happens to describe most of our fellow Hoosiers, making our friends and neighbors some of the very people we’d love to train and hire next.

Becoming a Software Tester

If nothing about this information has you running away yet, maybe you’re thinking software testing might be for you. But our industry is so special, it’s probably hard to know from just one blog post. We are happy to talk more about why we love what we do. In fact, we like it so much, we teach software quality assurance too. iLAB runs a world-class training program that helps interested and qualified candidates seek ASTQB certification. The basic level certification is just the beginning of the exciting growth opportunities in software testing, at iLAB or elsewhere. We want to educate talented individuals and prepare them for careers that have real meaning.  In the Midwest, anything that serious must start with a friendly hello. So, give us a call at 317-218-3258 or email us at MyCareerBegins@iLABQuality.com and let’s talk more about who you are.