What Does a Software Testing Engineer Do?

A software testing engineer often works as part of a software company's quality assurance team. He or she checks software to ensure that the programs or utilities are performing properly. Read on to learn more. Schools offering Software Development & Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties of a Software Testing Engineer

Software testing engineers check programs for their functionality. A testing engineer's job includes designing, building and implementing effective testing strategies. Testing engineers utilize three types of testing strategies which are known as black box, white box and gray box testing.

Black Box Testing

Black box testing refers to tests performed without any knowledge of the system in question. In this type of testing, the tester only knows how the system is supposed to work, but not how the system or program reaches certain conclusions. According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (ieee.org), black box testing uses different methods to check programs and their coding. Using these methods, the tester and programmer work independently of each other and without bias.

White Box Testing

White box, or glassbox, testing incorporates knowledge of a system's internal structure to obtain the desired analysis. To see if the software's code works as anticipated, testers use their knowledge of its internal structure to determine whether it is performing correctly. White box testing strategies are used by software testing engineers when they are searching for defects within the internal workings of the system.

Gray Box Testing

Gray box testing is a newer term that refers to a combination of white box and black box testing strategies. Software testing engineers utilize gray box testing when only limited knowledge of a system's internal structure is available. They use this knowledge to design test cases and perform the tests using the black box methods. Gray box testing is used to test Internet applications for which there is no need to have access to the code. According to Tech Target (searchsoftwarequality.com), it is more difficult to resolve programming issues with gray box testing since there is no access to code.

Career Outlook

According to O*NET Online (www.onetonline.org), growth for software quality assurance engineers and testers is predicted to grow between 3% and 7% between 2012 and 2022, which is slower than average. Most software testing engineers have a bachelor's degree, though some only have an associate's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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