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Software Quality Assurance Engineer/Tester  What They Do

Just the Facts


Develops and executes software test plans in order to identify software problems and their causes.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Information Support and Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Designs test plans, scenarios, scripts, or procedures.
  • Tests system modifications to prepare for implementation.
  • Documents software defects, using a bug tracking system, and reports defects to software developers.
  • Develops testing programs that address areas such as database impacts, software scenarios, regression testing, negative testing, error or bug retests, or usability.
  • Identifies, analyzes, and documents problems with program function, output, online screen, or content.
  • Monitors bug resolution efforts and tracks successes.
  • Creates or maintains databases of known test defects.
  • Plans test schedules or strategies in accordance with project scope or delivery dates.
  • Participates in product design reviews to provide input on functional requirements, product designs, schedules, or potential problems.
  • Reviews software documentation to ensure technical accuracy, compliance, or completeness, or to mitigate risks.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Game Tester -- Plays early versions of games to look for glitches and report back to developers and requires computing expertise, analytic competence, critical evaluation skills, and endurance.