Brandon Holloway is a Quality Assurance Engineer at ThreeWill. He has over 10 years of QA experience in requirements gathering, risk analysis, project planning, project sizing, scheduling, testing, defect/bug tracking, management, and reporting.
If you are interested in software testing but don’t have a coding background, don’t panic! There are plenty of testing opportunities out there for people who don’t know how to code. I would even venture to say that most software testers know little about writing code. Don’t get me wrong; it can still be very valuable. For instance, knowing the inner workings can really help with test cases and start you in the right direction when running through different test scenarios.
Now, of course, there are many variables that come into play when determining whether or not a tester needs to know how to write code. For instance, while most developers do unit testing, sometimes it may be on the tester to do it instead. Or some testers may use complex automation tools that require some code. In these cases, it is probably safe to say that knowing how to code, at least minimally, is required.
I can understand what most code is doing by reading a few lines, but I don’t know how to code beyond pretty simple statements. So speaking of myself and my own position, knowing how to code is not a necessity. Doing web testing in a fast paced SCRUM methodology keeps me focused mainly on manual testing of the application. This may be putting myself in the user’s shoes and running through use cases, inputting invalid values for negative testing, or exploratory testing on multiple browsers to make sure everything is compatible. I’m lucky enough to work with some pretty smart developers who can really dig in and troubleshoot bugs from a code level when I point out what happens for the end user.
I know many excellent testers who can’t write code. In most cases, as long as you have a good understanding of the application and what all it should and shouldn’t do, you have what you need. Plus, who wants to build stuff, when you can break it!