Maybe, you are asking how to become Quality Assurance Engineer from an Application Support Engineer. It is possible, and there are ways to achieve it.
Because of their troubleshooting and analytical abilities, tech support professionals can become effective testers, and they know the product, users, and the industry better than anyone else.
An application support engineer’s competitive advantages are:
They know the program better than the developer [A developer understood a particular section of an application that they designed – but as a support person, you knew everything about bugs and bug fix history]
They are familiar with their users/customers; therefore, a support engineer can test the application from the end user’s standpoint, which is what a testing manager looks for.
Finally, the analytical abilities you’ve gained and the issues you’ve discovered will help you get started with manual testing.
You should set a higher target and consider Automation Testing in the long term (How to go from Technical Support to Manual Testing to Automation Testing will be discussed in the upcoming post).
How do you first prepare?
First, you must determine if any standards exist for the software/application you want to evaluate. Then, you search the web for a market standard for the program and select which ones are relevant for your test and the expectations in your job (based on your support experience) (from a customer, your test manager, or even yourself).
For example, the depth with which you test a calculator (more functional, fewer performance tests) differs from how you try missile guidance (definitely more reliability).
Is switching necessary? How do you change companies?
Staying with the same firm or position for a long time might get tedious. However, this should not be the only motivation for switching. You will get bored in any organization if you are not performing the task you like. That is why it is crucial to learn about software testing.
Maybe, you discovered that testing apps were a lot of fun. You decided to stick with it since the challenge of identifying issues and figuring out how to reproduce them turned out to be something you are strong at (this is what you learn when submitting bugs to the development team on Jira or any similar platform).
Once you’ve decided to pursue a career in software testing, you should create a profile and get a certification in the field (not mandatory). That should help you improve your profile and strengthen your argument for switching to QA. In addition, it is highly recommended to attend a software automation-testing course and familiarize oneself with the most widely used software testing tools and technologies, such as Selenium, QTP, and PERL.
Since you know the – Software, Users, and Markets better than anybody else, a testing manager will give you precedence but only after evaluating the following skill sets:
Acquire Technical Support Experience
Tech support is an excellent position to start if you don’t have a technical background but want to get professional experience that will help you advance in your QA or software development career. It is going to be beneficial to you in the following areas:
- Knowledge about the customer or the end-user
- You will learn the application’s ins and outs
- You’ll be able to see how your software performs across several platforms (Browsers, Windows, etc.)
Entry-level QA roles may benefit from expertise in tech support. You learn how to create tickets and document help calls while working in a tech support position. These accomplishments show a willingness to use software tools in a business setting. It may lead to a QA hiring manager having faith in your ability to utilize the issue tracking and test case management tools necessary for the job.
Be a Freelancer
Start with some minor freelance QA projects to obtain professional experience before applying for a full-time QA career. Many small businesses offer short-term software testing jobs that might provide you with valuable experience for your CV. These entry-level work (or testing assignments) might consist of as little as one hour of testing an app on an Android smartphone. Others may ask you to evaluate a website across many browsers. These jobs don’t often pay much, but the experience is what counts. You’ll learn how to think like a tester, how to build test cases, and how to report your findings. You’ll also learn how to utilize a test case management tool this way. Here are other things you can know by being a freelancer:
- You’ll learn to utilize MTM (Microsoft Test Manager) and VSTS (Visual Studio Team Services) (Visual Studio Team Services).
- You’ll learn how to create a test case, scenario, and suit.
- You’ll learn the difference between a regression test case, a unit test, and a sustainability test, among other things.
Learn Software Development Processes (This Isn’t Required, but It’s a Plus)
Most QA job descriptions demand some understanding of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). While a potential employer would not expect you to be an expert on the SDLC for your first QA job, any knowledge you have on the topic will be highly valued. A fundamental grasp of software development might be a prerequisite or a “good to have” talent. The Agile technique is the most widely utilized methodology today, and expertise working in an agile software development environment is in great demand. You can find out a bit of:
- Software development methodologies like Agile and SCRUM
- Tools for CI/CD
- Any programming language (C#,.Net, Java)
- Learning the fundamentals of Selenium and getting hands-on experience with the Selenium IDE (Firefox extension – Non-Programming method of automation testing that records steps and executes them when run)
As an application support engineer, you already have everything you need to get started with QA – all you need to do now is show some confidence in the interview and brush up on your abilities.