Software Testing & Quality Assurance
Frequently Asked Questions
Who created the Software Testing & Quality Assurance Certificate Program?
The program was created by the Computers & Technology department with input from industry professionals. A Software Testing Advisory Board meets periodically to assess program content for relevancy and review.
What can I do as a software tester?
Some of the job titles in software testing include Applications or Systems Software Tester, Quality Assurance Tester, Software Test Engineer and Game Tester.
The primary job skills associated with software testing are the ability to work closely with programmers and program managers to understand product requirements and functionality, and design tests to verify features and functionalities. Software testers perform all aspects of product testing including functional, regression, performance, usability, and acceptance testing to identify and report bugs. Some testers may analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team. They may test operating systems-level software, compilers and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Testers apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering and mathematical analysis.
What industries employ software testers?
According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, the top industries that employ software testers in King County include:
- Prepackaged Software
- Computer Integrated Systems Design
- Computer Processing and Data Preparation
- Information Retrieval Services
- State Government
- Online Retailers
For more details see http://www.workforceexplorer.com
Are there websites listing software testing jobs?
Yes, there are both industry-specific and many general websites you can search for software testing jobs. Several industry-specific sites are listed below. Bellevue College does not endorse any specific company.
What are the technical and non-technical skills a software tester needs to have?
The skills required can vary immensely from industry to industry. For instance, a tester working on a banking application might be required to have accounting skills, while a tester in the aerospace industry may have to know about jet propulsion. The following list provides some of the basic common technical skills potential job seekers might find in a job posting.
- Programming skills – automated testing
- Winrunner/ SilkTest – automation tools
- Database Design/Use – SQL
- Client/Server relationship
- Web Technologies – HTML, XML, ASP, SOAP
- Internet and networking protocols
- Testing Methodologies and Practices
- Test Plan/Case development
- Familiar with Windows or Unix O/S
- Creative, detailed oriented with a motivation to solve problems. Requires discipline and perseverance to find and reproduce bugs.
- The desire to break things – find faults with the program in order for development to make it better.
- Team player.
- Ability to communicate effectively (verbal as well as written).
- Willingness to take a project to completion, even if it means working long or extra hours.
If I have no experience and do this program, are there entry-level jobs and what is the salary range?
The program teaches the tools necessary to be successful as an entry-level software tester. Beginning testers often work with a team, and have the opportunity to learn from their more experienced colleagues. The salary range varies by experience, industry and geographic area. Many students begin their work experience with staffing agencies. The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
provides information on demand and salary ranges. Additional labor market information
is available for King County and Washington State.
How does the program work?
The Software Test Engineer Certificate (STE) will usually take up to a year to complete when taking classes on a part-time basis. The program must be completed in no more than 13 quarters from the quarter when you take your first class.
How do I get my certificate?
You must complete all required courses in your program before receiving a Certificate of Completion. Once you’ve completed all your courses, click here to Request a Certificate of Completion
. You’ll be asked to complete a brief program survey, and then will be directed to the certificate request page. Your request will be forwarded electronically to an advisor for review. You will be contacted by the college if there are any questions. You can expect to receive your Certificate of Completion in the mail about three weeks after filling out your request.
Is there a minimum number of classes I need to take per quarter?
The program was created with a busy student in mind. You may take as many courses as you like each quarter. Our only requirement is that you complete the certificate within 13 quarters after taking the first class.
Are there any prerequisites?
There are no prerequisites to start in the program. It is recommended that you have a strong understanding of Windows (file/folder management, menus, shortcuts, and layout) prior to taking the specific software testing computer courses. Be sure to check the prerequisites for any class prior to registering. Prerequisites are considered to be the basic skills and knowledge needed prior to taking a class. Instructors will assume your readiness for the class materials and will NOT use class time to discuss prerequisite materials
Do you have to take classes in a specific order?
You can take classes in any order except where prerequisites are noted. The recommended entry point for students is the Principles of Software Testing class.
What if I have an extensive experience in some of the topics taught? Can I skip or substitute classes?
Yes, on case-by-case basis and subject to approval based on work history, experience and prior education, one
of the required classes might be substituted with a different class. However, students must still complete the total number of required/substituted classes. To request a class substitution, please fill out the Software Testing Class Substitution Request
Is there an enrollment process for this certificate program?
There is no formal enrollment process. You can start the program any time you like.
Where are the classes held?
These classes are held at the Bellevue College North Campus
at 14673 NE 29th Place, Bellevue, 98007. The current quarterly print and web schedule always specifies the location of each class.
Are these classes software specific?
C#, SQL and a few other classes may use specific software. Our classrooms are fully equipped with the software necessary for classroom practice.
Do I have to buy this software?
You do not need to purchase the software to take your class. We do recommend you have your own software to reinforce the material presented in class. As a Bellevue College student you can purchase heavily discounted full version software at our bookstore
. This software is for academic purposes only. Software for student use is also available in the computer lab.
What kinds of computers do you use?
Our classrooms are equipped with PCs with current versions of software.
What is the approximate cost of tuition?
The Bellevue College online course catalog
has current prices for courses.
Which classes require you to purchase textbook, and what are the prices?
When you arrive in class your book will be given to you. We include textbooks in the cost of the class.
How can I register for classes?
- Register online
- Register by phone by calling Customer Service at (425) 564-2263
- register in person at our North Campus
- mail in registration to 14673 NE 29th Place, Bellevue, WA 98007
- Register by fax at (425) 564-3113
Print out a current registration form.