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    Whether you’re new to software testing or a highly experienced QA Manager, you probably know that excelling in this field requires a combination of soft and technical skills. As technology continues to evolve, it also introduces new skills that software testers need to master in order to excel in their work. So, the obvious question is, what exactly are the must-have skills for QA testers in 2023?

    As part of the 2023 State of Testing survey, we asked hundreds of QA professionals about the most important software testing skills and knowledge needed to succeed. Here are the top 5 must-have skills that received the highest scores among the participants.

    5 Must-Have Skills for QA Testers in 2023

    Skill #1: Communication Skills

    Of all the skills that software testers need to succeed, effective communication is the most crucial one. 69% of the survey respondents claimed it is a required skill for testers, positioning it in the first place, and that’s no surprise. QA has cross-functional importance in organizations, as it’s intended to ensure that product requirements are successfully met, which isn’t an individual effort. Software testers regularly collaborate with developers, product owners, and other stakeholders to grasp the business requirements and design the right test cases.

    Communication skills are also essential for raising red flags at the right time. As part of their responsibilities to improve software quality, testers are required to report severe defects and bugs found during the QA process. The reports must be clear and concise, with detailed and relevant data in order to allow developers to resolve the issues quickly and without unnecessary communication loops. This can also be beneficial when documenting test cases and test plans for future projects and for providing improvement suggestions.

    Skill #2: Test Design

    Test Design ranked as the second most important skill in this year’s report with 63% of responses. This is an essential skill for testers in order to know how and what to focus on before starting their work. Effective test design verifies that all aspects of the software have been tested, including possible real-life scenarios of end-users. This can help companies achieve better testing coverage and save time and resources on unnecessary tests that don’t generate any value.

    Another reason test design became so important is due to the increase of non-dedicated testers taking part in software testing efforts. As part of the collaborative effort of improving software and adapting it to end-users needs, software testing is also performed by product owners and business users. Although their unique point of view can help achieve better results, it also highlights the importance of writing test cases and scenarios by testing subject matter experts.

    Skill #3: Test Automation Patterns, Principles, and Practices

    As 59% of survey participants mentioned, test automation patterns, principles, and practices are crucial in today’s fast-paced software testing environment. The broad range of automation tools is definitely contributing to better test execution in a shorter time. Despite this, testers still need to have a vast knowledge of programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, and Python to create test scripts and design automation frameworks.

    Test automation is also critical for testers working in Agile and DevOps environments, where speed and efficiency are paramount. These two highly popular software development methodologies emphasize shortened working iterations, enabling faster software delivery. This can be achieved using different types of automation tools and test management platforms, allowing teams to release with confidence and manage their software testing efforts holistically. Software testers with prior experience and knowledge in working and operating these tools can gain a huge career boost.

    Skill #4: API Testing

    API testing is a vital skill software testers should master in 2023, receiving 55% of responses. As API Testing examines the core business logic layer of an application, it helps to understand critical aspects such as functionality, security, performance, and so forth. The lack of GUI makes this testing fast and easy to maintain, as it’s an important element of automation testing in Agile and DevOps environments. It’s also used in early development stages, which helps identify issues early on and reduces the overall cost of bug fixing. With good API testing skills, QA testers can improve the quality, reliability, and efficiency of the software they test.

    Skill #5: Functional Testing Automation

    The final skill that closes this top 5 list, also with 55% of responses, is functional testing Automation. Functional testing is a critical part of software testing because it validates that the software works as intended, according to the business requirements and end-users needs. However, performing it manually can be time-consuming and prone to human error.

    To overcome this obstacle, QA teams use different automation tools to execute functional tests. These tools allow the creation of robust and reusable test scripts which can be executed quickly and effectively, delivering reliable results. This, in turn, leads to higher software quality and faster testing cycles, ensuring consistent test execution, and ultimately, improving end-user satisfaction.

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