Categories
Career

Software Testing Jobs June 2021

Even though I’m not looking for a new job, I like to browse and read job advertisements as I’ve found it’s a good way to take control of your career as it gives you insights into what future employers are looking for in currently advertised roles.

In this light, I recently did some keyword analysis of the 20 most recent software testing jobs advertised in Brisbane, Australia (the job market seems 🔥 so these were all advertised in the last week or so) attempting to find some insights into what is in demand and what’s happening in the world of software testing (in Brisbane, Australia).

Type of Jobs

Most of the 20 most recent jobs were permanent full time roles. As a part time employee myself I found it interesting none offered or mentioned the flexibility of part time hours.

Salary Advertised

Only 4 of the 20 roles included any information about salary. This saddens me as it pushes the burden of salary negotiation back onto the candidate (I am yet to meet an employer who wants to pay more than bare necessary!)

The four roles that indicated salary were:

  1. $80,000 – $99,999 AUD (Software Quality Assurance Specialist)
  2. $95,000 – $110,000 AUD (Senior Test Analyst)
  3. $80,000 – $109,999 AUD (QA Engineer)
  4. “Up to” $125,000 AUD (Senior QA Engineer)

Location of Work

Despite 2020/2021 being touted as the years the world went fully remote, interestingly a majority of the roles indicated working in the office full time, 6 of 20 offering a “hybrid” model typically being 1-2 days WFH per week (often described as a “work life balance” or “flexibility” perk), and only 1 of 20 was fully remote (no office or expectation to work in the office). What happened?

Job Category

There was a good split between roles advertised as test management, test engineering, and test analysis. However, almost all roles required test automation skills (see next section).

Test Automation Skills Required

This was probably the most and least surprising result to me. Least surprising as there’s been a big shift to technical testing roles in the industry which I’ve been talking about for some time. And most surprising in that even the roles categorized as “test management” and “test analysis” predominantly required test automation skills. Of the four that didn’t mention the requirement for test automation skills three were test analysis and only one was test management.

An example job description:

“As a Test Manager, you will be a hands-on leader with a broad skill-set and knowledge in test methodologies and automation development. “

Qualifications/Certifications

  • 3 of 20 jobs required tertiary IT qualifications
  • 1 of 20 jobs required ISTQB certifications

Automated Testing Tools

  • 6 of 20 jobs mentioned Selenium
  • 1 of 20 jobs mentioned Cypress 😢
  • 1 of 20 mentioned TOSCA 😢😢
  • 0 of 20 mentioned Playwright or Puppeteer 😢😢😢

Buzzword Bingo

  • 9 of the 20 jobs mentioned “flexibility” in their role
  • 11 of 20 mentioned “agile”
  • 7 of 20 mentioned either “high-performing, fast-paced, dynamic or fast-moving” teams and culture

Favourite Description

My favourite description of culture was:

“<employer name> recognises the critically important role of testers in the delivery of top quality applications. Our testers have to be sharp to hunt out issues and work with developers and business stakeholders to deliver truly awesome applications into production, but also mentoring others in the development of their own QA mindset. “

followed by

“We recognise that life is easier when cash flow is easy. That’s why we’ll pay you weekly – not fortnightly or monthly like other companies.”

Least Favourite Descriptions

(in no particular order – verbatim with emphasis added)

  • “You will feel happier & healthier for working at <company name>!
  • “As a Test Manager, you will be a hands-on leader with a broad skill-set and knowledge in test methodologies and automation development.”
  • “Salary and super flexible based on experience
  • Supervise the delivery of high quality production optimised code. “
  • “We are a friendly bunch here at XXX, so we expect you to be a good collaborator, strong communicator and willing to roll up your sleeves and focus on reaching our common goals.”
  • “We are looking for an experienced Automation specialist to join this organisation and help in ensuring thigh quality delivery of their software.” 🍗
  • “You will be working ac across multiple projects within a high paced environment, contributing to team success and having plenty of flexibility within a great company.” 🆙
  • “You’re not afraid of hard work. Curly challenges. Sometimes inconvenient hours.” 😬
  • “During your interview, you’ll be able to tell us the capital city of Bolivia” 🤦‍♂️

Closing Thoughts

I enjoyed this exercise more than I thought. The things that most surprised me was how few jobs were remote in 2021, and also how many roles required test automation skills, particularly jobs at the test management level: is every test manager role “hands on” nowadays?

7 replies on “Software Testing Jobs June 2021”

The squeeze in test/quality leadership has been well underway for the last five to seven years. A big chunk of test manager roles became test lead roles a while back. The shift to focus primarily on technical quality only is probably my biggest sadness. Test roles are so narrow now.

It is interesting to see how quickly companies decided against working from home all the time.
I think the days of the test manager being hands off and managing were probably killed off by agile delivery models. Some of them now feel more like we want an automation person but if we are going to pay a lot then we need you to be more than just an automation person.
I like that ISTQB is dying out in ads.

I think you’re right about the test manager role. Anywhere doing ‘product’ development (vs Project) seem to have moved away from dedicated test teams & managers. Testers are embedded in delivery squads and QA guilds/chapters cross the teams and the management side of this is quite different from the classic ‘test manager’.

I’ve been on the other side of this, creating job descriptions and hiring software testers. I did some analysis and am going to do some more about the applicants I get: https://www.kenst.com/2021/03/hiring-a-software-tester-an-analysis/

For the record I’ve been hiring full time roles, remote work, with no automation skills required.

I love looking at data like this, even in small sample sizes. Buzzword bingo is all over the place on resumes (go figure). In my analysis I also saw low adoption of testing certifications (plus) or really any kind of testing education (minus) on applicants resumes.

Interesting insights 🙂

I was in a couple of interviews recently where the team were remote but heading back to the office… during the interviews the vibe changed to “this could be fully remote!” but I still had a sense that these were teams that valued face-to-face office time (which is great for the right folks). The interviews also reminded me that not everyone has dedicated office space in their home.

I guess there’s still plenty of uncertainty around covid. I don’t think everyone embraced remote work as much as the media touted. Pretty cool that more people got to try it out though. Definitely companies were much more open to talking about it vs five years ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *