Qualifications to be a Software Tester in Japan

Developing successful software is one of the most challenging but rewarding feats to accomplish in the ever-evolving technological field. Factors such as rapid technological advancement, increasing customer demands, limited resources, and time limitations are enormous hurdles for development teams to overcome.

For brand new software to be realized, the entire development staff must be knowledgeable about essential aspects such as programming, programming languages, frameworks, and APIs.

The launching of successful software is also difficult without the perfect collection of individuals and programming experts dedicated to completing the same mission. A development team needs to secure the right project sponsor, product owner, project manager, subject matter experts (SMEs), software developers, technical lead, user acceptance testers, and software testers.

Software testers play a pivotal role in development companies; that’s why they are in high demand in a country like Japan. High-quality products, superb services, and technological innovations and breakthroughs from companies are anticipated in the country.

But what qualifications do employers in Japan require from aspiring software testers? Discover the prerequisites needed from software testers and the types of responsibilities they’ll have once they join the Japanese workforce.

What is a Software Tester?

Software testers are some of the essential individuals in software development, as they ensure the overall quality of the products before being introduced in the market. They will inspect the software of any errors, defects, and bugs.

During the planning and preparation stages, software testers will review and contribute test plans. Aside from this, they will also handle the assessment, review, and analysis of technical requirements and design specifications.

Software testers also play a hand in identifying test conditions. They are crucial in creating test designs, test cases, test procedure specifications, and test data. Plus, they also automate or help in automating the tests.

Software testers also assist in development by setting up test environments or support system administration and network management staff in completing this step. They administer the tests and oversee the test environment.

Testers are also responsible for documenting the tests, evaluating results, and identifying issues. Throughout the entire process, they will review everything plus write an account of defects and test outcomes.

About JSTQB (Certification)

Japan Software Testing Qualifications Board (JSTQB), which operates under the rules of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB), is a qualification system that was created to examine and improve software engineers’ capabilities in testing. These qualification systems were first implemented in partnership with the Japan Science and Technology Federation. For software engineers and testers to work in Japan, they must obtain the JSTQB test engineer qualification certificates.

The JSTQB certification test will only be available in Japanese. So, if foreign software testers want to take the exam in a foreign language, they are advised to take it under an “outside company” that conducts the same tests. Foreigners are reminded to check if these exams are administered by a certified company that is also a registered member of ISTQB and complies with ISTQB standards. The tests done by outside companies do not follow the regular JSTQB schedule.

JSTQB has 3 types of tests: the Foundation Level, Advanced Level Test Manager, and Advanced Level Test Analyst. Applicants need to have the foundation level certificate and 3 years of work experience to take the two advanced level tests. Foundation level exams are held once every 6 months (mid-February to late August), and the advanced ones don’t have a definite schedule.

Both foundation and advanced levels have a multiple-choice format questionnaire. But some items may prove to be tricky, as some questions will require examinees to choose multiple correct answers.

Foundation level exams have a time limit of 60 minutes while advanced level exams end after 180 minutes. Examinees can finish the foundation level and leave the examination area for as early as 30 minutes, and advanced level takers can leave after 60. But JSTQB imposes strict guidelines and will not allow the examinees to re-enter the premises after submitting their exams.

JSTQB is adamant in keeping the questions a secret, so applicants will have to rely on their overall knowledge, study approach, and work ethic to prepare for the certification exams. Luckily for software testing aspirants, ISTQB publishes the exam’s syllabus on their website.

Foundation level takers can check the syllabus here: https://www.istqb.org/downloads/syllabi/foundation-level-syllabus.html

While advanced level applicants can check the syllabi here:
https://www.istqb.org/downloads/syllabi/advanced-level-syllabus.html

Qualifications of a Software Tester

Japanese application development companies want to ensure that they are hiring the best possible candidates for the job, as they want to compete with or prevail over other development companies. Aside from the JSTQB certification, companies also require software testers to meet additional standards.

Companies in Japan are looking for software testers with the necessary educational background. So, software testers who have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or engineering will have the upper hand during the application process.

Software testers also need to have the skills to back up their credentials. As mentioned before, testers need to monitor and document test plans and procedures, execute tests, review results, and document problems.

They need to understand methodologies and software testing platforms or environments and be knowledgeable about testing tools. They need to master UNIX, Linux, and Windows and be familiar with scripting and command-line tools. Testers are required to be proficient in various programming languages, such as C# or C++, PHP, Java, JavaScript, Python, SQL, and Ruby on Rails.

Software testers can improve their chances of employment by having some seminars and training under their belt. But seeing as the entire world is under the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it would be hard for software testers to attend huge gatherings such as seminars. Fortunately, there are several excellent resources available online.

You can attend seminars online (webinars) through the Association for Software Testing (AST)’s Youtube channel. Microsoft Virtual Academy also offers training such as Software Testing Fundamentals course and Live Unit Testing in Visual Studio course online.

Conclusion

Software testers are sought after by companies developing innovative software, as their expertise brings a lot of value for their working and future projects. For an advanced country like Japan where technology companies are everywhere, opportunities for software testers are aplenty.

You can apply for software testing jobs in Japan as soon as the COVID-19 crisis is over. Discover openings and useful tips on our website below. Good luck with your future endeavors, and we hope all of you stay safe!

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