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  • Writer's pictureBrittany Stewart

Non-Traditional Paths: Transitioning to Tech through Software Testing

Updated: Feb 14

Many individuals often ask me, "How do I transition from my current career into the tech industry?" You're in the right place if you're interested in software testing. In this blog post, I will share my journey and provide tips and resources that have helped me successfully transition from Graphic Design to Executive Assistant to QA Consultant. Whether you lack a computer science degree or are new to the field, this post will inspire and guide you on your path to a rewarding career in tech.

No computer science degree? 

Don't let the absence of a computer science degree discourage you. I did not pursue a Computer Science degree or complete my Business Management BSc degree. Instead, I started my journey as a Graphic Designer at QualityWorks. Eventually, I transitioned to the role of Executive Admin to the CEO. During this time, I was allowed to explore software testing on a small mobile project.

To kickstart your journey, I recommend getting ISTQB certified and learning the foundations of software testing. The ISTQB Foundation Level certification provides a solid knowledge base and credibility in the field. I used a Udemy course to prepare for the exam, which helped me better understand core software testing principles.

Enroll in a Software Testing BootCamp 

While I did not attend a specific BootCamp myself, my journey inspired the creation of such programs. Software Testing BootCamps offer practical training in various aspects of being a Software Tester, including tools like JIRA, Scrum Agile methodologies, and more. Consider pursuing secondary-level ISTQB courses that focus on these areas. Check out the learning paths available on the ISTQB website for further guidance.

Experience is king 

Don't shy away from taking on small software testing projects. Over the years, I've had the opportunity to work on diverse web and mobile platforms, each teaching me invaluable lessons and skills. Every project is unique, and you'll continuously learn and grow.

For instance, my first mobile testing project highlighted the importance of mobile testing alongside web testing. I went on to join larger web-based project teams that initially overlooked mobile testing. By incorporating mobile testing into their strategy, we improved test coverage, discovered impactful bugs, and ultimately enhanced the overall product quality for end-users. Similarly, I once delved into databases and SQL, a relatively new area. My curiosity and fresh perspective led to valuable questions that helped the team solve significant architectural problems. To this day, I can confidently query databases and collaborate closely with developers, thanks to that initial experience.

Embrace every opportunity that comes your way, as there is always something new to learn.

Explore various roles in software testing

When entering the software testing world, you'll find a wide array of areas of expertise. Currently, Test Automation and AI/Machine Learning are trending. While these areas may seem technical, learning the basics of JavaScript can provide an excellent foundation. Look for testing courses that cover topics like finding selectors and writing automated tests. Test Automation University by Applitools is a fantastic resource for acquiring these skills.

Furthermore, areas such as Usability and Accessibility testing leverage your design or UI/UX background and knowledge, making you a valuable asset to teams looking to enhance these aspects of their applications.

Develop your Soft Skills 

In addition to technical expertise, soft skills are crucial in succeeding as a QA professional. Throughout my career, the following soft skills have propelled my growth:

  • Excellent communication: Effective communication fosters collaboration and understanding within teams.

  • Willingness to learn: An eagerness to learn new concepts and adapt to changes is vital in the rapidly evolving tech industry.

  • Leveraging prior knowledge: Your prior experiences and knowledge from different fields can provide unique insights and solutions.

To gain further insights into how I've utilized these non-technical skills in my QA role, I invite you to watch my Saucecon Conference 2021 presentation sponsored by SauceLabs. The video showcases real-world examples of how these skills have made a difference.


I hope this blog post has inspired you to embark on your journey into the tech industry. Remember, you don't need to possess highly technical skills; it doesn't have to take several years to get started. Quality Assurance (QA) can serve as an entry point into a career in tech. It grants you a deep appreciation for software development and brings a diverse perspective to future-proof applications. 

Choose faith over fear, find your community, and play your part well.

Happy Testing! ☀️

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