test analyst job description.

Working as a test analyst is as complex and demanding as it is intriguing and exciting. It takes a certain kind of person to do this job well – one who is intelligent, innovative, and who relishes a challenge – but those who have these qualities tend to fall in love with this type of work.

For those who have acquired the necessarily degrees or professional training there are many lucrative and rewarding opportunities available.

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Test analyst jobs involve defining, developing, applying, and assessing tests to analyse new products, usually in a software context. They require considerable analytical skills as well as an ability to think outside the box, but the balance of solo and teamwork is quite variable.

Often a major project begins with a team working together to assess roughly what needs to be done, after which the project is divided it into sections that can be handled by individuals.

After the testing process, the team gets back together to discuss the results and make sure everyone’s work makes sense together. This method has the advantage of ensuring that everything is reviewed by a fresh pair of eyes, significantly reducing the potential for error.

Day to day activities.

Although test analyst jobs vary quite a bit, certain tasks are standard in most daily routines:  

  • meeting clients to discuss their requirements
  • identifying and breaking down the necessary tasks to test a new product
  • brainstorming with colleagues to identify possible approaches to new tasks
  • design tests, either alone or as part of a team
  • setting up automated tests
  • Identify and resolve errors
  • record keeping

Many test analysts also make keeping up with relevant journals a significant part of their daily routines, to stay abreast of developments and identify new tools and techniques that may be of use to them.

Variations on the role.

Test analysts work across a wide range of fields, assessing products designed for conventional computers, large scale industrial systems, mobile phones, and applied systems such as those used in vehicles.

Because of this variety there is a lot of room for developing specialities. Many specialist analysts freelance or work for agencies, but this may still involve team working, with mixed teams being assembled for individual projects.

Some test analysts specialise in developing their hardware skills so that they can test complete systems, assessing the way that established software runs in a new context.

They may also test new software and hardware together in applied contexts, such as in new cars with individually designed operating systems.

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Career path. 

The usual next step for a successful test analyst is to progress to being a senior test analyst, training newcomers to the team. Acquiring further qualifications makes it possible to take on increasing levels of responsibility, supervising gradually larger teams and potentially becoming a test centre manager.

The usual next step for a successful test analyst is to progress to being a senior test analyst, training newcomers to the team. Acquiring further qualifications makes it possible to take on increasing levels of responsibility, supervising gradually larger teams and potentially becoming a test centre manager.

Others choose to move into consultancy, developing tests for other teams to work on or stepping in to resolve problems when a test hasn’t worked as intended.

Others choose to move into consultancy, developing tests for other teams to work on or stepping in to resolve problems when a test hasn’t worked as intended.

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