Skills Systems Testing Technician in Canada

Find out what skills you typically need to work as a systems testing technician in Canada. These skills are applicable to all Information systems testing technicians (NOC 2283).

Skills and knowledge

The following skills and knowledge are usually required in this occupation.

Essential skills

See how the 9 essential skills apply to this occupation. This section will be updated soon.

  • Read short error messages and alerts, e.g. read short error log messages in the software applications they test. (1)
  • Read text entries in forms, e.g. read test instructions and corrective actions required in test case forms. (2)
  • Read email and memos from co-workers, e.g. read email messages from co-workers to learn about preliminary test results and memos from managers to learn of changes to software launch dates. (2)
  • Read articles, reviews and editorials in trade publications and forums, e.g. read expert reviews of domain-specific software products and new operating systems in trade publications, such as Computer Weekly and PC Magazine. (3)
  • Read policies and methodologies, e.g. testing technicians carrying out automated testing read functional test methodologies to learn about designing and constructing automated test suites. (4)
  • Read manuals, e.g. read computer hardware and software manuals to learn installation and configuration procedures. (4)
  • Read software specifications, release logs and test reports, e.g. read developers' specifications of new software modules to learn about functions, design considerations and architecture and study release logs to identify the objectives, system compatibilities, defects solved and build histories of new software releases. (4)
Document use
  • Locate data on labels, e.g. view equipment labels to identify ports, connectors and switches for computer hardware and peripherals. (1)
  • Locate data in lists, tables and schedules, e.g. locate hardware devices in lists of test requirements and start and finish dates for specific tests in schedules. (2)
  • Enter data into lists, tables and schedules, e.g. enter data, such as times, dates, quantities and frequencies, into test schedules. (2)
  • May locate data and identify trends in graphs, e.g. software test coordinators locate test result data in line graphs. (2)
  • Locate data in entry forms, e.g. locate test case identifiers, categories, specifications, requirements, steps and expected results in test case forms. (2)
  • Complete forms, such as test plans, test scripts, test progress logs, defect tracking forms and build release forms, e.g. enter titles, dates, build numbers, descriptions, status and priorities of defects into tracking forms. (3)
  • May locate and interpret data in schematic drawings, e.g. study class and class interaction diagrams to learn about networks and their constituent parts. (3)
  • May locate data in charts, e.g. test coordinators locate start and finish dates, project objectives and names of developers for the development of specific software modules on Gantt charts. (3)
  • Write short notes and reminders, e.g. write descriptions of tasks in testing logs and reminders to co-workers about upcoming tests. (1)
  • Write email and memos, e.g. write email to respond to co-workers' questions and memos to explain testing results to development team members. (2)
  • Write rules and procedures, e.g. write sequenced instructions to co-workers to explain how to install computer hardware and software. (3)
  • Write reports, e.g. write test summary reports to describe test design methodologies, tests performed, defects found and fixed, and recommendations. (4)
  • Compare test data and equipment readings to specifications, e.g. compare transaction numbers and dates generated by software applications during tests to expected numbers and dates. (1)
  • Estimate time to complete a job task using past experience as a guide, e.g. estimate times to complete functional tests, usability tests and performance tests. (1)
  • Calculate amounts for expense claims. They add amounts for software and supplies they have purchased and calculate charges for the use of personal vehicles at per kilometre rates. (2)
  • May verify calculations made by software applications, e.g. application testers verify printing costs calculated by print tracking applications. They check that the printing costs calculated automatically are equal to the number of sheets printed multiplied by the appropriate per sheet prices. (2)
  • May create and monitor testing schedules. They monitor testing progress on many software projects and change test schedules to adapt to delays and revisions in software development plans. (3)
  • Collect and analyze test data to identify software malfunctions and to assess the effectiveness of test methods and processes, e.g. count numbers of critical defects in software applications and monitor these numbers through test cycles to draw conclusions about software reliability. (3)
Oral communication
  • Speak with suppliers, e.g. talk with suppliers to determine the delivery date of supplies and materials. (1)
  • Discuss technical information with co-workers, e.g. speak with co-workers about adaptations to critical test cases and defects in software applications. (2)
  • Exchange technical information with help desk technicians, e.g. speak to suppliers' support technicians to troubleshoot difficulties in integrating new versions of software applications. (3)
  • May make presentations, e.g. make presentations to supervisors and managers to explain the principles, requirements, advantages and disadvantages of automated testing of software applications. (3)
  • Find that computer systems malfunction and crash during software tests. They attempt to diagnose the causes of breakdowns and carry out repairs. They call technical support analysts to repair malfunctioning systems. (2)
  • Are unable to meet deadlines due to heavy workloads and projects which take longer than anticipated to complete. They speak with supervisors about the delays, enlist the help of co-workers and may work overtime to complete high priority work. (2)
  • Choose test cases to uncover defects in software and information and telecommunications systems, e.g. testers choose test cases and sequences in order to meet specifications, test objectives and time constraints. (2)
  • Encounter poor coordination between software development and testing work, e.g. development teams have not fixed software defects in time for critical testing. They speak with development team leaders about the needed fixes and revise testing schedules as required. They propose improvements in communication between development and testing teams. (3)
  • Choose test processes, plans and methodologies, e.g. software test coordinators choose how to test software to affirm its usability, reliability, compatibility and performance. (3)
  • Select the testing software to design, implement and test software, applications, products and systems. They consider the scope of projects, testing specifications, timelines and budgets. (3)
  • Evaluate the quality and performance of software applications and systems. They identify important quality criteria, such as speed, capacity, security and reliability. They set benchmarks that reflect customers' requirements and developers' specifications. They analyze test results and make ongoing recommendations to developers about necessary changes to programming code and software functions. (3)
  • May evaluate the usability of documentation for software applications and systems, e.g. testing technicians proofread installation manuals to identify errors in spelling and grammar and confirm that accompanying screenshots and graphics are accurate and effective. (3)
  • Assess the effectiveness of testing processes. They monitor test results and tracking reports to identify delays and unresolved defects. They review customers' questions and complaints to identify important software defects that were not detected during testing. (3)
  • Plan and organize their daily tasks to give priority to test plans prepared by supervisors. They may adapt and revise job task plans as software modules and solutions to program defects are delivered by software developers. They may experience conflicting demands on their time as software release dates approach. (3)
  • Find information about testing tools and practices by reading manuals, user forums and trade publications and by speaking with co-workers and help desk technicians. (3)
  • Find information about the terminologies and concepts specific to the domains of software programs. They read development specifications and background reports, conduct Internet searches and consult co-workers to learn about the needs of users who will use the software programs they test. (3)
Digital technology
  • Use graphics software to edit screenshots and photographs presented in user manuals. (2)
  • Use communication software to exchange email and attachments with co-workers, colleagues, network users and suppliers. (2)
  • Use communication software to manage job tasks and schedule meetings. (2)
  • Use Internet browsers to access online trade publications to stay current on industry trends and practices. (2)
  • Use search engines to obtain information on error messages, testing practices and software applications. (2)
  • May use the Internet to access blogs and web forums where they seek and offer troubleshooting and other technical advice. (2)
  • Use hardware and system skills to set up and connect computers and peripherals for tests. (2)
  • Use advanced features of word processing programs to write and format memos, test cases, procedures, methodologies and reports. They create tables and indexes and import screen shots, spreadsheets and graphics.(3)
  • Use spreadsheet software to collect, analyze and graph test data. (3)
  • Use the Internet to download release logs, software manuals and applications from Intranet servers and suppliers' websites. (3)
  • Use the Internet to test web-based applications. (3)
  • Use hardware and system skills to install and configure operating systems to test the compatibility of software applications in various environments. (4)
  • Use hardware and system skills to install and configure various test management applications, such as defect tracking software and revision control applications. (4)
  • Use programming, software design and development skills to install and configure software applications under development, write test scripts and cases and run tests in order to evaluate the performance of these applications. (5)
  • May use programming, software design and development skills to do programming, software design and development, such as writing batch files to execute automated test suites. (5)
  • Use automated testing tools, such as Rational Suite and Quick Test Professional, to design tests and implement testing systems. (5)
Additional informationWorking with Others

Systems testing technicians coordinate and integrate their job tasks closely, as many software applications are too complex for one tester. They coordinate job tasks with teams of developers and quality assurance analysts in order to meet customers' requirements and software launch dates.

Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is very important to systems testing technicians, given the rapid and ongoing changes in information technology. They learn about new software applications and testing procedures by reading manuals, trade publications and reports. They learn through ongoing exchanges with software developers and other testers. They take college and university courses, and attend workshops and seminars.

Labour Market Information Survey
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