Guide: How To Become A Mobile Application Tester (With Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Mobile application testers check the functionality, consistency and usability of a mobile application. They are software professionals with coding and testing expertise. If you want to become a mobile application tester, it is essential to know the qualifications and requirements to become one. In this article, we examine how to become a mobile application tester and the career prospects of this job role.

What Is A Mobile Application Tester?

A mobile application tester runs manual and automated tests on a mobile application to check if its functions and features are working properly. If they notice an error or a bug, they notify the development team, business team and clients to remove the errors and improve the application. They periodically update the application once a business deploys it to check for its efficiency. A mobile application tester requires a strong technical understanding of testing tools and technologies, relevant certifications, soft skills and hands-on expertise in mobile application testing.

Related: Mobile Testing Interview Questions

How To Become A Mobile Application Tester

Here is a step-by-step guide to how to become a mobile application tester:

1. Pursue a formal academic qualification

The basic academic requirement to become a mobile application tester is a bachelor's degree in software-related majors like computer engineering, information technology (IT) or computer science. A background in coding is essential as a tester writes code and software to test an application in multiple mobile-based operating systems. Working knowledge of a software development life cycle is a basic requirement for a mobile application tester. Since mobile application developers link it with external applications and third-party enterprises, mobile application testers require knowledge of the latest tools and technologies that can help them with such complex tasks.

Related: How To Share Your Education Background

2. Acquire skills for using testing tools

A mobile application tester uses multiple testing tools, simulators and delivery and analytical services to test a mobile application successfully. Since they may test an application in multiple operating systems or devices, familiarity with relevant tools increases their scope of employability. If they encounter a problem during testing, knowledge of tools that can overcome such roadblocks can help them complete a testing project successfully.

Familiarity with primary testing methodologies like agile and waterfall testing and white box and black box testing are essential technical skills for a tester. A mobile application tester requires knowledge in one or more testing tools, including:

Emulator and simulator tools

Emulators can be desktop-based applications that can mimic the operating system and hardware of a target device. They are useful for testing specific situations before a business deploys the application. A simulator is a type of software that helps a computer run applications built for a different operating system. They are relatively cheaper, faster and reliable. Knowing about these tools can help a tester decide on which tool is best suited to test an application. Some popular emulator and simulator tools are:

  • Xcode

  • AVD

  • Genymotion

  • Android emulator

  • Galaxy emulator

  • iPhone emulator

  • iOS simulators

Performance monitoring tools

Application performance monitoring tools help a tester ensure that all the processes in an application work ideally. There are many tools, like Android Monitor and Instruments for iOS that help control actions on a device. Since a tester monitors the performance of an application before and after deployment, knowledge of such tools can help them gain work experience in diverse fields.

Network tools

Developers design a mobile application to work with different types of networks. Testers use many advanced tools to set up and manipulate the network configurations to check if the configuration is correct. Network tools track Application Programming Interface (API) calls when there is any activity in a mobile application. A tester can learn to use network tools like Network Link Conditioner, Fiddler and Charles. Knowledge of API testing tools like Paw, Insomnia, SoapUI and Postman are important for a tester.

Automation tools

A mobile application tester uses automation tools or tests an application manually. Automation tools increase test coverage, stability and allow simultaneous tests on multiple devices. Some useful automation tools for testers include Appium, Selenium, Espresso, XCUITest, Calabash, Frank, Kif, Monkey Talk and UI Auto Monkey.

Analytical tools

Users may access an application through multiple networks, devices and operating systems. A tester analyses this data and reports to the development and business team. It can help them identify potential problems before they deploy the application. Application analysis is important to create reports in case of a malfunction or a crash. Some tools and services that help in application delivery and analysis are:

  • HockeyApp

  • AppBlade

  • Appaloosa

  • TestFairy

  • TestFlight

  • Dynatrace

  • CrashLytics

  • Bugsee

  • AppSee

  • FireBase

3. Learn about the different stages of testing

There are multiple stages involved in testing a mobile application. The important stages of testing include beta testing, alpha testing and pre-alpha testing. These tests detect the bugs in a mobile app, where a tester runs the application in the place of a user and looks for potential errors and malfunctions. Familiarity with the different stages of testing can increase their competence and improve their chances of securing lucrative job opportunities.

4. Get hands-on experience working with gadgets

A passion for acquiring an in-depth knowledge of various mobile devices is crucial for a mobile application tester. This allows them to understand how an application may function in each device. It helps them study how an application performs in basic or advanced software environments using different operating systems. Knowledge of different mobile operating systems, devices and mobile networks can help them excel in their job role.

5. Get certified

A tester may require a wide variety of skills and familiarity with a range of tools and technologies. It may not be possible to cover this entire knowledge base as part of a formal academic degree. Hence, it is advisable for testers to stay up-to-date by pursuing relevant certifications. Since certification courses are short-duration programmes, they can pursue more than one. Acquiring multiple certifications can help them be knowledgeable in multiple domains. Some popular certifications for mobile application testing are:

  • International Mobile Testing Qualifications Network (IMTQN)

  • Mobile Testing Device Lab Certification

  • Certified Mobile Software Test Professional (CMSTP)

  • ISTQB Mobile Testing Certification

  • Mobile Application Testing Certification

  • Mobile App Testing Using Appium

  • CMAP Mobile App Testing Certification

Related: How To List Certifications On A Resume (With Examples)

6. Look for internship opportunities

An internship opportunity for application development companies or start-ups can help you gain work experience. You can look for internship opportunities in professional social media networks, job search sites or forums. Working as an intern can help you gain exposure to relevant tools, technologies and software necessary for mobile application testing.

7. Develop additional skills

Testing involves multiple processes and layers of work. Apart from having the required educational qualifications and technical skills, a tester may require additional skills and traits that empower them to be successful. If you want to be a mobile application tester, consider developing these skills:

Analytical skills

Mobile application testing involves working on multiple front-end and back-end processes. A tester's ability to break these workflows down to logical steps and test individual parts of an application and the application as a whole can be an advantage. Analysing a mobile application in totality helps them test logically and identify bugs and errors.

Product knowledge

Before working on a testing project, knowing about application usage and purpose, common devices, configurations and potential users can help reduce risk in performance and security testing. By understanding the devices and the operating systems an application may work on, you can remove redundant configurations from a testing process, saving a considerable amount of time. Knowing about the purpose of an application can help them test it accurately.

Collaborative skills

A mobile application tester constantly interacts with developers and clients. It is important that they share their test feedback on time and with evidence to improve the application quickly. A tester's ability to collaborate with developers and clients is crucial for the deployment of a functional and good-quality mobile application.

Communication skills

The ability to collaborate comes with a tester's ability to communicate with developers, clients and business teams. Listening to a developer's approach and methodology can help them identify risk areas. Communicating with them effectively can reduce miscommunication before and after testing. Since testers may directly interact and report to business teams or clients on possible bugs or errors, it is important that they do so with clarity and objectivity. This can help prevent last-minute changes and delays and can help a business improve the application before deployment.

8. Apply for open positions

Prepare a resume detailing your qualifications, skills and work experience. Once you have the basic qualification and skills, you can start applying for mobile application tester jobs. You can get the information from a network of testers, job search portals, professional social media networks and company websites.

What Are The Career Prospects For A Mobile Application Tester?

A fresher can join an entry-level job as a mobile application tester. You can become a test analyst after gaining a few years of experience. With a little more experience in relevant domains, you can become a team lead. With advanced experience and expertise, you may be eligible for administrative positions like test manager or senior test manager.


Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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