Do Testers have to Write Code?

A very common question that a software Testing aspirant has is… Do testers have to write code??

Before we answer this question, a complete insight into a various software testing role is necessary to understand.

Software QA is typically divided into two categories,

  1. Quality Analyst: QA verifies the functionality and completeness of the test. QA verifies the software only after the development phase. QA role is not as technical as a developer and may not require coding.
  2. SDET(Software Design Engineer in Test): While SDET on other hand is one who understands the inner workings of the product. They understand database concepts, programming languages, etc. and they also participate in product design, data design, and user interfaces. SDETs have to work during the development phase and require a coding knowledge. So the role of an SDET is more challenging, and it involves job of both, developer as well as a Tester. Automation Testers (who use tools like QTP, Selenium) can also be classified as SDET.

Do testers have to write code?

So based on the role of tester, it can be determined whether tester should require a coding knowledge or not? Let answer few more questions related to it.

We will see following things during this tutorial.

  • What skill sets are required to become a good tester?
  • What tester should know?
  • How much coding knowledge is required to become a good tester?

Attributes of a good tester

Software testing methodology varies according to the need and specifications of the software product. A good QA or software tester plays an important role in the completion of a testing process.

Attributes of good testers are;

  • Good domain knowledge
  • Good logical thinking and
  • Good knowledge of programming skills.

How much coding knowledge does tester require

Writing code and debugging is the developer’s job.

Then the question arises, why coding knowledge is necessary for testers?

Let see some of the reason, why knowing coding becomes necessary for testers.

Do testers have to write code?

Software testing basically involves two approaches Manual Testing and Automation testing. At an advanced level, testing can be classified as a White box, Black box or Grey box testing. Different testing techniques require a different set of skill by testers.

  • While performing Black box testing, the tester does not require the knowledge of coding. Tester simply tests the software by inputting the data and then checks the output.
  • White box testing or code-driven testing requires code knowledge. Knowing various programming concepts like C, C#, C++, RDBMS concept, etc. may be helpful.
  • Testers require good coding knowledge when they go after an automation testing or white box testing. This is because automation testing involves statement coverage, code coverage, cyclomatic complexity, etc. all these concepts need a good knowledge of programming skills and database.
  • SQL (Structured Query Language)- Sometimes testing needs database verification. So, testers need to have the basic knowledge of SQL commands like –’select’, ‘create’, ‘update ‘and so on.
  • SQL –injection, “SQL injection” is one of the techniques used for the database hacking by inserting unwanted commands. A good knowledge of JavaScript and SQL commands comes handy to avert such software security threats.
  • Agile Testing- In agile testing, the whole team is responsible for the quality of the software. Throughout the agile process, the tester will work with one or more programmers to write test. So for creating an automatable test, it is imperative for testers to know the code.

Some Important Tips for software QA analyst

  • Knowledge of manual testing, scripting languages like JavaScript, etc. will add credit to your testing skills.
  • Being a tester, you should build your basic knowledge of programming languages like Java, VBScript It is not must, but it is necessary. Knowledge of SQL concepts, DBMS concept, is a good practice for you.

Besides these, there are few general tips that can help software QA analyst,

  • Communication skill
  • Analytical Mindset
  • Aptitude

Knowing to code in software testing helps a lot to QA analyst or tester throughout their career.


Software QA is typically divided into two categories,

  • QA Testers: It does not require coding knowledge
  • SDET: It requires coding knowledge

Attributes of good testers are

  • Good domain knowledge
  • Good logical thinking and
  • Good knowledge of programming skills.

Testers require good coding knowledge when they go after an automation testing