How to Learn Software Quality Assurance (SQA)

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Ready to start your journey?

portrait of Ellery Weil
by Ellery Weil

Published on July 1, 2022

Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
Share this Article

When programmers develop a new piece of software, how do they know if it works? That's where software quality assurance, or SQA, comes in.

Software QA is the role of testing software for errors and ensuring the team launches a smooth-running project. Software QA can be a great jumping-off point into a broader tech career, including project management. Here are some ways you can learn SQA yourself.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are weeks-or-months long intensive courses focusing on a particular subject. They can be in-person or online, and full-time or part-time.

Bootcamps can be expensive, with some programs costing thousands of dollars. Still, many bootcamps offer tuition assistance or a guarantee of a job or internship within a certain amount of time for graduates. Others offer more affordable programs for beginners.

Online Courses

You can take online courses from home, on your own time. There are many programs available, including low-cost and free options. Courses can last between a few hours and a few weeks or months.

Courses are available at a wide range of skill levels. Here are a few online courses in software QA:

Online Courses vs. Bootcamps

Online Courses
Pros Cons
  • Affordable and free options are available
  • Ability to complete courses at home, on your own time
  • Wide variety of programs to choose from
  • No instructors means no one to turn to with questions
  • Finishing your program requires a lot of personal discipline
  • Courses can vary in quality and usefulness
Coding Bootcamps
Pros Cons
  • Programs can come with guarantees of a job, internship, or career help
  • Instructors can be a valuable resource if you have questions
  • Your bootcamp classmates can help you learn to collaborate and form your network
  • Telling which program is right for you and is of high quality can be difficult
  • Programs can be very expensive
  • Programs can require a time commitment that may not be compatible with work or school

Coding Bootcamps to Learn Software Quality Assurance

Careerist

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $3,799-$6,999
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full-Time, Part-Time

Careerist is designed for those undergoing a career shift, and their program offerings focus on QA. Their programs also offer options for businesses looking to train employees and have been used by companies from HelloFresh to J. P. Morgan. Their program also offers 1:1 mentorship.

Visit Bootcamp

CodeStack Academy

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $5,000
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full-Time

Career Services
Evening & Weekend Options

CodeStack Academy is a proudly not-for-profit educational organization that offers programs in various computer science topics. In addition to its course offerings, CodeStack Academy hosts monthly coding meetups and in-person multimedia workshops in Stockton, California. Their program also offers tuition assistance options and a guaranteed internship.

Visit Bootcamp

Devmountain

  • Location: Remote, Dallas TX, Lehi, UT
  • Program Cost: $49-$9,900
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Part-Time

Career Services

Part of the for-profit educational system at Strayer University, Devmountain is aimed toward tech beginners. They offer a variety of courses at different price points, including a $49 introductory coding basics course. They also offer in-person full-time options, and some scholarships are available based on need and historical representation.

Visit Bootcamp

Epicodus

  • Location: Remote; Portland, OR; Seattle, WA
  • Program Cost: $100-$11,700
  • Learning Format: Online, In-Person
  • Time Commitment: Full-Time, Part-Time

Career Services
Start For Free

Flexibility and accessibility are two of Epicodus's main selling points. Their classes provide a wide variety of options for students, with full-and-part-time programs and a range of prices. Students can take classes online or at one of their campuses in the Pacific Northwest. Epicodus has free basics workshops for beginners. Accepted students can pay only a small deposit and then pay back the remainder of their tuition after getting a job with income sharing.

Visit Bootcamp

Tech Talent South

  • Location: Remote
  • Program Cost: $13,500
  • Learning Format: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full-Time, Part-Time

Career Services

Slightly different from a traditional bootcamp, Tech Talent South is part tech bootcamp, part staffing agency. They have options, ranging from the free online re/Start program to more advanced training programs. Tech Talent South also offers recruiting services for professionals from across the tech industry looking to hire top talent.

Visit Bootcamp

Get the Qualities You Want in a Bootcamp

We use icons to make browsing bootcamps easy for you. Use this breakdown to quickly identify program qualities you are looking for.

Accepts GI Bill®

Accepts the GI Bill® as funding for tuition.

Also Available In Person

This online bootcamp also offers in-person options.

Career Services

Offers career services to help you land your dream job after graduation.

CIRR Member

This bootcamp is a current member of the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting. Learn more at cirr.org.

Evening & Weekend Options

Bootcamps are offered during convenient evening and weekend hours.

Job Guarantee

Employment is guaranteed as soon as you finish your bootcamp.

Money-Back Guarantee

Tuition is refunded if you don't land a job within a given time frame after graduation. Visit the bootcamp website for terms and conditions.

Start for Free

No deposit is required to get started. Begin your bootcamp for $0.

Methodology

Bootcamp Ranking Guidelines

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

Our Methodology

The Bootcamp Team at BestColleges has collected data for over 150 bootcamps to help you find the best bootcamp.

At BestColleges, we believe the best bootcamp is the one that fits your schedule, your learning needs, and your career aspirations. That's why we often present our recommendations in alphabetical order -- because the real best bootcamp is the bootcamp that's best for you.

At this time, our recommendation round-ups feature only immersive bootcamps designed to prepare students for job placement upon graduation.

To be included on our lists, bootcamps must meet the following criteria:

  • Must offer at least one bootcamp in the United States.
  • Must offer at least one bootcamp that is a minimum of 4 weeks long.
  • Must require at least 15 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is part time.
  • Must encourage at least 10 hours of work per week if the bootcamp is self-paced.

Pricing disclosure: The prices listed were collected from product websites in 2022. However, given the dynamic, fast-paced nature of the tech space, prices are subject to change throughout the year. To get the most up-to-date information about pricing, contact providers directly.

Methodology for Recommending Cheap Bootcamps:

  • The bootcamp must meet all of the general criteria listed above.
  • The bootcamp must cost less than $8,000 if it is offered full time, and less than $5,000 if it is offered part time. These numbers were chosen based on data collected by BestColleges in 2020 that determined the average cost of a coding bootcamp is $13,580.

Software Quality Assurance Jobs

Software QA Engineer

A software QA engineer designs tests to check software capabilities before it goes to testers. They write test scripts and scenarios to ensure the test catches any possible glitches or bugs.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020)
$110,140

Software QA Tester

Software testers run programs to ensure a piece of software runs smoothly and is free of bugs before being launched as a finished product.

Median Annual Salary (May 2020)
$110,140

What Are the Benefits of a Software Quality Assurance Certification?

You will likely have more job opportunities in software development and IT when you are certified in QA. Software companies across a wide variety of fields need QA testers and developers, and certification may assure them that you would be able to fulfill this role.

Further, some certifications allow you to specialize in a particular type of QA, such as QA for a specific type of code like Java, which may lead to a more specialized job with a potentially higher salary.

Frequently Asked Questions About Software Quality Assurance

What are the elements of software quality assurance?

There are generally agreed to be four principles of software QA: plan, do, check, and act. These four elements describe the cycle of conceiving a piece of software (plan), building the software (do), putting it through the QA testing process (check), and then fixing any errors the testing process uncovers (act). Testers and analysts repeat the process as necessary before development is fully complete.

What software is used for quality assurance?

The software used for QA testing will depend on the software being tested and the type of code it is written in. For example, when testing a piece of Java software, the testing languages used are JUnit, PUnit, and PHPUnit. However, there is a wide variety of software testing tools and software QA programs available.

How do I become a QA tester with no experience?

To become a QA tester with no experience, you should first learn some introductory QA skills and principles through a bootcamp or an online course. Many introductory courses are available for free or at a low cost.

You might want to consider a course that offers certification at the end of the program. This certification can take the place of prior experience when you're applying for software QA testing jobs and want to convince your employer that you are up to the task.

Does QA require coding?

Depending on the role you are considering in software QA, you may or may not need to learn coding. Since QA testing is often one of the final stages in building a piece of software, it's likely that you will not use coding on your projects.

However, you may need to know a bit about coding for a QA developer or any other QA-related role that is not later-stage testing. Also, many QA professionals specialize in QA for a particular type of code, in which case they should be comfortable with that code.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.