Niches in Testing – Finding the next step in your career development

Joel and Rob discuss what skills and roles testers should focus on for career development.

There are so many different career routes for testers nowadays. In order to be able to choose what niche to focus on it’s recommended people try a plethora of different aspects of software testing and find one that resonates, or they’re interested in, or one that leads them down the path they want int he longer term.

Why do we need Niches in testing?

  • Different risks and different projects will require different types of testing to ensure a specific aspect of the product is being written/developed/planned/deployed correctly.
  • Niches or specializations, allow testers to expand professionally. Many times a tester asks others or themselves what is there to learn in testing? And one answer is Niches that he or she can become more versed
  • Niches are more needs than decisions. Many times we need to learn something or actively study it on the fly, because of an active need of a project, and that is how we become experts on this or that niche.

What niches of software testing are open to testers?

Niche 1 – Security

While this is a desired niche in the industry now, with people spending thousands on training to work in cybersecurity for the lure of good pay and exciting work, it can, however,  be very technical and risky.
Read more related to this Niche: Declan O’Riordan – Dan Billing: The Test Doctor –  OWASP Top Ten – Web Hackers Handbook

Niche 2 – L10N & I18N

– Internationalization (i18n).
– Localization (l10n):
* Globalization (g11n).
* Localizability (l12y).


“Internationalization is the design and development of a product, application or document content that enables easy localization for target audiences that vary in culture, region, or language. 
Localization refers to the adaptation of a product, application or document content to meet the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market (a locale).” – Read more:W3C

Niche 3 – Accessibility

  • Checking website accessibility is one thing, ensuring its complaint is another.
    • Some tools are good indicators and can pick up obvious binary rules
    • Human judgmentt is best
  • Read more – https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/


Niche 4 – Finance

Niche 5 – Medical or Healthcare related

Niche 6 – Hardware / Kit Testing

Niche 7 – Mobile & Devices

Niche 8 – Instrumentation & Data analysis

Niche 9 – Performance

  • Scalability testing
  • In recent years performance testing has become low touch, component-based and ultimately – done in production where possible with rollbacks, clever monitoring, active alerting and small incremental product changes – which makes it easier to diagnose performance problems

Niche 10 – Automation

The biggest area that testers seem to focus on. Automated checks belong to the developer who wrote the code. There may be a small team of people enabling the tests to run – such as providing environments, pipelines, training, and reporting. And one could argue that they are in that case automation testers. However, developers are much better (and often willing) to build these systems. After all – test code should be treated as production code – who better to write the code than the programmer?

On the other hand – who better to design tests and think about the questions testing is trying to tease out – than testers. So if both can work together that’s best.

Niche 11 – Infrastructure, environments, and deployments

Niche 12 – Certifications and Compliance and audits

Niche 13 – Testing Training and Consulting

Requires a different set of skills than testing skills. It’s mostly about relationships, sales, communication and information sharing.


It is important to remember that Niches are not carved in stone, they appear based on needs, evolve or morph based on how the technology and methodologies change and disappear once they are not needed.

Testers should not be shaped, we should strive to be ‘Broken Combs’ with different levels of knowledge in different areas or niches.


  1. Where should you invest your limited testing efforts? - QA Intelligence - February 5, 2019

    […] I don’t quite remember on what conference I heard this concept, but it is still a good one.  We need to behave as a Broken Comb Type of Tester. […]

  2. Don't Mix Friendship or Politics with Testing - QA Intelligence - February 19, 2020

    […] were times in my testing career when I found myself in a complicated spot as a result of my attempts to be a “good […]

Leave a Reply