Becoming a Tester

Hi! I am interested in a career shift (from nursing) to becoming a tester. So I don’t have too much computer knowledge (and am not really able to go back to school besides auditing courses for free) although my husband is an app developer (and I love finding bugs in his code :wink: )
What would be the basics of coding etc I would need before I should apply for a junior test role?
Thanks, Megan


So to start out as a tester you don’t really need a basics of coding. (at least here in Belgium). There are plenty of manual/functional testers who have no knowledge of anything technical and are still doing an excellent job in keeping the quality inside their project.

If you wish to grow into more of the technical side of testing, that’s epic! But not required to start for a junior test role… unless it’s a junior technical test role =P

So I’m not sure where you are based and what companies demand of junior testers but you should try and look up some vacancies around your area and see what skills they require to apply.

So glad you are making a shift! <3 Welcome to the team <3

Some interesting topics:


Those seem perfect! Thank you so much! And yes- I’m super excited about becoming a tester!


Hey, are there any software testing education courses you can attend near where you live?

In terms of the basics of coding, I dont think you need it but it does help IMO. Lately I’ve seen more and more employers be keen on people who at least have some knowledge.

I can highly recommend the courses on

In terms of taking the first step and finding your first role, that might be tough, are there any medical software companies near you? That way you can tarnsfer some of your knowledge/use some of your knowledge as a nurse to stand out as an applicant


In my estimation, attention to detail, having a good memory and being able to step back for “big picture views” of any system are the 3 big things. There is a lot of talk about test automation these days, but in reality most automation is using tools that check or tools that assist us in doing checks. The programming side of automation can come later, understanding common computer system flaws is much more useful.

Good luck @megantheeharpist , it’s great to see people career shift, we need more people to walk that kind of journey around us.


Hi Megan,

Kudos for deciding to jump from one frying pan into another! I did that myself ten years ago, and have never regretted it. I was in an organisation that started out looking at data quality and data collection methodologies as its own flavour of “quality assurance”, and only slowly shifted into software testing. I started life as a librarian, then worked in a lot of different clerical business situations before a developer friend started pointing out to me that I was actually doing software testing!

So I have no formal IT qualifications; when I started specifically looking for software testing roles, I promoted myself on the strength of the wide and sometimes unique experiences I could bring to a business. I went through a lot of job applications, weeding out the ones who only wanted someone with IT knowledge and sometimes getting swept up for interview by some potential employers who really didn’t know what they wanted. (Indeed, there was one interview I went to where I’d spent three weeks saying to the recruitment agent and the employer “Are really sure I’m who you’re looking for?” Ultimately, I wasn’t.)

Eventually, I found - or was found by - a company who saw that I had something different to offer compared with all their existing testers precisely because I had a range of different experiences and skills. It turned out to be a fortuitous match; I’ve shared my experience with my colleagues and in turn they’ve taught me more about testing in six years than I ever learned in the previous twenty!

So best of luck on your testing journey, because once you find that right position that fits you, you’ll find it highly rewarding.


Hi @megantheeharpist,
Glad to see people from different background that want to join the world of testing !
We really need that diversity and it brings smarter idea the combination of 2 career axis.
Hope they inspires you from their perspectives and I advice you to see the #MakeATester by @sjprior #MakeATester – Simon Prior

Wish you all the best


Hi @megantheeharpist,

Congrats on exploring the move to become a tester. Fantastic!

Is the Ministry of Testing Scholarship on your radar? For example, read about @yogitakl’s recent experience via their brilliant article.


From what I’ve noticed, you can get a job as a junior tester if you aren’t familiar with coding.

Maybe you should consider applying for some QA internships?

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Hi Megan!

Thanks for reaching out! Congrats on eyeing a new career.

Regarding coding basics for testers: Were you able to review my course? That’s a great starting point.

Building on that, a number of things to consider becoming competent in would include

  • Basics of object oriented programming
  • Understanding readability and maintainability
  • Understanding how test frameworks such as NUnit, JUnit, etc. work
  • Understanding how a build pipeline works (you might also hear this referred to as DevOps or CI/CD)

I wouldn’t worry too much about what language platform you pick. Ruby, Python, Java, and .NET are all solid choices, as are the Javascript variants. It’s more about learning how to code, then figuring out how to apply those basics to whatever platform you happen to find in use at your new job.



It’s great that you want to become a tester. Like many of the others have said coding is not always a pre-requisite of becoming a tester, but having good tester qualities such as attention to detail, enthusiasm for testing and your product and an inquisitive mind, are more important.

I’ve found a lot of testers get into testing from another role within an industry/company (eg, call centre agents within an airline working on the booking website, nurses working on healthcare products etc)… so if you spot any interesting jobs within healthcare you might be at an advantage with your clinical background as you can spot things with your medical/healthcare system knowledge.

Also, a foundation course in testing (such as ISTQB) can help to show you are really serious about your career change to employers.

Good luck!


Hi Jim! Yes, I am working on the Coding for Non-Coders course now (that’s how I found out about this forum). It is super helpful. I also audited a computer science course 101 from Stanford which was helpful. Thanks for getting back to me!


I am working as a software tester in an organization from last 08 years and I want to give you some insight on software testing and tools so that one can choose a much better option.

Software testing basically is a process or activities to find issues or errors in a developed product so that when it is delivered to end user, it is in a much stable form. It also includes to check whether the actual behavior of application matches the expected results or not. Basic categorization of testing can be done in two types:

Manual Testing : This type of testing is more of preparing a dataset and test cases as per the described scenario(specification of product). These testcases once created can be executed manually by the tester on the application to decide if its working as per expectations or not.

Automation testing : In automated testing, tester needs to have a knowledge of any automation tool on which testscripts will be created as per the scenarios or testcases. These testscripts will prepare data and respective scenario will be executed in an automated way. This way the actual results will be verified with expected results. There are many Web application testing tools available for automation and some are given below:

  • Selenium Webdriver
  • QTP
  • Katalon Studio
  • TestComplete
  • TestProject
  • Parasoft Continuous Quality Suite
  • LambdaTest
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Welcome to the community @megantheeharpist .
There has been a lot of excellent suggestions so far. I would like to add the following suggestions as well:

  • Get involved in the community. You’re already on The Club, but also join Twitter and keep an eye on #softwaretesting and #testing. For suggestions on who to follow I have a curated list of testers on my profile which will give you a starter -
  • Get on the Ministry of Testing slack and start reading and contributing.
  • Subscribe to Ministry of Testings feeds, such as the blog feed and start reading all about testing. Try and comment on some blogs to get conversations going.
  • Finally, sign up to meetups and attend virtually. There are a number of meetups that happen virtually through Ministry of Testing affiliated ones are normally announced on Slack, and on the mailing lists.
    And finally finally there is a hangout where you can come and chat with testers. There’s usually someone on during working hours. Sign in - Google Accounts NB: We don’t only talk about testing, it’s also a place for socialising and getting to know other testers.