Felt lost for a long time, but found my desire to start a new career in TESTING

Hello everyone!

My name is Kenney and I’m from Queens, New York, USA.

To give a bit of a backstory, I graduated college in 2014 with a degree in cinema technology; I wanted to work for a movie studio or in post-production; unfortunately I never found myself landing a position in the field. I decided to set out and enter the workforce, trying to find something steady but again nothing stable. I worked simple temp jobs throughout next couple of years and even had a failed admission to a Master program.
I felt depressed and had no hope for the future, but I never stopped looking.
I eventually found myself in a temp position for an IT department; doing the most basic of manual labor and the my work ethic caught the attention of the director and he offered me an opportunity to work with the Quality Assurance manager. Here the Quality Assurance manager gave me a couple of assignments on finding and catching bugs for a webpage. I had no experience in testing and never written a line of code before; which made me nervous, but the QA Manager assured me that he only expected me to find errors through manual testing. I was very detailed on my written “steps to reproduce”, which made the QA Manager grateful and from there he and the IT director had decided to offer me a position as a QA tester.

Now that I have landed a job as a QA tester, my goal now is to get a better understand of the field and position as a whole. I currently am still working as a manual tester only finding bugs through the UI of webpages, but I know I want to excel and become quite knowledgeable of the Quality Assurance process so that I will be able to become a QA Engineer and eventually a skilled Test Automation Engineer.

I will be looking to learn code/coding so that I will eventually understand the basic and utilize the means of writing code to automate. And while I am excited to learn, I am a bit nervous that I would not grasp the materials as easily as others had.

Despite my experience of finding bugs as a QA tester, I still feel like an absolute beginner and would greatly appreciate any advice and resources for someone just starting out but serious in growth. I would like to thank you for to reading my introduction and look forward to growing and become a part of the Testing world.

I hope everyone has a nice day!

kind regards,
Kenney

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Hi Kenney!

Don’t put yourself down for “only” doing manual testing. It’s difficult at the moment because a lot of corporates - especially outside but with managerial responsibility for testing - see test automation as the answer to all their problems (in part because it’s easier to find someone or something to blame other than your own bad management practices).

From what you say, you have a wide range of business experience in a range of different industries. That gives you a massive amount of knowledge about different real world business scenarios. Many of your colleagues in both development and testing may not have that experience, and at some point in the test process, you will find that you know more about how the software product will be used in real life by real users than anyone else in the room.

Yes, get as much technical knowledge and background as you can, but the strength of testing as a whole comes from the wide and diverse range of experiences that each individual can bring to the field. Get this mix right and you’ll find testing an exciting and challenging experience!

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Hi Kenney,

Congrats and welcome to the world of software testing!

I have a back story where software testing sort of found me as I had graduated with a degree in business but no real ideas what I wanted to do. After working for a couple of years in call centres I heard about a company who were ofering graduates who weren’t working in graduate-levcel work the opportunity to get into IT and either testing or development. The rest is history, but suffice to say I’ve been in software testing since and it’s a great job in my experience, plenty of challenges, lots of scope for growth and decent salary and promotion opportunities.

When I started the company gave us a two week course in software testing. It was a very very good grounding, so I’d recommend something similar to you. The course was based around the ISTQB course (it gets a mixed press as you’ll see if you search for articles on this site, but IMHO whatever folks think about it, doing some kind of course so you get the theory side of testing is invaluable).

You’re also very welcome to the MOT site, which I hope you’ll agree is a great resource. I’d recommend searching out some of the ‘30-days of [fill in the blank]’ articles. Also, there is this article which may be a good starting place: Club Posts To Help You Get Started With Software Testing And QA.

One other really good one to do if your company allows it is to get a mentor. If you can get a person with like 5+ years experience to guide you, to act as a sounding board, to offer positive critique it will be very helpful in getting you up to speed on testing as quickly as possible.

Hope the above is helpful and again welcome to the world of software testing. Am sure it’ll be as good to you as it has been to me :smiley:

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I came to testing late in life, following a return to education. My experience is that my life experiences have combined to make me a more intuitive and effective tester. Don’t undersell manual testing skills, automation is great and the nirvana for a lot of companies at the moment. BUT automation cannot replace the human element every system will have to live with and thus have to be tested with.

Hi Kenney,

You are definitely stepping in the right direction for broadening your testing skills.

Becoming more knowledgeable on the Quality Assurance process -

  • Read blogs - there’s a great RSS feed in slack, as well as on Flipboard
  • Get on twitter and follow some of the people you’ve seen and heard on here today
  • Contribute to threads on The Club
  • Essentials by Ministry of Testing is another place to gain/improve your skills via mentored sessions on various topics
    All the above will enhance your thinking, and take you in directions you didn’t think you’d be going.

For learning more technical skills, there are quite a lot of resources out there

  • Alan Richardsons site has some good courses
  • There are some excellent video series on YouTube
  • And of course there’s Test Automation U

Hope this helps to give you some pointers.