At the start of this year I wrote an article for the Dojo 30 Things Every New Software Tester Should Learn. More recently it’s been made available on Amazon as a Kindle book.
Recently I saw the start of a multi part series about How to Get Started In Software Testing by Tim Ebie. It got me thinking more (I had been already) about what I had missed or not added to my article. I had to stop writing at some point
What would you add to the list?
Seeing the perspective you have, I’ll chose to talk about something else that might be interesting.
Career planning. I’d try to find answers to these kind of questions first:
- Can I be a tester for the next 40-50 years?(assuming you retire at the legal age 65-69).
- Does this profession offer one of the best life/work balance?
- What is my goal for the next year, next 3-5 years, next 10+ years. What do I have to do to reach those goals?
- Is there a domain that I like to stay in or do I have to stay a generalist and constantly re-learn everything?
- What is the priority list considering the career? Out of: money, fame, being an expert, growing position inside a company, leadership, people network, teaching others, how well/easy it comes to combine with good life/health, and maybe others…
- What does the future look like? Are jobs numbers increasing? are they switching to development/automation? How does this affect me?
- How easy it is to find a job as a tester in a new location? Since I was young I wanted to see and stay in new places/countries/continents until I find the one that I like most, that I feel it’s closer to my personality. Each new location happens to have different perspective on how they see this profession.
- Also related to priority can be the moral & intellectual constraints such as: do I want to be a follower(do as asked by management) or a dedicated strong point of view professional(do what I believe it is the right thing to do and negotiate that with the management). Think about the test manager asking you to do ISTQB testing style, but you think Context Driven is more appropriate.
- Search for the passion within after practicing testing for a while. Can I see that I have the energy to learn more, be better, have a direction to head to; or does it seem more like a mindless job where I try to do just what I’m told and get the money?
I’m sure I might have missed some other good points, but it’s a start; it would be nice to see more like these.
If you manage to get answers easily in step 1, then we can move on to the step 2.
Related to the less important aspects on getting started:
- Learn as much as possible about the domain you work in(e.g. healthcare, cars, aviation, e-commerce, banking, finance, insurance, e-newspapers, networks, telecommunications) until you reach business analyst level or even better.
- Negotiate with the manager some personal professional development time (if you can get 1 day per week, that’s great). It can be that you want to try new tools, test some other area or another application within the company, teach/mentor another tester, pair with another tester from the company and learn more from him, learn another programming language, so on…
- Learn as much as possible about the Software development type domain you work in (e.g. mobile, web, desktop, networks, embedded, big data, medical devices, industrial and process control, server/cloud).
- Don’t consider that you are already great, because you think you’re awesome in the current project. There’s always something to learn, something you haven’t thought of, or which can be done better. Learn and practice on the job and even outside at home whatever comes to mind. It is easier to say it’s not important and leave it aside. But that can be a trap if it happens often. It can be that you need to tackle: programming languages, techniques, tools, methodologies, communication skills, and so on.
- Try not to remain alone/isolated for too long in your professional career. This can cause self-inflated powers and laziness. It happens more often these days that you might work in a department, even company as sole tester. You might work with other testers, but they do their jobs as told, don’t care about learning, don’t want to talk about testing. There might be no local testers groups, meetups or communities. Try to stay online or offline connected to other passionately professional testers that want to be better. If it’s hard to find any, google for online communities, ask around at conferences, through linkedin maybe, at other local development meetups, start something yourself.
This would be just a start of my second list.
This would be the next level, where you can get more in depth into particular work domains and software development type of domains. This one expands a lot depending on the contexts…
I’ll probably stop here also. As Heather was saying, it can easily develop in a huge list
Very comprehensive list, nice!
The one addition I would make is to be aware of stack overflow for questions and also sqa.stackexchange.com which are huge communities for help and assistance
Have you explored the initial linked article? We have a very active group of London based software testers on the Ministry of Testing Slack group. I would suggest joining there, introducing yourself and getting involved. That’s a great way to hear about roles that are coming up.
What are you looking for in a role? Have you had any feedback from job applications in London? That might help me advise you a bit better.
Hi, how are you? hope you are doing well,
Thanks for the quick reply. I have read the linked article. It was very interesting. I would like to tell you a bit more about myself.
I have a total of 19 years of experience in variety of fields. Though I was having an interest in IT, I have never either tried to get into IT or did not get an opportunity to do that. Whatever, I spent a long time in other fields.
But a few years back my passion really pushed me and I have strongly decided to enter IT industry. When I asked few of my friends, they said testing would be the way to go. I joined a Manual Testing course and prepared my CV and tried to get some interviews. Nobody was interested as I was not having real-time experience, though they appreciated my knowledge. This was back in India. I realized that without experience nobody would give me a job. I got disappointed. At this time, another friend of mine advised me to try automation testing. For this, I joined a core Java course and completed it. At the same time, I got to know about this full-stack web development boot camp. Since I was also interested in development, I applied and luckily I got selected in the boot camp.
I completed this 7-month long course also. During the course, I with 3 other members as a group could complete two end-to-end web applications. I also have a git profile. All this did not get me a job back in India, again no B-tech, age bar and no experience. During this time, my wife was preparing to do MBA in UK and she got a seat here in UEL and we moved here. After coming here, I asked few of my friends and they also suggested that I try testing rather than development because development roles in UK need lots of experience. So, I again joined a Testing course here in London and now I am part of a testing project where we are testing nopcommerce, an open-source, e-commerce web application. I gained hands-on, but I don’t have experience working in any IT company. I have good knowledge of SDLC, STLC, Bug life cycle, and other aspects of testing, but the only thing I am lacking is experience. This is my whole story. A bit long, but after knowing this, can you guide me on what can I do further to get a job or apprenticeship or anything which will give me credibility and get into Software Testing.
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
Wow, it sounds like you’ve been working incredibly hard to get into this industry!
In your testing course, do the organisers have connections with companies to place you into roles? I’ve heard that many boot camps offer this but appreciate that it isn’t available with them all.
When I was looking to move from one testing role to another, I joined a crowd source testing site to broaden my experience. I was then able to share my profile statistics with potential employers which demonstrated my experience. I stopped working for the crowd source company in the past few years but I still get emails from them about projects and, at the moment, it seems that they have a lot happening in the UK at the moment.
This may help you get the experience you’re looking for. I’ve also reached out to other people who might be able to give a broader set of suggestions for you.
Thanks again. That is a good suggestion. I have already joined Utest crowd testing, but still waiting for a project. Hope this is the platform you are talking about.
The organizers have said, but I am not sure. They said they will assess me at the end of the course and if I pass that then they will provide support. Also because of the current crisis, I am not sure, till when I can continue the course.
So, I am planning to start my own journey of preparing resume and applying for companies on my own. Do you think, this is a good idea? Kindly suggest.
How are you? Hope you are well
I used Testerwork myself but I know of others who have used Utest. I found it easier to get projects on Testerwork which is why I stuck with that platform.
Yes, I think it is a great idea to show some of your own initiative and start applying to roles yourself. In the current climate, be prepared that companies may have hiring freezes in place but it is good to start getting your resume ready.
Hi, how are you. Thank you for the suggestion. I joined the Testerwork, but unfortunately I failed the community onboarding test 2 attempts, hope I would get a chance again.
The importance of software testing is very valuable. A lot of times testing process is skipped, therefore, the product and business might suffer. To understand the importance of testing, here are some key points that explain why your product should undergo it.
To make your product vision come to life, it has to work as planned.
Products always serve users in some ways, so it must bring the value it promises, hence it should work properly to ensure the great customer experience.
Device compatibility is also checked for the product, for example, an app’s compatibility on many devices and operating systems. Testing companies usually have many devices and tools available to cover as many testing scenarios as possible.
The ultimate goal for a product owner is to give the best customer satisfaction.
The reason why apps and software should be tested is to bring the best user experience possible. Being the best product in this saturated market will help you gain trustworthy clients which will have great long-term effects. Once users will have amazing customer experience they will, without a doubt, tell their friends and word to mouth will make it advertise itself, but this works both ways.
Sometimes even the smallest security issues have brought huge problems to businesses around the world, so it should always be important to assure top-notch quality products to customers, people are looking for trusted products that they can rely on. As a user of many products and apps, I am always looking for products that I would give my information to with confidence and know that it will be safe.
Testing has many benefits and one of the most important ones is cost-effectiveness. Having testing in your project can save money in the long run. Software development consists of many stages and if bugs are caught in the earlier stages it costs much less to fix them. That is why it’s important to get testing done as soon as possible.
I hope you have got my point on how software testing is important.
Hi, I’m new to software testing, I’ve read 2 books and taken 3 classes.
I have a lot to learn, but I’m curious what certifications I should plan on getting. I don’t know how to get an entry level position, all the ads I see ask for 3 to 6 years experience even for entry level jobs.
There is a lengthy discussion here on The Club: Are software Testing Certifications worth it? which was summarised in an article that’s worth reading before taking a jump into certifications.
In my own experience, if I see a job advertisement that has around half of the skills I know I have listed as requirements, I apply anyway, no matter how many years of experience it says is required. Having been on the other side of the interview table, years of experience can often be plucked from the sky for the advertisement because “other jobs similar to this are asking for this much experience”.
I wrote up my experiences and whom I thought might benefit from the Certified Agile Tester Course in a MoT article (of course). Link below.
Welcome to the software testing community.
Everyone has good things to say about testing over here. However, I’d like to share a few words of caution.
IMO, testing can be a dead end job and financially unrewarding, unless you are “exceptional”. The main reason why we need QA is because developers are rarely taught any testing at university or at work. Once we teach them testing well, then we will have less need for QA. Moreover, if you are an average tester in a developed country, then you have to compete good testers from countries which have a much lower cost of living. In the long run, its likely that only the exceptionally good testers will survive. Anyone less will either be replaced by a better developer or a lower paid tester. Testing cannot and must not die, but most tester roles will.
But, go ahead and try it and see how much you like it. The market will show you whether you deserve to be in this career or not. But, don’t linger around too long in this career if the market does not reward you well. Its usually a sign that you are not cut out for this career.
For anyone based in West Yorkshire there is a Software Testing Bootcamp running from the 26th of April. It is totally free and over the bootcamp you will hear about software testing, gain presentation skills and build a portfolio of resources to show to potential employers.
I’m very proud to be one of the creators and trainers for this bootcamp.