Looking for advice on gaining my first role as a Software Tester

Hello Testing Community,

I’ve just joined today in hopes that someone could give me advice on how to get into the industry, I’ve been looking at Testing as a career choice for a few years now and have recently started a job that offers one day of software testing a week. I wanted to see if I would enjoy it and since starting I’ve completely changed their outlook on testing all together, I’ve created a standardised way of logging bugs, a test script for the system we work with and training documentation for everyone involved. I guess without having a university degree I’m just wondering what I can do to further my career as a Software Tester. Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Hey Jessie!

First of all: Welcome!
Good luck on your new adventure. I hope you’ll find it to be as rewarding as many of us here have.
What can you do to advance your career?
Getting on this forum and involved with Ministry of Testing is probably the best thing you could do already. :wink:
You’ll find that the community is really helpful and supportive.

I’d say, one of the best ways to learn is to share your experiences with other professionals. Be mindful of what you are doing, how you are describing your work and listen closely to feedback.
There’s opportunities to learn everywhere.

The Ministry of Testing slack gives you access to interesting people 24/7.
The Dojo offers you valuable resources on a wide range of topics.
Maybe start with @heather_reid’s https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/lessons/30-things-every-new-software-tester-should-learn

Engage with the community and share your stories.
I for one would be interested to know what that “Test Script for the system” exactly is.
How did you come up with the idea? What does it look like? Do other people at the company use it? How would you explain what its value is?


Welcome Jessie :slight_smile:

Congratulations on your move into software testing. Glad to see its going well. I would agree with everything Beren has said. I would also say that with your early success, see if you can speak to your manager/leader to see if there is an opportunity to do than more then just one day a week. With the improvements you have made, would make sense to keep you doing that role.

And personally I do find the meet up events and test bash events very useful, gets you out and meet fellow testers/QA’s. The talks do be good, but even chatting to other people and what they do is a great way to start. Have a look on meetup to see if there is any near you, or even try and set up a group yourself to see if there is an interest in your area.

If you’re looking to go into specific area’s of testing (like automation, security testing etc.) I would suggest picking up a book on the subject, and working your way through it. The resources page on The Dojo was a great help to me. https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/series/resources

Best of luck :slight_smile:


Hola Jessie,
First of all, bravo!
As the rest of the guys mentioned It would depend on the area of testing that you are interested in joining.
The practices are several and the advantages are wide.
Trying to no to sound biased as mine is mostly performance, I would suggest to check your technical skill set and pair it to the type of testing that suits you the best. Some require a lot of tech wisdom, and others are just a matter of understanding quality assurance.
But most important I guess a little OCD drive helps here.

I am happy to help if you are interested in performance. Being it through my blog (www.srperf.com), messaging here or emails.

I would be great to help you!

Saludos <3
-Señor Performo

Señor Performo!

I like the name and the logo :slight_smile: , as well as the honest offer for help. Thank you for that.

What you probably didn’t do on purpose but got my Irish up anyway is the following nuance in the use of your language:

"Some require a lot of tech wisdom, and others are just a matter of understanding quality assurance."
By using “tech wisdom” as a superlative and “JUST a matter of understanding quality” you subtextually drive a wedge. It pitches tech against quality, skills against understanding of methods, tactics and process.

In my opinion: they work together, they go hand in hand. I see almost no value in segregating them when talking about learning paths. I really hope we’re growing past the “going one way or the other”.

This is by no means meant as a personal attack. It’s something I see in lots of discussion about our craft and I want people to be wary of.
I’ve also seen it the other way around, where tech is downplayed against process and methodology… which equally gets me worked up.


Hola amigo!
I love your reply! I feel like I need to clarify.
I come from the performance testing world, where you need to have a crazy amount of technical understanding of development, backend comms, services, networking and many etceteras.
That is why I recommended that one path to start with technical skill.
The other one I was referring to QA more generalized. Where I have observed (and been there myself) that technical skill is not so needed. Areas like manual testing, UX testing, parts of functional and others; just require an incredible OCD for validation and verification, passing requirements and making sure the thing does what it is supposed to do.
I have met awesome test leads who may not be the most tech savy people, but can write awesome test cases, make sure everything is clicked and so on.
This was another suggestion to start into testing.

Both are interesting paths to start and get into the testing world. Which in no way implies it is just one or the other. I just stated two possible ways to start. I share your belief that both are better. OCD on process and tech wizard, make the best testers ever!

I am with you amigo! Tech and Processes hand in hand, with a pinch of fun and a lot of tacos! :slight_smile:

Take care Amigo! Hope to hear more from you!
Besos <3
-Señor Performo


I’m not going to comment on the “got my irish up”… use of language is a funny thing :wink:

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Hi Beren,

Thank you so much for your welcoming message and feedback, I will definitely take a look at that post by Heather Reid.

I will definitely try and engage with the community more, I’ve been on this site a few times to read different conversations but only just signed up to contribute, I think I’m definitely more comfortable lurking in the background but I will try snap out of that haha.

Within my first week of working here I was asked to test the software, with no requirements or user story I just fumbled my way through and surprisingly found a few issues.
I realised that as my fiancé is a software tester I may have had an advantage that others starting fresh might not have, I could send him a quick message if I was unsure of anything and he was always really positive when I found any bugs or issues (when finding bugs here they were often greeted with a sigh and a negativity).

While I haven’t been here long I believe I have changed people’s views on bugs/issues by being positive when they find these things and saying things like ‘That’s great, much better we find it now than a customer finding it after release’.

I could see ‘Bug reports’ often being sent back by developers asking for clarification so I spoke with them about how logged bugs and asked for any feedback and then a few days later they sent a message asking everyone to use this method (It’s a slightly adapted version of this: http://test-42.com/test-42s-guide-to-logging-bugs/ ).

As for the ‘Test Script’, I spoke with management about testing and was set an objective to create a regression test plan, within the supporting documentation I believe I have stressed the importance of exploratory testing too but with no other option given I have created what was asked of me.
With any hope this will eventually be automated, but until then hopefully it will benefit anyone who works here.

This is set out in an excel spreadsheet:

I’m still in the process of creating this but, we have used the sections that have been completed with new starters and my manager has had really positive feedback.
I have spoken with my colleagues and they can see the benefits of having this, especially with the new bug report as you can just pull the information directly from here if you find a bug/issue.

I guess I hope to see the value once it’s being used, if it gets used haha. :slight_smile:


Hi Jessie, welcome to the wonderful world of Software Testing.

Firstly, “I guess without having a university degree I’m just wondering what I can do to further my career as a Software Tester.”. I don’t have a university degree but I’ve been working in Software Testing for 16 years, 8 of which have been in Test Lead or Test Manager roles.

A degree is not important to your progression within the software testing industry. Your desire to learn the craft, with enthusiasm and bring value to teams and products is what will be key.

Most people fall in to testing. Some develop a passion for it whilst others use it as a step toward a career in any number of roles. You know, I’ve seen testers become developers, scrum masters, managers, project managers, product managers, support engineers and business analysts.

Testing is an EXCELLENT place in which to develop as it relies on a wide range of skills. You’ll develop your technical skills, communication, influencing, time management and prioritisation as well as developing a understanding of how your customer’s work.

In terms of progression, some testers enjoy being really good testers. Some want to head down a technical route and some want to head down a managerial/leadership route. Over time you’ll find out which you prefer and align with one of them, or you’ll move on to some other role which you find of interest.

In the short term, you are helping a team provide a product to a customer. Whatever you can do to do that role in the most effective way will be how you succeed in the short term :slight_smile:


I have Irish in my blood as well BTW, In a low % but still love my Guiness … and tequila.

Hi @jessiebee :slight_smile:

I was wondering how you are getting on with all of the advice provided so far?

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Congratulations to you @jessiebee !!!

Unfortunately for me, I’m still on the hunt for a role in testing industry. I passed the certification for ISTQB a year ago but still no luck of securing a job even entry level. :frowning:

Hi Heather,
Thanks for checking in, I really appreciate all the advice and I’m still working towards finding a full time role as a tester.
I’ve applied for numerous junior testing roles with no avail, when I’ve asked for feedback I was told “they’re looking for someone with two to three years experience in the industry”.
I feel disheartened to be honest.
I really appreciate everyone’s comments on this thread though, it’s a wonderful community that I really hope to be apart of someday soon. X

This is a great place to find help, I’ve also joined the testersio.slack.com, sometimes jobs pop up there? Good luck with your search!

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How have you been searching ? Where are you based?

Perhaps people on this forum can give you some advice.

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Thank you @jessiebee really appreciate it! :pray:t4::pray:t3::pray:t4::pray:t3:

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Hi Deckard,
I am based in Dubai. I have been searching for years now… through online application indeed, Linkedin, seek.com, CWJobs as well as local sites here in Dubai.

I even tried to contact companies/people here in Dubai who are in the industry if possible to join on their organization as trainee/ unpaid role but still didn’t get a chance. :pray:t3:


That’s rough but it sounds like you’re trying your best.

I’m in a similar boat though I’m still studying for the ISTQB Foundation course and haven’t started my job search properly yet. I’m UK-based.

Are there additional qualifications/courses you could consider? Agile development or Scrum master training perhaps? Have you tried getting some experience on testing projects through utest.com ?

Good luck to you @deckard I’m sure you can make it!

I actually have previous experience in software testing. I worked for Accenture for 2 years.

Yes, It’s really rough and frustrating. Even entry level role I’m not qualified :joy:. I don’t know what’s store in me. I was hoping that after getting the ISTQB certification it will at least help to get me a job or land interview but sadly, I’m still waiting for that opportunity. I have done online trainings to develop my testing skills technically but I’m starting to forget everything I have learned cause I couldn’t apply it on my current work.

Now, I’m reviewing for ITIL exam. I hope to pass it before the year ends.



Someone recommended ITIL to me too; sounds like you’re going about things the right way.

Don’t give up, good luck.

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