Quarantine upskilling?

I’m wondering if anyone is using this time to upskill a particular area or working on any interesting projects?

I’ve felt a little out of my dept technically the last few months so I am using this opportunity to try build a personal website/blog (I work with Javescript day-to-day) and read some recommended books like The Pragmatic Programmer and Clean Code.

However I can’t help feel my time would be better spent looking at docker and cloud technologies as the industry seems to be moving in that direction.

Any thoughts?


Am using this quarantine time to do exactly this. I have stepped back from the Test>Do mindset and thought if I want to get a handle on what is current (most of my clients are using very old tech/ ways of working and only just doing some form of iterative approach) and in use in the real world.

I had/ have no ideas so these are just suggestions, I may deviate as something may take my interest:

  • Environment: Cloud: Google/ AWS/ Microsoft - am dipping my toe into AWS, its free and seems easy to get started
  • Infrastructure: what sits in the env: Docker/ OpenShift/ Ansible
  • Security: Kubenetes in containers
  • Tools/ frameworks required in the environment to allow you to perform some test types functional, manual/ service/ contract/ security
  • languages: actually using and learning some languages in anger, I learn when I make mistakes and need to debug.

Where to start is difficult so am taking it a step at a time as some bits are new for me and others I am filling in gaps to understand where these fit in the real world.

Good luck with your journey as there is so much out there to look at and learn overwhelm can get the better of you, so small steps and tangible achievable goal setting could help.

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@dublintester I think your idea is great mate.
You could use your website building project to upskill in many things, including docker and cloud tech.

For example, I’ve used an idea of making a more complex Casesar Cipher project from CoderDojo to upskill in using python to code, teach myself how to use github, and design and code a UI.


Thanks @iraahw, good luck to you also! That seems like a great scope you have. Can I ask do you have a development background? A lot of technologies mentioned!

I have found over the years that the test “role” has never meant only test. If I needed to execute something but could not due to the wrong certificate (for example) in the env I use, would need to

  • understand what the issue is,
  • where it manifests,
  • find out if that location is within my reach
  • if not then who owns this area
  • what do I need to do to raise this to the external team
  • what I could do to assist them getting my issue sorted
  • could I get access and knowledge how to sort this out in future
  • writing the issue up for all
  • then actually creating the data, executing the test

have found a good way to understand not only the env you are testing in and the integration points but gets you building a your knowledge. You pick up so much that it seeps in.

From what you have put in your initial statement writing JS is part of your working day? what tools are you using and what methodologies are you using. Am able read code and can understand when there is an issue or area that needs to be debugged but being fluent, having something at my fingertips to put onto an automation framework/ or on a harness is where I feel I need to be.

I’m lucky to work for a company that subscribes to Udemy for Business. I’ve been taking some Python courses so I can move into an automation role.


I have been using this time to study for the ISTQB foundations level certification and learning Pairwise testing to teach my team

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I’m learning Python. Read a great book (Think Python, a great PDF) and doing a load of practice on Codewars.com.

Not specifically because of automation (coz as Angie said, you can be an SDET or an exploratory tester, or a compromise in both), but I’m finding that I can feed my guilty secret like of code.

What to do with it? Nothing specific. Maybe into some R, maybe automation, but currently unspecified.

Other than that, I’m watching masses of kids movies wii my daughter and we are reading Harry Potter to each other. It’s awesome to read with your kid.

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@mjruttenberg I’m a big fan of codewars myself. Sometimes the challenges really kick my ass for a few days but great feeling figuring out a challenging question!


I started to revisit an ebook that I haven’t touch in a good while and update that to a current Ruby version (because the book uses Ruby as the language).
Then Maik (Nogens) and I also started a community written book, and it’s great to talk to people all over the planet about how they’re experiencing these coronian times.


Hello @dublintester!

I’ve seen some buzz on the programming language about Rust so I’m going through some training.

I’m also catching up on some books: Project to Product, LEAN Product Playbook.


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Hello @dublintester I have been learning python by following along the course at JetBrains

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Codecademy is excellent and free.

And this is the link to the ebook from the author: https://www.greenteapress.com/thinkpython/thinkpython.pdf

I did Ruby and am more or less comfortable with it but it’s just not popular any more. Nothing wrong with it, it’s just out of favour.

I have a blog about starting out in automation with Python here: https://wonderproxy.com/blog/automation-testing-with-python/


Altom are doing BBST foundations courses with scholarships available for people who are not working right now


Codecademy has some great courses around Python and Git


Great interactive Git course for newbies: https://learngitbranching.js.org/


I took the time to build my first PC - which while not strictly software testing -was an exercise in hardware testing and an extreme test of my patience!!! Only joking :stuck_out_tongue: I was surprised at how easy it was when I was able to decipher the instructions - cable management could be better though, but it’s not dreadful either!


This is a perfect time to learn new skills and I signed up to Pluralsight in Dec so have a wide choice of courses to chooses from. That’s where I learnt my test automation skills and then put them into practice. So it’s good to learn but recommend using them to set up something new to show what can be done in your own work place. This way you gain independent knowledge and can build from scratch.

If you want to automate web testing then Selenium is a good place to start using whatever coding tools you have. Also good is Cucumber or SpecFlow.


Awesome! I thought of doing the same thing but never got around to organizing it. Good job

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Thanks @dublintester - I’d be planning to do it since just before Christmas - had been saving up and splurging on a component every pay check - but now I’m rocking an AMD 5 3600X with an RTX graphics card, an ASUS gaming mobo, a thermaltake 600W PSU,1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD, and a CiT Raider case.

Shucked my first HDD too - which was cool. Was a seagate 4TB HDD external.

Did it over Easter long weekend.

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