Step by step to Testing an application

Hey there! I am new to testing and am trying to get a job in the area, I took several courses already but I wanted to talk to someone who already does it to get an idea of what to expect. So my main question would be, can you give me a step by step of what you usually do when working in testing? Mostly interested in functional manual testing, but any info is welcome, would also like to know if you have any other general advices or good practices, sorry if I’m asking for too much but I really want to learn and am passionate about this step in my career!


Hi Andre
Welcome to the most awesome Software Testing community on the planet.

The short answer: merely think like a user.
The longer answer: think like a user who is time poor
The deeper answer: Testing software cannot be taught, it takes time. Eventually you become so observant that bugs are just unable to hide from your mere gaze. At this point your life becomes painful, you are a bug magnet and you find bugs in everyday life every weekend. This will take 10-20 years thankfully.


Thank you for your insights! I yearn for that pain, like one yearns to go to the beach expecting not to get sunburnt, but in the end it’s worth it, haha, thanks again!


Hi @qaleao ,

Welcome to the community. :wave:t2:

And thanks for asking here. I’m hopeful many folks will reply and share their experiences.

I mention this article to folks who are new to testing: 30 Things Every New Software Tester Should Learn | Ministry of Testing

It provides all sorts of useful info to spark ideas and to get a sense of what someone might do as a testing professional.

Please do keep the questions coming as and when they arise. It’s great that you’ve started wide by asking here. Feel free to start a new topic with a specific question too as and when they arise for you.

My general advice when starting out:

  1. Connect with a community (like this one) and ask specific questions
  2. Attend learning events (meetups, conferences, live webinars)
  3. Ask questions and demonstrate a willingness to learn with curiosity

If not on your radar, you could also ask questions in the :hatched_chick: New to Testing chat channel. If the conversation goes deeper we can easily turn them into topic discussions.

Good luck with your adventures and we’ll see you around.


And here’s a step-by-step example of someone (me) running an exploratory testing session. I vocalise my thoughts and share my testing notes. It might give you an idea of one approach you could take when exploring (testing) an application.


Hey Simon! Wow, just wow, this is incredible, the article, the advice and the exploratory testing session, almost seems like you tailored the whole thing towards my question! Thank you so much for these incredible resources and your amazing answer, I’m happy to be here and to be part of such a warm and welcoming community, thank you again and have an amazing day! :partying_face:

Your question reminds me of this video of live testing session by @ajay184f : LinkedIn - Write Article - Demonstration of a live testing session - YouTube


Big question. There isn’t a step-by-step, really, but that’s actually what makes testing such an interesting job. It’s about rapid learning and communication, and there’s a lifetime of things to learn.

I suppose the simplest way to put it is:

Learn stuff about the product → Tell people so they can make informed decisions.

What stuff and when, which people and how, and so on is the journey of testing, to me.

Some general tips:

  • Ask questions about things you don’t understand
  • Ask questions about things you think might be false or incomplete
  • Ask questions of yourself. Look at your processes and strategy
  • Always don’t never be learning.
  • Your clients are your users, your team, and your company. Be of service, but not servile
  • Only promise a good-faith effort, and only make a good-faith effort
  • Demonstrate your ability and usefulness. Learn to think about testing in a practical way and talk about it in a professional, but honest way
  • Your job is to support the knowledge of the whole project. At some point you may be told otherwise
  • The value of anything you do will depend on the context you do it in. You have to do the right thing for the right situation
  • Always take more than one person’s opinion on anything that matters
  • Many people and companies do not understand the purpose, ability or value of a good tester, so it’s worth thinking about.

And my number one testing tip of all time is:

  • Be nice.

Because nice, kind, empathetic, patient and funny people get much further in this social world of software than annoying experts with skills.

Obviously you can ask questions here but if you ever want to chat about testing from my perspective feel free to message me on here. Best of luck, and remember that if you’re not having fun you may be doing it wrong.


Hi there!

This is a great question. My two cents on it:

  1. Be clear what you’re testing. Use exploratory testing and discussions to create a detailed spec of what should happen
  2. Be curious. Follow up anything that looks strange or interesting
  3. Be methodical. Carefully plan out how to reach all the different aspects of the system under test and work through them
  4. Cover all aspects of behaviour: What logs does it write, how high will it scale, is its security in place, how does it behave when there are errors?

I can plug books on here? :slight_smile: I literally wrote about this in Software Test Design.
Which covers each of those areas in detail.

All the best!



Two videos that may help are


In the first one, you gonna see a way to think about risks (stuff around you can test) and the second one dissects the actual testing - how the person thought about exploring the risks, sensemaking, usage of tools, etc.