What would you prioritize to break into software testing with no experience?

I am brand new to this lovely community and have recently learned of Software Testing. I have always wanted to get into tech but couldn’t find anything that excited me until now!

I have very limited tech experience and so I am curious what I should prioritize learning to make my resume stand out. Also, what jobs do you recomment I apply for?

Thank you!



That’s a difficult question. In some countries or areas or industries or company sizes (etc) it is far easier to become a check processor than a tester. By that I mean someone who verifies some facts based on instructions they are given (test cases), or writing coded examples that give small amounts of evidence that certain behaviours are consistent over time (“automation”), or other quite annoying or boring ways to work (“in my opinion”).

So it might be that developing yourself into a context-driven expert tester gives you happiness and confidence and the ability to test anything, anywhere… but then restricts what you’re willing to put up with because the jobs may be very prescriptive (and proscriptive).

Conversely learning how to use “automation” tools may give you more chance of landing a role, but that role is more likely to be very programming heavy and tuned almost exclusively to capability tests with fact checks combined with maintenance work. Some people love coding all day, I personally think that it lacks variety.

People other than me will be better suited to tell you about current CV trends, but what any company wants is someone that’s on board. Finding someone that takes an interest in their work. And your challenge is then to find someone who provides interesting work, on top of the pay and opportunities for improvement.

If I were me, and on reflection I am, I’d take an RST course and search for a small company willing to let me take control of processes and involve myself directly with all departments, possibly because nobody has yet told them that testers aren’t “supposed to” and by the time they find out I’m already doing good testing that also makes me happy.

But I’m not you. RST is an investment and really good testing is hard to learn. I also appreciate that food isn’t free. Still, one perspective to approach things from.

Otherwise it will heavily depend on what you like. If you hate programming it will resist your efforts to learn it at every turn - but you will need to try it to see if you think it’s tubular radical or whatever. Having a scripting language on your CV makes a statement.

It can be useful to dispel a lot of preconceived notions about what you present to companies. Gender is one factor, I’m sure you can appreciate. Tester is another. Having some thing that quickly says “I can handle things you quickly assume that I cannot” can be useful, depending also on your personality and sales ability.

Passion is a useful conduit. Personally when hiring a permanent position I’ll hire someone interested in learning over someone who presents paper proof of their intelligence. Those people adapt, and whatever they don’t know they find out. They are unfettered by an assumption of greatness. Also saying that you’re very interested in learning their industry and how to become better lets you exclude companies who won’t support your self-improvement.

Another approach rather than CV first is to look at jobs you’d be willing to try (based on income, location, benefits, etc) and see what commonalities you find. Then tailor your CV to match, and concentrate learning whatever’s easiest or most fun.

Just some random ideas out of many, hopefully it inspired something useful!


I greatly appreciate the time you took to respond to me! You have given me a lot of information and helpful advice that I will take and put into action. I don’t mind coding languages and I have very surface knowledge of a few. I can definitely expand on some. I will also look into the RST course! Again, thank you SO much for your help!



I am brand new to this community too and have a similar question/situation. I was a software test engineer (black box, white box, functional) at Microsoft from 1997 to 2002, left to be an at-home mom, and then eventually went back into the workforce after a 6-year hiatus. I have worked in tech in various roles up until now but not as a tester. I want to get back into testing and I still remember a lot of the concepts etc. but it’s old news on my resume. I was a tech recruiter and know that going beyond 10 years on a resume is frowned upon. But I do think this experience is relevant. So how do I address this old experience on my resume coupled with my recent CSM, CSPO, and SAFe 6.0 SSM certifications to show I am capable? The other issue is I am considering a boot camp/ISTQB certification (which I have seen varying opinions on) to bring myself up to speed and maybe learn some tools that would help jump-start my career back into testing and am not sure exactly what to do… so two questions…

I’ll just say that if you have all that prior testing experience, anything ISTQB-related isn’t going to bring you up to speed on anything useful.

I second the RST recommendation, and I recently did a LinkedIn post full of that and other resources. Hope it’s helpful: Caleb Crandall on LinkedIn: The BBST® Series

Thanks for your response! How do you think I should convey my experience on my resume?

Heidi Mendes

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I guess I don’t know specifically how to handle the amount of time since the test-specific experience, but I’d highlight your skills that relate to testing, whether you gained them in a role called testing or not. Anything related to critical thinking, communication, analysis, etc.

Thanks for the feedback!