8 tips for QA beginners

Nobody was born with an excellent and deep understanding of his or her future occupation. At least I don’t know such people. Everybody should learn and explore a lot before for achieving Grand-Master level: especially QA specialists. These 8 tips might help you to make your start more effective…

1. Don’t consider your future profession as a light occupation

There are no subjects in schools or academic courses in universities which explain how to do software testing. All right, almost no. Unlike teaching programming language, testing of software didn’t have set of rules and was based on assumptions, personal experience and points of views. Fortunately, the last 10-15 years brought a lot of good books, standards and pioneers of software testing for us. But QA-specialists are often considered self-taught persons, with the appropriate attitude. This fact shouldn’t forward the notion that software testing is a quasi-profession or hobby.

2. Don’t try to learn all at once

At the beginning, you might encounter a lot of new materials, technologies, languages, etc. Usually, there is a temptation to dive into all of them simultaneously. As a result, you may get a mess in your head and understand subjects shallowly. Instead of chaotically learning several topics (tools, languages) it is better to concentrate on a single topic in depth. Really!

3. Don’t hesitate to create a plan

Discipline yourself by creating a road-map. Highlight key points, allocate a timetable and refresh your progress accordingly during learning. Be honest with yourself and you will get an output that is much more effective than doing it without a plan.

4. Don’t avoid exploratory testing

Lately, the software testing community is involved in arguing, whether exploratory testing exists or not. Anyway, don’t forget to investigate the product you intend to test: before testing, while running test cases, after testing. Don’t limit yourself only to test case steps and you will see how many interesting bugs could have been delivered to the customer.

5. Don’t be afraid of asking questions

You are not a shy person, are you? The art of asking questions assumes continuous dialog with colleagues, developers, product managers and other members of the team. In the real world, every one of them is busy or has a bad mood, or something else. In this case, you might not want to disturb them without any reason but you should do it without any doubts. Just allocate time, arrange a meeting and ask, ask, ask everything you didn’t understand or didn’t find in the documentation. Remember: a good team is always interested in your experience and growth.

6. Don’t neglect reading

Time is going on. Every day brings us a lot of interesting things, tools and approaches. Yesterday’s solutions become outdated and not so effective. To be in trend means to allocate time periodically for reading forums, participating in communities, reviewing thematic websites and books. You will have something to say in the smoking room.

7. Don’t deny automation

Implementation of automated testing in real projects always goes together with some discomfort, like learning programming languages, disappointment from fails, an absence of fast effects, hurrying etc. All of these may discourage you. But you should understand that the long-term effects for a project and your career will be invaluable.

8. Don’t stop and give up

It’s a really valuable tip, much more than previous ones. Do what you should do regardless of anything…

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