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What's the best way for a beginner to learn software testing and get started working in this profession?

I'm an adult learner with a Bachelor's degree in an unrelated discipline (Social Science) that is seeking a mentor for transitioning my career into Software Testing

#software #technology #computer #softwaretesting #QA #software-development #software-engineering

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Subject: Career question for you

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SM’s Answer

A software system's life cycle involves a number of forms of testing activities with some focusing on integration of different components, which normally requires substantial understanding of the components and how they interact with each other, and others focusing on user interface function or user experience.

Based on your description of your background, you may want to consider starting with UI or user experience testing. In general UI or user experience related testing would require less technical background (e.g., in systems functionality and interfaces). To be a good tester in that area, in my opinion, would benefit more from one who can envision and articulate user behaviors into sequences of UI actions to expose potential implementation defects or design deficiencies.

Note that testing a software implementation basically requires one understands the "desired behaviors" of the associated implementation, which are normally formulated as requirements (or use cases, user stories, etc.). The understanding is essentially for constructing test cases for verify the implementation.

Hence, one growth path would be to increase one's understanding of the problem domains the software systems are addressing. Such endeavors would prepare one to get involve in more technical aspects of testing activities.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have further questions.




Thank you comment icon Thanks for your reply, SM. Very much appreciated and I'll definitely look for UI jobs to apply for. I do have another question if you have time to answer... I've been looking at ISTQB's Foundation Level exam (see here is you don't know what that is: https://www.istqb.org/certification-path-root/foundation-level-2018.html) Do you think studying for and passing that exam would prepare me for a more technical, but still entry level software testing job? (If not, can you recommend a book or online course you think would be good for an absolute beginner like me?) Thank you in advance and I hope you're having a great week :) Heather
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Irina’s Answer

Hi Heather! Software testing, both functional (manual) and automated is a very fun career and I am glad you are considering it. I would highly recommend taking some classes/courses if there are any available in your area. There are several schools in the Bay Area that specialize in prepping software testers. Ping me if you'd like more information. Taking classes (at schools or online on LinkedIn Learning etc.) will give you a structure to follow as well as teach you some core concepts. Besides that, don't hesitate reading articles and blogs.
Here are some resources to check out:
https://www.linkedin.com/learning/programming-foundations-software-testing-qa?u=67553434
https://www.linkedin.com/learning/agile-testing-2/uplevel-with-agile-testing?u=67553434
https://blog.gurock.com/
https://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/resources/Software-testing-skills-and-career-advice
I did uTest for a while when I just started out and it really helped me put all the pieces together and get some beginner experience. Highly recommend to give it a try!
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Erik’s Answer

Sign up in U-Test, check it out online.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, Erik! Heather
Thank you comment icon U-test trains you, glad I could help, sorry I'm not as eloquent in showing off my level of knowledge, but can't help pointing at a direction that helped me out in my understanding. Erik Solá
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Jigar’s Answer

Don't jump taking just coding classes, it won't go long way. Try to take foundational computer science courses : Examples: Unix/Linux Operating systems, one programming language, one db programming/sql, do lots of hands-on lab, etc and build up from there to focus on programming, automation and testing. There are tons of training available so if you don't create a proper structured learning plan you will get lost and lose the focus. I had a chemical engineering degree and I am so glad that I learned foundational courses, programming courses and then enrolled in Master's in software engineering to confidently enter the job market. You might get a job with 6 months of some course work but it won't last long so invest time in learning, gaining practical experiences which is very very important. Good luck!
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Brendon’s Answer

I am a Software Tester with 4 and a half years of experience. Create a comfortable environment for yourself, take a course, get support from friends or classmates, never become complacent. Hope these tips help.
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sandeep’s Answer

Learn the Web Based application
Start with Manual validation of the Application.
Learn about black box testing, sanity testing, regression testing.
Get understanding of the requirement clearly to test the application in right way.
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Pro’s Answer

You should have a knowledge of Linux commands, databases and SQL, & get hands-on experience with test management tools, automation tools, and defect tracking tools.

*Learn how to code
*Learn the particulars of software testing, performance testing, & automated testing
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Nathalie’s Answer

The best way to transition to a software testing role is to volunteer as a User Acceptance Tester (UAT) for a project. This role will give you the basic understanding of software testing from an end user's perspective. Next, I would shadow and interview the Quality Assurance or Test Analyst to understand the life cycle of QA or Test Management for a quick intro of the process. If at that time you feel this is something you would like to do, sign-up to attend local QA/Software Testing focus groups to connect with like-minded professionals in the industry. Last but not least, identify a leader in that field as a mentor to guide you through the transition.
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Sergey’s Answer

What's the best way for a beginner to learn software testing and get started working in this profession?

Hi Heather ,

first you have to acquire IT Technical skills in : Computer networking , Operating systems , Mobile OS's for Tablets / Ipad / Iphone / Android phone
Join any online "communities" who share QA knowledge and tips - FB / Twitter / Technical forums and etc..

Then , start searching for any flaws / Bugs / lags / blue screens everywhere :)
for example : any new App that gets popular ,new website ,your School / College / University site ,banking app ,Visual "Glitches" in Games (Pc , Mobile ,Xbox, PS ,Nintendo Switch ....)

Once found ,be sure to "save" them (take Screen shot or a photo ,write basic explanation of the issue and where it was found)

Later on ,this will be your Portfolio which you can use to demonstrate your skills

Good luck
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Thomas’s Answer

Heather,

I'm not sure that there is a "best way". You should do whatever works for you. You could of course, always go back to college and take courses on software testing but you have so many other ways available to you today. I would start by searching YouTube for some interesting videos on the topic, then I'd begin looking for some more solid methodologies from there that I can drill into either on YouTube or from some more formal online avenues.
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Mark’s Answer

Hello Heather,
Not sure of the best way to get started with software testing, but I can tell you there are so many avenues that can be taken to get your foot in the door. I've been in the QA industry since 2010 and I do not have a degree related to software/product testing. This, is a very common thing you will find as you begin your QA career, some of the best testers and developers you work with, more than likely may have degrees that would surprise you (example: my former manager had a masters in child psychology). Anyway, you can find several courses and free YouTube videos that can get you started, learn test methodologies, gain an understanding of the software development lifecycle. I wouldn't worry about learning a coding language but you can also find free video and courses online.
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Rohit’s Answer

Software testing has many types like Unit, System, integration test, performance etc and these can be done manually/automation way. In my opinion, first you should understand the difference between these types, what are the terms used in software testing before starting to looking into any tool. Once you have clarity, you should spend a little time on performing these activities manually as these will enhance your knowledge related to the systems, how all these integrated system works.

After you gain a knowledge on these concept and are clear about the testing concepts, you should think about automation testing. In automation also there are multiple tools or programming language are being used. Based upon your interest with programming, you can either choose to use libraries in java, javascript, python etc to automate processes or you can choose ready made tools available in market (which helps to automate processes quickly for non programmers) like RPA, QTP, Selenium IDE, blue prism etc. Please let me know if you are still have any open questions, I will be happy to assist.
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Wioletta’s Answer

There's no one-size-fits-all approach to getting started, but diving into some research about the topic is a great first step. Try your hand at some coding exercises, like those on the Codility platform, to get a feel for the work. You might even want to pick a language path to focus on, with Python being a popular choice these days. It's also a good idea to check out job descriptions to understand what skills are in demand for specific positions. Remember, every step you take is a step closer to your goal. Keep going!
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Christos’s Answer

Hi!

I would like to add the concept of CI/CD here, since this is quite currently in software testing. CI/CD (continues integration & continues delivery) is really important for a company/organisation that continuously ships new features.

With CI/CD a software project ensures that a new change within the codebase does not breaks an already existing functionality. So from the perspective of the software testing a person who want to get involved into this area should be able to design and maintain a CI/CD solution and provide it to the developers so as to leverage it during the software development lifecycle.

There are a lot of CI/CD solutions out there for this, I will list some of them for reference:
1. TravisCI (cloud based)
2. CircleCI (cloud based)
3. Jenkins (on premise hosted)

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Hansel Junior’s Answer

Hi Heather, Software testing has two approaches as I've seen until today. The first one is manual testing, this way is based on use cases. This tries to test some cases that the software can be used by final users. As the name says, It's a manual testing which doesn't require programming language knowledge, you just need to know the use of technical tool, some strategies for creating those use cases, analyzing the expected outputs from the software in every situation. The second one is the test automatization, this is focused in test the use cases as I told you before but using technical tools which allows you to test those cases automatically. This can be done using some frameworks as Selenium, where you need to know some programming language e.g Java. You must have in mind If you like programming or not, this can be useful in your choice.

Best regards.
Thank you comment icon Thank you . Heather
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Erica’s Answer

I'm sure that there are many ways to get into software testing. My path involved getting my foot in the door and then wiggling my way in. I'm hoping that telling you about it might help. Here goes!

I did not have a college degree of any kind, let alone in Computer Science. I started working at a digital agency as their Office Services Coordinator. I knew that wasn't my end-game, and that I wanted to move into tech, but wasn't exactly sure where I would fit. So, I spent a little time observing. When I saw what the Quality Assurance team was doing, something clicked.

So, I started doing research about testing online and chatting with the team whenever I could. After I felt confident that I had at least a little understanding of QA, I offered to help whenever I had some downtime. I asked if they could use an extra pair of eyes on this project, or some other help with that one. I was very lucky to be on a team of super open and giving people. Once I got a little bit of side-testing in and was sure it was what I wanted to do, I made a plan. I put together something like a resume, mentioning the research that I had done on my own and the internal projects that I had helped with. Along with that, I created a timeline for how I could transition while training my own replacement, and some recommendations from QA folks, Engineers, and a Technical Manager. I then presented it to the Director of Technology and told him that I wanted to work in QA and I was confident that he would be happy with his decision if he gave me the opportunity.

Spoiler alert: He gave me a shot and was absolutely glad that he did. :)

Obviously, there was some luck for me to have found the right company and great leadership that was willing to take a chance on me. But ultimately, it was my determination that got me there. I still might be ordering office supplies and setting up catering for client meetings* if I hadn't forced myself to be confident and brave and go after what I really wanted.

TL;DR - Learn from any sources you can find (human or internet), offer to help where you can, be persistent, and don't be afraid to try OR to fail!

*OSC was a great job, and I know there are a lot of people out there who are super happy to be working in that field. It just wasn't the long-term career for me!

Erica recommends the following next steps:

Learn what you can on your own.
Find people who are doing what you want to do and ask them questions!
Get any experience that you can (on downtime at work, or maybe find an internship).
GO FOR IT!
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