In the complex world of testing, it is easy for a novice QA engineer to get lost. To avoid this, follow a few simple tips.
At the beginning of a tester’s career, it is not always clear which skills should be leveled up first. Study programming if there are gaps in your knowledge, or focus on the so-called soft skills: how to ask questions and explain, how to listen. If you cannot clearly express your thoughts in both speaking and writing, it will be extremely difficult to develop. However, you should not do everything at once, because in that case, you could end up with nothing.
A QA engineer is constantly learning so let’s try to formulate 9 basic principles, which will help you achieve perfection or if not – at least get as close to it as possible.
The work and training of testers have to be well-structured. Immediately identify the steps that, when done sequentially, will give you results. Decide in which area you want to develop in the first place, how many hours per day/week, what measures your success. If you have just found out who a tester is, you should do broader research of the topic and find out what people say about this job.
You don’t have to be a techie to master the job of a tester, but some technical knowledge is still required: you need to imagine how the processor processes commands, why an operating system is needed, what is a database or a web server. How testing a web application differs from testing a website, how to correctly make bug reports – you have to study all these things.
Mind maps are analytic tools that allow you to work with information as clearly as possible. You visually display the information you are working with and find unexpected associations. During the learning process, mind maps allow you to assimilate the material better.
Any complex process can be divided into its parts and each of them can be tested separately. Make up situations for each part from common to unlikely, and go through this scale fully. You will get more a voluminous result but the understanding of the process will deepen. Start by testing the software on different devices, page orientation, appearance, maintaining data, and gradually move to code. Create checklists. They come in handy to clear your brain so you will not forget anything. Divide testing into different points of view: user, tech. support, etc.
Maintain tables, write down interesting cases and ways of solving problems. Talking about the visual part, if you have seen a lot it helps to intuitively make the visual component stylish and enjoyable. For a tester, this will be your own database of cases collected from various sources.
For example, two QA engineers are testing the calculation of alimony. One checked how they are entered in the system, how they are charged, what are the options for maintaining data in the fields. Checked and simulated the payout. The second tester made the alimony for the woman from two different men with two different transfer methods. Checked and simulated the payout. Which result will be more voluminous?
Everything written down is valid. There is nothing more reliable than documented test results. It is not enough to say “it doesn’t work like that”: attach a screenshot, program log, video, or tracing. The more evidence you have, the higher the chances that you will be understood and not asked to paraphrase.
QA engineer training includes working with debug menus to facilitate testing. Bug tracking systems like Jira, Redmine, and Bugzilla help manage the process and coordinate work.
Fill your RAM completely, create maximum load conditions for the application to understand how it behaves in a stressful situation. Test at what speed the application performs operations, how it is restored, whether it saves data, and at what load it starts to lag.
Broaden your horizons. Learning of a tester never stops: new projects, new solutions, and new tasks. Always set a goal and your productivity will increase. Books, community, and courses are a good help in development. There is nothing better than constant communication in a professional environment.
You can do an internship at a large IT company. The options are not hard to find. To get a position, it is enough to have a basic knowledge. The internship will most likely not bring you money but you finding yourself in a professional environment and having enough motivation, will contribute to your career growth.
If you like a softer approach to learning, take a look at the courses. At SPINCAREER, you can get the knowledge and career advice needed to start, how to write an automation test engineer resume, and even find your first job.
Be engaged, considerate, and flexible. Do not be afraid of stressful situations, learn from your mistakes because they make you stronger. You will make it!