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How to Become a Software Tester?

September 21, 2023Rahul Parwal
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How to Become a Software Tester?
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Welcome to the exciting world of software testing! In today’s exponentially paced tech era, software testers play a pivotal role in enabling the quality and reliability of software applications. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the art of being a software tester, exploring the foundational principles, customer-centric mindset, continuous learning, social media leverage, essential skills, and tips on landing your dream testing job. So, whether you’re a budding testing enthusiast or completely new to this field, let’s unleash on this journey of becoming a software testing professional.

Foundations: Building Your Testing Knowledge Base

Building Your Testing Knowledge Base

Before you begin your software testing journey, it’s crucial to lay a solid foundation. One excellent resource for aspiring testers is the BBST (Black Box Software Testing) 3.0 Foundations course. It provides a comprehensive understanding of software testing principles and concepts. The video lecture library for this course is available for free here: BBST® Video Lectures – Learn Black Box Software Testing Additionally, consider reading and revisiting this summary eBook that distills the key concepts, making it easier to grasp and refresh your testing concepts: Testing Foundations Summary

Homework: Document your study notes and publish your learnings from this lecture in the form of a social media post or article. This will be your first step toward your learning portfolio.

Understanding Customers: The Heart of Software Testing

The Heart of Software Testing

In the journey of becoming a tester, many aspirants tend to direct their focus on technology and tools. However, as a software tester, your primary focus should always be on your customers. Understanding their needs, challenges, and business objectives is essential. Assume the role of a tester for a software application “A” being built by a company “C” and start by asking yourself questions like:

  • Why are your customers paying for this “A” software?
  • What is the business model of your customer “C”, and how does the software application “A” support it?
  • What are the specific business challenges or contexts that “C” has?
  • How can your testing efforts contribute to solving these challenges?
  • How does the application “A” fit in the bigger picture of “C”?

Imagine being in your customers’ shoes when they encounter frustrating software bugs or issues. How would you feel? Your role as a tester is to minimize such negative experiences and ensure a smooth, user journey. 

Homework: Take your favorite app. Now, as a customer of that app, write down the following:

  • What makes the app so pleasurable for you? 
  • What do you like the most?
  • What can ruin this experience in future?

After you are done with the above points. Assume the role of a potential tester, now write down how will you test this app so that the customer experience is not ruined.

Learning to Learn: A Continuous Journey

Learning to Learn: A Continuous Journey

Software testing is an ever-evolving field. With the fast changing landscape of the tech world, testing landscape is changing too. To stay relevant and excel in your role as a tester, you must be committed to continuous learning. Three areas where you will have to continuously expand your knowledge and skills are:

  1. Core Testing: Dive deep into various testing methodologies, test design skills, exploratory testing, questioning, etc. 
  2. Technology & Tools: Keep pace with the latest technological advancements in software industry, as they will directly influence your testing practices. Be up to date with state of the art tools and technology trends.
  3. Business & Customer Domain: Understand the business domain of the software you are testing. It’s not enough to know how to find bugs; you must also know how those bugs affect the business. This will help you advocate better as a tester.

To kickstart your learning journey, explore the A-Z of Testing Tips, a treasure trove of practical testing wisdom available on Testsigma blog: A to Z of Software Testing: Terms, Tips, & Advice for Newbies (testsigma.com)

In this era of machine learning, be a learning machine.

Ajay Balamurugadas

Leveraging Social Media: Turn Scrolling into Learning

Leveraging Social Media: Turn Scrolling into Learning

Let’s face it; we all spend around 10% of our days’ time on social media. So, why not make it productive? 

  1. Start by following popular testers, testing communities, and testing blogs on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn. Here are few curated lists for you:
    1. 7 Testing Communities from where I learn new stuff in 2023
    2. 200+ Software Testers To Follow on Twitter | X
  2. Some recommended websites / social platforms to follow include:
    1. Testsigma: Offering insights into testing, tech and latest trends on testing.
    2. Satisfice: Home to James Bach, this is a popular testing blog for serious testers. 
    3. Testing Titbits: A source of bite-sized testing knowledge, tips, and curated learning materials.
    4. Testing Daily: Daily feed on testing to stay updated on the latest testing trends and news.

Homework: While going through all these platforms, don’t just be a passive observer; engage with the community, share your thoughts, and ask questions. 

The above homework will help you to find mentors and passionate peers from the industry. Mentors can be invaluable in your journey to becoming a good software tester. However, remember that your first message to any potential mentor should not be asking for help. Instead, offer your assistance or insights on a topic you’re knowledgeable about. Build a genuine relationship by discussing testing and sharing your experiences. Over time, you can seek guidance and advice as your relations grow.

Skills That Will Set You Apart

Skills That Will Set You Apart

While the above things will make you ready to be a software tester, you will need diverse set of skills to really stand out in this highly competitive market. Let’s understand some of our most critical ones:

  1. Mindmapping: Use this technique for note-taking, documenting product details, creating presentations, and modeling products. It’s a versatile skill that enhances your ability to organize and communicate information effectively.  


Reference: Prashant Hegde – Mindmap Driven Testing – YouTube

  1. Communication Skills: Testing is not just about finding bugs; it’s about conveying your findings to others. Hone your written, verbal, and visual communication skills. Presentation skills are a fusion of these three components and are essential for effectively conveying your testing results. Your bug reports are also a way for you to present your bugs. 


Reference: How to report an issue using a bug report template? (testsigma.com)

  1. Business Language: A good command of English can open doors for you in the job market. The ability to communicate clearly and professionally is a valuable asset. In today’s world, you can use AI assistants to get better at business communication. 

Reference: Yoodli | Free Communication Coach  

  1. Programming: While not mandatory, having programming skills can be a game-changer for a tester. Choose a popular language like JavaScript, C#, Java, or Python. Learning to code and write logical test scripts will make you more versatile and adaptable in the world of testing. If you want a balance between coding and non-coding, you can also checkout platforms like Testsigma which offers you the power of no code along with the capability to extend it via code.


  1. Questioning: Testing is fundamentally about asking questions. In the words of James Bach, “Testing is questioning a product in order to evaluate it.” Learn how to craft context-free questions for testing and build your questioning toolkit to extract valuable information from the software under test.

Reference: Context-Free Questions for Testing – DevelopSense

Applying for Your Dream Testing Job: Get Noticed

Applying for Your Dream Testing Job: Get Noticed

Now that you’ve built your knowledge, skills, and network, it’s time to apply for testing jobs. Leverage social media and job handles to find opportunities. Showcase your skills and experience through a professional portfolio that prospective employers can review. Check out this article to understand the perspective of your potential interviewer and prepare for your interview: An Interviewer’s Complete Guide to hire the best QA Engineers.

Conclusion

Becoming a software tester is a fulfilling journey that will require dedication and continuous learning. By understanding your customers, cultivating a learning mindset, leveraging social media, acquiring essential skills, and effectively applying for jobs, you can carve out a successful career in software testing. Remember, software testing is not just about finding bugs; it’s about ensuring that the software meets its intended purpose and provides a seamless user experience. Embrace this responsibility, and you’ll become an indispensable part of any software development team. Happy testing!

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