April 11, 2013

Seven tips to help you advance your software testing career

If there is one thing we often get asked for it’s tips for making headway in the world of software testing. Software testing is a highly specialised field and any knowledge anyone can offer is always highly valued by people with good intentions and a hunger for learning. These software testing career tips will help you to not only keep up, but also to help you advance in your software testing career.

1)     Communication in writing –

By all means use verbal communication but for important things that will need actions to be taken upon them, for example tasks or instructions, make sure you communicate in writing. Documenting these things is extremely important.

2)     One location –

Do yourself a favour, when documenting things, use one location and stick to it. It’s useless to document if some stuff goes in Excel, other stuff goes in emails, more stuff goes on post-it notes and so on. Convince your team leader or manager to invest in a proper test management tool like ReQtest and document what needs to be documented there and nowhere else! That way you can never lose crucial instructions, requirements or other documentation again.

3)     Automate daily routine tasks –

Save your own and your team’s time and energy by automating daily routine tasks, no matter how small those tasks are. For example, if you deploy project builds daily and do this manually, write a batch script to perform the task in one click.

4)     Keep notes on everything –

Take notes of all the new things you learn on the project. Even if it’s just a small notebook, keep one per project and take notes regularly, be they simple commands to be executed for certain tasks to complete, complex testing steps or implicit requirements you heard about in a meeting. Keeping these notes will help you remember and you won’t need to ask the same things to fellow testers, developers, managers or clients over and over.

5)     Get involved –

And get involved as early as possible. Ask your lead or manager to get you as a tester involved in requirements and design discussions and meetings from the very beginning. If you’re a big team, make sure that the testing team is represented by its manager or lead anyway.

6)     Keep learning –

Never ever stop learning. Technology is always moving on and we have to keep up. It’s incredible how much software testing has changed in less than a decade, and it’s not likely to stop now.  Read and read some more; keep on reading books, white papers and case studies related to the world of software testing and quality assurance. Stay on top of the news in the software testing and QA industry. Explore new and better ways to test applications. Learn new tools and keep in mind that software testing is a hot career choice for a lot of people!

7)     Enjoy! –

Software testing is fun so stay calm, be focused, follow the processes and enjoy the testing. You already know how interesting software testing is. Let the good times roll!

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