Can testing be self-taught?

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    I have spoken with a number of testers who have told me that the accidentally ended up in testing. How does this happen? Does becoming a software tester not take years of training from various mentors or is it something that you could teach yourself using online resources?

    I’d love to hear how you learned your testing skills.


    Hi Daragh,
    that’s a very good question. originally i’am a programmer but it was very dry and not funny for me and my company offer me a possibility to be a software tester. Due to my analytical, logical and structured skills it fit to me and my pathway. but by doing some certifications like (ITIL, ISTQB, SCRUM…) i’ve developed many testing skills.
    I hope I could help you by answering your question.



    Hi Daragh,
    Let me start off by stating that nowadays there are no skills that can’t be self-taught. Software testing is no exception. On the other hand, the skill level is a subject that comes with time and experience (it’s like playing a MMORPG game like World of Warcraft. Getting to the first few levels rather easy, whereas getting to a high level takes a lot of time and effort). So to answer you question, and to keep my answer short: YES, testing can be self-taught, but experience is something that comes with time, and testing conferences like EuroSTAR are good places to share those experiences among testers.


    The short answer to this question is yes! You can learn testing on your own, just like you can learn to develop software on your own. Learning testing all alone will probably result in limits in your skill set and will require you to take an interest in your profession and read up on what others are doing and their thoughts on testing. You will ofcourse learn faster and a broader skill set if you have colleagues and/or mentors that you can discuss with and learn from, and who will learn from you at the same time.


    Hi Daragh,

    Agree with you however Yes!! , we can learn the testing by its own or Online . We have to provide the platform like Eurostar where have to show the importance of Testing .

    There is myth among the people Testing is Nothing or waste people are deployed for Testing and the new up comings are not ready to join ,I met many people having same myth but after talking to them and made them aware of importance of testing with real world,they found it more interesting.

    I always taught my self when i saw the challenges and every challenge is a lead to my knowledge .
    For me , Testing is passion to provide best quality to the real world .


    It depends what you mean by testing.
    At a basic level, yes, anyone can test their applications they install on their smart devices. But is that really testing in the context that we are talking about?

    e.g. As a professional tester we recognise that mobile testing is a specialist skill set. But in the example I mentioned, isn’t that end user a mobile tester? Yes they are testing an application on a mobile device, but they aren’t testing it fully. i.e. Under different network conditions, and if they are it’s not controlled; or on different platforms/ROM’s; or hardware. They may not even think this would be a problem or something to test.

    I have employed, mentored, trained up, testers who were not testers but wanted to be. And I find a good tester is not a skill to learn, but an aptitude that skills can enhance. e.g. the user that thinks they are testing their app talks someone else and learns that they have not been testing much and have missed something. So they go back and try again with new knowledge and insight. After a while they have tested, and learnt something about testing. But it may be inefficient. So they research testing methods and find some forum like this and the world opens up.

    Testing can be self taught, but only in a social environment. i.e. if you remain isolated and don’t talk to people you don’t learn about testing. After all Testing is not purely science, it is art as well. The art of perspective and imagination has to be employed to be a good tester. Art can be guided, and imagination can be honed, but I don’t think true art can be taught, only refined. Therefore an element of Testing can only be honed, not taught. Saying that, you can teach someone to test, but unless they have that tester inside, they will never be a real engineer (of testing), only an analyst (of requirements and results).

    Remember there, was nobody to teach testing when it first became a separate role. It was self taught then. And to some degree we are all still self learning as we go and mature the profession. I for instance have not been on a formal course in a very long time. I have developed and learnt through experimentation, adaptation, research and talking to the multitude of friendly testers in the social www. There are some ‘guru’s’ that are a must to follow, but there are many many people with a lot of good stuff to talk about and learn from. And to learn from you.

    So for the question, can testing be self taught: Yes, in a social environment of learning of each other.
    But in the mirror question, can testing be taught: Yes, if the student has the right aptitude.

    Over all testing can be learnt, either solo or in a formal manner, if you have the aptitude and drive to test (not check).


    I certainly hope so!

    I was hired as an Operations Engineer and my first assignment was to look at how the weekly releases go out. Since then I’ve been ‘QA’ which isn’t something I thought I’d ever fall into. It’s been great though, my team has brilliant devs and I have time to teach myself (a two edged sword, if you don’t take responsibility for your own learning).

    It’s been difficult. My first couple of weeks I spent reading everything I could that James Bach provided and then realised that I just had to start by DOING. I’m hoping that by being in this community I can pick up tips and learn a lot more than I know now!


    Hi Laura,

    You mention that you got certified to improve your testing skills. Do you think that all testers should get certified?

    Hi Ilir,

    As an attendee of EuroSTAR, which types of sessions did you find most beneficial for developing your testing skills? Was it the class based tutorials or something more hands-on like the Test Lab?

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