Where did you get your testing knowledge?

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    Ronan Healy

    I was chatting to a tester recently about how they got involved in testing. They said to be that they came through it after they graduated with a Computer Science degree, started out in development but ended up in testing because there was no one in the team doing it.

    It struck me that there is no formal learning route for testing (apart from Certification).

    So how do you/did you develop your testing skills? When you started out in testing, did you work with more experienced testers to develop your skills or were you on your own on the team?

    How did you build up your experience and knowledge? Did you attend conferences,meet-ups, do research online or take other approaches?

    I imagine there will be a lot of different stories.



    In my knowledge computer science degree students never study in depth about software testing. But they get introduction to the topic in term of theory in “Software Engineering” subject so they can use this skill with programming. Once they come to work with IT industry they get experience and grow as programmer or consultant or tester and after little year experience they become professional tester. (I also noticed many non IT background people also involved in testing, with different testing certification background).

    Where did you get your testing knowledge?
    I think always logical and more particle way toward to problem and try to understand ( reading & use ) the domain. Its help me to jump and test product end-to-end.


    Hello – my software testing knowledge has been acquired primarily while on the job, working for various companies. Over the last 20 years the position of tester (from what I have experienced) has evolved in to a more “official” role/position. However, I haven’t come across too many individuals whose sole purpose is to just test. It’s still a cultural change for some companies to pay for testers.
    Studying for testing certifications has certainly helped. I think working as an IT consultant, being exposed to non-profits as well as for-profit entities while working in a number of different industries is a good way to see what types of testing methodologies are being followed.
    With that being said, most of the testing that I have been involved with the last 10 years has been with off-the-shelf software that has been purchased then developed by “builders”. With that being said, I could see a spin off question regarding how do testers handle testing off-the-shelf software?


    Sometime in 2002 when I was working as a “project coordinator” of web self-service development a haphazard group of 6 was put together as THE TEST CENTER. We were a odd lot, some unfinished degrees (science, language, multimedia) others with nothing but practical IT experience. We were given some basic classic training at the time and started testing internal applications in the telco domain: bills, ticket rating, subscription split, self-service and telco order fulfillment. The last item came to be our major task over the years to come, and at the highest we had 30 people in Denmark and India. The team had freshers and ladies that build the system in the 1970’es.

    Not much was Shelfware (COTS) – actually a large program to go from the home-grown IT into COTS failed miserably.. but that’s another story.


    I came into Testing from a very different direction – I left my high school with no formal education qualifications so college was never in my future. I joined the Army at 17 and served for just under 11 years in the Infantry. I left the forces not really knowing what i wanted to do next – I applied for countless local jobs and was rejected on multiple occasions until one evening i received a call asking if i would like to travel down to a defence company about 350 miles from my home and do some software testing. I had recently returned from Afghanistan and held the necessary security clearance, so i ticked some of the boxes that they needed to fill. I had no idea what i was going to be doing but i thought, if anything, it would be a nice trip down to the south of England.

    So glad i took that gamble – Never looked back!

    In my opinion – To want to constantly develop your testing skills you need to basically fall in love with what you do, If you don’t have passion, enthusiasm or a thirst for new knowledge you will never seek this new information out. I used to hear words in overheard conversations between developers that i didn’t understand so i would write these down in a notebook and research them in my lunch break or after the working hours had ended. I would read blogs and articles after putting in “Software Testing” into a search engine and these would lead me onto new places. Eventually, i stumbled across the Software Testing Club and used all the resources available on there. Attended meet ups with other like minded people and joined Twitter – At first i really didn’t know what to make of this but once you get the hang of it and start seeing the conversations that happen on there it opens your mind up and you soon realise that there is a massive test community out there and everything shares the same drive and passion as you, people want to talk about testing with you and help you to develop as a tester.

    I could bang on all day about how i have grown and developed as a tester over the last few years but this is my individual story and everyone is different. I have loads more i would like to share with others. Just get in touch.

    Chris Miles

    I came to testing from a background in science, ethics, business and catering, that and a love of Lego. Whilst sounding rather disparate these have all held me in good stead as I developed my testing career. My first testing job required no previous experience and within a couple of weeks I’d been sent on the ISEB foundation. It turned out testing was pretty much just the scientific method, and if you liked taking things apart to see how they fitted together in the first place you were on to a winner.

    What the ISEB taught me was a lot of words that I could Google, that and that software testing was an actual thing. So I started reading in my spare time and looking for answers to questions I had. I was in a team with two other trainee testers and several more experienced testers, we all shared what we were learning and bounced ideas off each other. I was also lucky to have a training budget with this job but I didn’t use it for straight testing training, instead chose to invest it in learning around software development. I took courses on development, project management, QA and so on which helped me better understand how testing fitted in to the whole and made it easier to speak to different people in different roles (things used to feel much more silo’ed)

    As I progressed in my career I started working for a consultancy which in turn meant that I got to work with many different people, organisations, technologies and industries. It’s been a fantastic learning experience, and one that very quickly showed how context impacts what you do.

    As the internet grew I started following testing blogs and quickly found James Bach. His style of testing appealed to me and started to provide answers to questions I had. Now it’s so much easier for everyone to get a wider view of software testing in different contexts and to learn from other peoples successes and mistakes. With social and community platforms it’s awesome to be able to reach out and have meaningful conversations with people. Meetups are great. Completely agree with @dannydainton on Twitter and Software Testing Club, it’s good to read what others have said, it’s much better to be able to discuss it. There are so many friendly and knowledgeable people who are happy to help and share.

    So the long and short of it is that I learnt most of what I value from talking with people.

    Ronan Healy

    Some interesting stories guys.
    @ron That is what seem to happen for many software testers. I wonder does learning on the job mean you are relying on having good managers or testers to teach you?

    It feels like testing is a role where as there is only limited options for structured learning and more than other roles, self-education is a big part of it. That seems to be the approach ye took @danny and @chris

    Do ye think that is the best approach for learning about testing or should there be a structured, formal approach? It might be easier to learn but then I suppose, you don’t have the variety of backgrounds that are in the industry.


    Prior to sitting the ISTQB foundation course….. google. Found everything i needed via google and got ideas for test techniques from google too.

    These days, it’s colleagues and developers helping to develop my knowledge on top of what I look at on my own


    I learn testing knowledge from different source:

    * Internal trainings in my company
    * I join many online forums, discussion to discuss about software testing
    * I do my work
    * I follow big names in software testing and read their blogs
    * I write about software testing because writing will help me reflect what I learn ( I blog my ideas here in case : http://www.asktester.com/blog/ :-))
    * I do my work (I repeat twice because it matters the most)


    Hello everyone!

    Becoming a tester was a huge career change for me, so before I could even get a testing job I had to get experience from somewhere to make up for a lack of any kind of degree or certification.

    I spent a few months working remotely on an open source project, (http://openmrs.org/) and spent two sessions a week with an experienced Thoughtworks Tech Lead. I also attended local meetups (North West Tester Gathering) which was a great idea as I got to meet other testers and receive recommendations on what to learn, what to read, blogs to visit etc. I was also lucky enough to attend a talk by the legend that is Micheal Bolton, which was facilitated by the BBC and NWTG.

    I had thought about getting ISTQB certified as this seemed to be the only qualification related to testing that I could acquire. Most of the jobs I was looking at to apply for were listing this as a skill set requirement, along with 1-2 years experience in a previous testing role or similar job. The price put me off a little bit, so I decided to start applying for jobs and see if I would get any interviews without it. Thankfully I was successful in being hired as a tester (the second job I interviewed for I received a job offer!). I wonder if not being certified will affect any other jobs I apply for in the future, I imagine not?

    Now I have been in an official Tester role for 6 months, I still continue to go to meetups, read books, blogs, and now commenting on forums is a new welcome addition! I have learnt a lot on the job, but I feel like being part of a very small and inexperienced testing team prevents me learning from other senior testers as much as I would like.


    I have completed my engineering in electronic and now I am in Testing. Frankly speaking I am accidental Tester. After engineering I don’t know what to do as I am not that much good at programming.So I choose to be a tester ,I joined in an institute and got trained in manual testing.Later on got job and their according to the time and project I learned some performance and functional testing. Now I am planning to learn autamation.


    After graduation I joined a company as a JAVA developer and completed a 2 month training in JAVA. But the job location did not suit me and I wanted to come back to my home town. At that point the company had vacancy in only a Performance Testing project in my home town. That’s why I decided to move into testing. I had another 1 month training on Performance testing and that’s how I learnt the basics of testing. After 6 years into Performance testing, I quit my job. And now I am a freelancer majorly into functional testing. I try to improve on my knowledge by reading books and articles.

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