So you’re a new tester, you’ve completed a boot camp or training course, or maybe you got a certificate in software testing. This is an amazing accomplishment, but you may be wondering just how effective is your quality assurance. You might also be wondering if you’re doing as good a job as you should be doing. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. These are some of the things that I’ve done and continue to do that help keep me on top of my QA game and improve my confidence.
Using the fundamentals of software testing
Recently, I was in a training session about this very thing, the fundamentals. I’m talking about the basics of software testing that you would have learned in a software testing boot camp, course, or when studying to get a certification. Looking back at the work I’ve done, I found that I would sometimes forget to apply these principles to whatever I was doing. Spending months on a project, over time, the functionalities I interact with seem to become second nature. However, I also found myself missing out on test maintenance, or not writing proper test cases, or missing out on writing new test cases in the first place, for example. One downfall here is if a new QA comes on the project or if someone outside of QA needs to review the test cases, they may find it a bit difficult to follow the available test suites.
To write good test cases and bug reports set aside time to ensure these are being done properly. Following templates is a good way to make sure all the necessary information is included. You can also take a look at your team’s software development process, if they are missing any crucial events, make suggestions to the team to have these events included in the process. If you find that the product requirements are missing or limited, bring it to the attention of the team so those can be improved or included. Keep these things in mind through the progress of the project, they will go a long way.
Drawing knowledge from others
In software development, everyone has to work together, designers, developers, product owners, quality analysts, and any other stakeholders. All these groups have a wealth of knowledge to share. These persons often have a good background in IT and often have already shared their experiences on social media, in blog posts, in YouTube videos, at conferences, etc. Some things I’ve learned from others include, standard UI implementations for certain features, how to better consider users while designing, developing and testing, useful tools for different types of testing, how to maintain better relationships with developers, etc. If there is anything you are want to learn or improve on, chances are someone has already written or spoken about it. A simple Google search can likely get you what you’re looking for. Quite a few of these persons even share their Twitter and LinkedIn handles when writing articles, creating videos, and making blog posts, if you prefer direct communication you can also try reaching out on these platforms to get advice.
Using your experience
When I first started with software testing, someone said to me “Your experience is your experience”. This was to say regardless of the nature of your experience, there are still lessons and skills you can draw from them and apply to your current career path; whether it be years spent in IT, customer service, accounting, any other field. Take me for example, I have experience in customer service and data reporting. This is something I thought would have not been so useful in my new career. But as it turns out, that background has helped to improve my patience, soft skills, and my attention to detail, to name a few. These are skills that are good to have as a quality analyst as they are important in doing the job effectively and maintaining relationships with teammates. “Your experience is your experience”, I hope any newbie QA will bear this in mind throughout their career.
When starting a new career, being nervous or anxious is only natural. However, with continuous learning and self-improvement, the anxiety and doubts will diminish with time.