A tester is a highly demanded IT specialty. But to study it in the university is impossible. Testers are either self-taught, or people who complete special courses. Often this type of training is offered by IT companies that train specialists for themselves.
In recent years, many online courses have also appeared. After their graduation, people receive a certain set of basic knowledge. But this is only the first step towards becoming a profession. To become a good tester, you need to be extremely attentive to detail, diligent. Have a non-standard thinking, and constantly learn new things.
Many people think that this is a simple and exciting activity. It would seem that you are playing a computer game or using a program, and if you reveal a bug, you inform the developers. In fact, it’s not so fun at all. It is necessary to “scroll” the same fragment of the program many times, to check its reaction to numerous tests, to make report reports. And all this only if you can find a job.
Testing a pencil
How to make sure that you can become a good tester? For the self-test, you can perform the traditional task: test a pencil. In principle, it can be anything – a plate, a curtain, a broom or a soccer ball. The main thing is that you “go away” from the traditional perception of testing programs. And make a list of tests for an unusual subject.
It is important on the one hand, to check the conditional “pencil” in a variety of, including unusual, uses. On the other hand, you need to be able to stop in time. So, check what will happen to the pencil, if it falls from the table, is clearly necessary. This situation is quite possible. But trying to skip it through a meat grinder is pointless. No such “user” of stationery will come up with such an “application”.
Let’s talk about the chances of finding a job.
One can really learn how to test software systems in a relatively short time. You can complete the courses or deal with the nuances of the profession by textbooks. In testing there is nothing prohibitively difficult, it would be a desire to delve into and understand.
One of the most difficult stages of becoming a tester is finding a first job. Here, many “break off” and go to another area of activity. Why it happens? There is a real surplus of inexperienced people on the market who aspire to become testers.
- For some reason, it is believed that testing is fun and simple. And numerous coaches seeking to attract as many students as possible to paid courses actively support this myth.
- “The easiest profession in the field of IT.” This rather controversial statement draws people into the profession, who are seeking to change the scope of their activities. Everyone knows about high earnings in IT. But learning programming is long and difficult. And the number of students in the courses is growing steadily.
And now let’s count. Suppose there are about a dozen vocational training centers in the city. The capacity of each of them is about 15 people for 45 – 50 days of training. And here we already have about a hundred graduates who are beginning to look for work. But there is also online training, and numerous self-taught.
A simple analysis of the job market shows that the tester does not have as many vacancies as we would like. And always give an advantage to people with experience. As a result, the competition for such a position can be from 100 to 400 people to a place not even in the coolest companies. And most of the applicants are people with no experience.
But even if the applicant, who has “behind the shoulders” only theory and some teaching practice, gets an interview, in 90% of cases he gets a refusal. And the applicant himself is to blame.
What causes negative employers:
- Lack of confidence. The applicant “stutters”, confused in the answers to simple questions just for fear.
- The applicant begins to pour on the interview “slang.” It looks ridiculous, and the words “would-be professional” are often used incorrectly.
- Non-standard task baffles, because neither the practice nor the experience of the applicant has not yet.
And if at the same time the applicant cannot give any interesting options to the proposal to test the pencil from the example above, the employer understands that he is not just a “green” novice, but a person who is not interested in wasting time and energy.
Already scared? In fact, everything is not as bad as it may seem. If you really want to become a tester and are ready to make maximum efforts for this, there is a solution. Let’s figure out how to act to succeed.
How to become a successful tester
First of all, let’s make a plan whereby you will move towards your goal. There are not too many points in it. But this way you will not be scattered on trifles, but will be able to focus on the important aspects of each stage.
If you do not like to plan, and then act strictly according to the built plan, think carefully whether you should become a tester.
So, we begin:
- Training. We choose a course, we stock up with textbooks. We gain knowledge.
- Practice. Wherever and how you like – in the framework of the course, free testing of programs of familiar programmers, offering assistance in professional communities. Oh, and do not forget to “test the pencil” and other items. It develops thinking.
- Compiling and sending resume. With full understanding that this stage will not be fast.
- Interview. You need to be prepared for it, and common questions should be studied in advance.
- Employment. The goal is achieved.
And now let’s take a detailed look at the main points that are indicated in our “list of success”.
Courses testers and self-education
The first stage is training. And here you can choose or even combine two ways – attending courses and learning from books, articles, materials on the Internet.
On the courses of opinion was twofold. On the one hand, the courses are a great start, an opportunity to gain knowledge quickly and under the guidance of an experienced professional. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that you will be able to choose a quality course with a truly worthy mentor. Already the choice itself will require additional time and effort. In addition, training from a mentor requires certain investments. Not everyone is willing to spend money to gain knowledge that you can get yourself.
If you have chosen to attend the courses, please study the following parameters in advance:
- Reviews graduates. The easiest way to determine the quality of training. But read them should, of course, not on the website of the author of the courses, but look for forums, review sites, etc.
- The presence of a detailed program. If the author of the project writes “I will teach you everything”, but I’m not ready to describe in detail what it is and in what sequence, the courses obviously will not do any good.
- Maximum practice. The theory you can read in the textbook. The main thing that gives classes with a mentor, is the practice and verification of how you learned the material. It makes no sense to spend time on tedious lectures without the ability to test new knowledge in practice.
- The presence of a certificate or diploma. The presence of such a document will be your advantage in employment.
If you prefer to study independently, you will find a lot of useful information in the network for mastering the profession. But self-education will require patience and discipline from you. Schedule your daily activities and follow your own training plan. So you will definitely achieve the result.
What should tester learn
Let’s take a closer look at what knowledge a good tester should have. This will help in the choice of courses, and in drawing up a program for self-education.
We will decide on the main points of the program:
- Basic knowledge (basic concepts, theory).
- Learn SQL.
- Unix basics (Linux).
- Using Selenium.
An additional advantage is learning English. Without this language in general in the field of IT work is quite difficult. And testers are no exception. And now we proceed to a detailed description of each of the stages.
The need for this stage is obvious. You need to learn the basic professional terms and rules for future work. There are many textbooks on this profession, but “Testing.com” (by Roman Savin) and “Software Testing. Basic course ”(by Svyatoslav Kulikov). You need to understand what a bug report or test case is, study testing methodology, etc.
You should also understand how computer networks work, study the logic and architecture of a computer, know the basics of programming, understand the peculiarities of interaction with databases and web applications.
You do not have to become a programmer, but to understand “how it all works” is very important. Without an understanding of how different systems work, you will never be able to put together the right tests.
Practice implies the ability to write test cases, bug reports and other work documentation. You can test anything. Any programs and sites, mobile applications and services. Do not forget about training your mind with the help of “pencil testing.” This is really a very useful exercise that needs to be repeated as you gain knowledge. Now you no longer just come up with a test suite, but also decorate them correctly.
The more detailed the structure of the test (or rather its relevance), which you conducted, the better. The exceptions are cases when you are assigned a highly specialized task.
Practice writing well-structured test cases and report bugs. The better you will write such reports, the higher the likelihood that you will be accepted for a permanent job in an IT company.
An example of fields that are usually included in the report:
- Severity / Priority;
- Expected result;
- Actual result.
The more detailed the information provided, the better. The developer must understand the essence of the identified bug, and for this it is important to check the program fragment from various sides.
Work with SQL databases
The tester must understand what databases are and how sites and applications interact with them. The most common database interaction language is SQL Knowing him at the professional level is not necessary. But to get at least some idea of how “it works” is necessary.
Databases use any websites and web applications, they store information from mobile applications if they exchange data with some services on the Internet. Errors of interaction with the database are very common. So you will definitely come across SQL in future work. Learn the basics of SQL can be on any free courses or on numerous textbooks.
Why need Unix
If you are not keen on Linux, you will have to get acquainted with this operating system. And it is better to do it in advance. Under Linux, almost all servers on the Internet work. The same system is used in banking and any other area where enhanced security and data protection is required. Sooner or later you will need to test not only the user’s functionality, but also the server part. And here we have to work in the version of “server emulation” on Linux.
In order not to abandon the usual Windows to install Linux, it is possible to use the Wubi build (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer). This software solution allows you to install a second system quickly and easily. By the way, removing it will also not be a problem if you ever need it.
A tester definitely needs to learn basic Linux commands for all basic operations. At the same time, execute them using the command line, without accessing the Ubuntu GUI.
Don’t be scared, there are not so many of them. By the time of training, most likely, it will take 2-3 days. And additional knowledge will become your competitive advantage in the eyes of employers.
Selenium Automation Tool
Selenium is a whole family of tools designed to automate browser management.
Consists of three tools:
- Selenium IDE is an add-on for Firefox. Suitable for quickly automating the replay of a bug, creating small tests for performing routine repetitions of tester actions.
- Selenium WebDriver is a set of libraries that allow you to create test programs in different programming languages that will control browsers. Suitable for writing large automated test suites. It can work with any browsers, including mobile.
- Selenium Server allows you to connect remote control and accept automatic browser control commands from another computer.
Most likely, you only need Selenium IDE. Do not be lazy to learn this extension, because the ability to automate small tests will often help you in your work. The Selenium WebDriver tool may be needed if you are already a programmer and want to learn how to write automated tests.
On the Internet, you can find many templates and rules for creating a resume . Therefore, there is no point in dwelling on this in detail. The only thing that is important to note is: scrupulously list all your knowledge, including additional and obtained independently, but never lie, so as not to blush at the interview.
How to behave at the interview
At this point, you can also find a million universal tips that are suitable for any specialty. In the field of IT, it is important not to get involved in slang, but also not to try to avoid terminology (your interlocutor understands it perfectly).
Remember that you may be offered a test. And here it is better to show a partial result or, if it is very difficult, to ask additional questions than to just say “I can’t.” The employer understands that you are a newcomer to the profession, and therefore does not expect miracles. But at the same time they often give difficult tasks to check the reaction of a person. If you demonstrate attempts to solve a problem and the desire to understand something difficult, even an erroneous test result can be a “pass” to getting a job.
Explain your decisions and your thoughts when discussing test results. The employer can not “climb into your head.” And here, just as in the case of a knowingly unbearable task, your thinking, the reasons why you came to this or that result, is interesting.
Hooray! There is a work!
Congratulations. But it’s too early to relax. In fact, learning the profession for you has just begun. You are waiting for real projects, features of reporting, which is adopted in the framework of the internal rules of the company, incomprehensible terminology and many, many more.
Do not be afraid to ask questions to colleagues, do not be afraid of the task, even if it seems to you that of all the words you know only interjections. Look for information on the network, if not found, consult with experienced colleagues. Constantly deepen your knowledge and over time you will become a sought-after specialist.
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