The initial and Second segment of our Manual Testing Series outlined the fundamentals of Manual Testing and its process. If you haven’t perused it yet, kindly do so before proceeding with this piece to form better associations.
Of course, if you’re unable to do that, the insights and recommendations presented in this piece can be utilized individually too. This concluding part delves into the preparation and prospective avenues to embark on a career in software testing.
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What You Will Learn:
- Perfect Preparation for a Software Testing Career
- 7 Steps to Propel Your Manual Testing Career
- #1) Aptitude Examination
- #2) Theory of Software Testing
- #3) Internet’s Software Testing Interview Questions
- #4) Perfecting Constructive Communication Skills, Learning About It
- #5) Recognizing Your Existing Talents
- #6) Assessing Dummy Software and Receiving an Analysis of Your Result/Method
- #7) Understanding to Admit to Yourself – What You Discovered To Be Enough, Isn’t Adequate
- The potential pathways to a career in testing
Ideal Preparation for a Software Testing Career
If you have gone through my initial post concerning my software testing trajectory, then you would be fully aware that I became a Software Tester purely by accident. I took the aptitude and technical exams (this included a question about crafting test cases for a specific application/feature, I can’t exactly recall) believing that it was for a Java development role. Unexpectedly, I was chosen for Software Testing and was summoned for more interviews.
I was unprepared for it due to the short notice and scarce practical testing exposure. I attended it armed with only theoretical knowledge. The sole reason I triumphed was because my company assessed us based on logical reasoning, clarity of thoughts, and our approach to problem-solving instead of theoretical testing knowledge. It’s evident that not every company in the industry operates similarly.
Even though organizations have individual criteria, operations, and expectations, there is a recurring pattern of the interview procedure for testing opportunities spread across companies.
This series is intended for those who aspire to choose software testing as a career, so I will strive to cover as much as possible, encompassing the few evaluation forms I personally do not believe in.
7 Techniques to Propel Your Manual Testing Career
Here’s a list of aspects to focus on before you consider yourself primed for it:
#1) Aptitude Examination
Extremely crucial; as it examines your inherent problem-solving abilities and logic. Questions can include various categories such as Quantitative, Logical, and Verbal abilities. If you do not naturally excel in these areas, you’ll need practice. Don’t underestimate it. I’ve been involved in the recruitment process for several years, and about 60-80% of candidates get weeded out after the Aptitude test phase. So, prepare diligently.
Book suggestion: Quantitative Aptitude by R. S. Aggarwal is a decent recommendation from what I know. Practice questions from all areas. Don’t anticipate similar questions, but concentrate more on how you apply your knowledge and practice responding to unconventional questions.
#2) Software Testing Theory
I am convinced that anyone with a computer science background must have learned Software Testing and Quality Assurance. However, how seriously we take these subjects during our college days is an entirely different matter. 🙂
I refer to this academic topic as it encompasses some theory and portrays what software testing might be (Before my interview, I actually took a glance at the STQA book for a couple of hours. I didn’t know what to study back then). And yes, possessing a lucid understanding of the subject is always beneficial.
Despite most books that entry-level testers or fresh graduates find convenient to comprehend might contain traditional content on software testing, they are still helpful.
A superior option, if you’re not inclined to reading books, is the internet. Read every piece of information you can about Software Testing basics. Emphasize terminologies and definitions. Familiarize yourself with terms and concepts like test scenario, test case, test plan, requirement specifications, test data, and so forth.
#3) Internet’s Software Testing Interview Questions
I acknowledge that no list on the internet can assure you that you don’t have to study anything else. Nevertheless, leafing through multiple lists of interview questions available on the internet might just assist you answering most of the questions posed to you in an interview.
The reason being that several experienced individuals have recorded their experiences in question and answer format, and many organizations still adhere to traditional methods for assessing testers.
Additional reading => Software Testing Interview questions
Note: Before you form an opinion that I am listing some tips to crack a job interview and not aiding you to become an exemplary tester, please read on. To gain hands-on experience with complex applications, you need to secure employment first. Hence, these efforts.
#4) Perfecting Constructive Communication Skills, Learning About It
Yes, this is vital. I understand that during your college years or immediately thereafter, one tends to express oneself emphatically, dominate conversations, crack jokes, and win arguments. However, the same habit, if unchanged, can invite significant trouble once you become a software tester.
Don’t mistake me. I am not saying you should not be assertive. As a tester, you have to be assertive yet you also need to respect people around you and their work. Our job is to indicate what hasn’t occurred as predicted, but you can’t say, ‘hey Developer, you didn’t do this accurately. You slipped up.’ Nobody likes their work criticized. Testers must be highly methodical and constructive when expressing their opinions and feedback.
If you join a company where email communication is prevalent, then it becomes even more vital to choose your words thoughtfully. Conveying tone via email is tough, and a wrong choice of words could offend someone.
For example, imagine, you wished to say “Please delve into this.” But you missed the word ‘please’ and suddenly it sounded like “Look into this, you unfortunate developer. This is my command.” Does it make sense?
#5) Recognizing Your Existing Talents
Recognizing the talents you already possess that make you an excellent software tester and identifying which ones you will have to develop or manage without
I firmly believe that you can’t improve something that is nonexistent. Being a great tester depends on innate qualities, something that is within you; extensively. Traits such as Curiosity, Attention to Detail, Imagination, Logical thinking, Ability to Focus, Discipline, and Constructive Communication are some of those qualities.
#6) Assessing Dummy Software and Receiving an Analysis of Your Result/Method
I understand that not everyone will have contacts that can support you in judging and evaluating your competency as a tester. But if you do, it should assist you more than any other method. It is equivalent to acquiring practical experience even before having a company ID card.
Search in your circle; discover a tester/mentor with a sound testing background. Seek their help. If you don’t know anyone personally, get in touch with the online community. Give it a shot; you will be awe-struck at how many of them are willing to assist you.
All you have to do is test an application, employ your knowledge, design your tests and bug reports, and dispatch them to the mentor of your choice. We must support each other in the testing community so that everyone can flourish collectively.
I, myself, will be delighted to assist few of you with the evaluation if you find me the right person to learn from. Worst-case scenario, if you fail to secure any support from experienced testers (which is highly unlikely, trust me), you can always share with your friends and ask for their feedback.
Also, read => Beta Testing to acquire experience
#7) Understanding to Admit to Yourself – What You Deemed Enough, Isn’t Enough
This is a philosophy that is good to embrace early on.
There is a reason why people assert that zero-defect products are an impossibility. The possibilities are boundless, and time is restricted. So whenever you think – you have taken into account all scenarios and have completed adequate testing, admit to yourself that it is not the end. There could be more.
Cultivate a ‘never give up’ attitude. Be persistent. Push your boundaries.
The potential pathways to a career in testing
The above-mentioned 7 points will assist with the necessary preparation before starting. Now, let’s delve into the potential routes that can guide you to a testing job.
#1) Build the Perfect Resume
I sincerely don’t know the industry-accepted definition of an ideal resume. I believe it should be concise and accurate.
Mention everything you know up to this point and specify your expertise level. If you possess basic knowledge of something, cite it as a basic comprehension of a specific skill. Refrain from lying with unnecessary ‘hands-on’ tags.
If you are a newbie, focus on detailing your project experience. Anyways, if you have adhered to the correct preparation we have discussed, then you know what to incorporate and present as highlights.
Search the internet, and you would stumble upon a wide variety of resume templates. Personalize it, don’t merely photocopy. Make it unique.
Here is an informative guide on gearing up a professional resume.
#2) LinkedIn Profile
Create a profile that illustrates your personality, experience (if any), and skill set. Develop your connections wisely. Track your desired companies and their HR personnel. If you are skilled at something, share it with others. Support other job searchers. Most significantly, stay active on LinkedIn to make optimal use of your presence.
#3) Personal Networks
No one is more beneficial to job seekers than friends and connections in the testing domain. Agree to meet a recruiter for a coffee to help them understand the roles you are seeking and the roles they have. Ask friends if they can send your resume to their HR departments. Reach out to the online community to seek digital recommendations. Maintain relationships.
#4) Job Portals
Have your profile on popular and related job portals, but carry out your own investigation. Avoid putting your profile on every site out there. It’s pointless to spread it so much that you can’t even verify all the notification emails. Keep it confined.
Registering for every job is pointless. It will only discourage you to see that you are applying to hundreds of roles and are only receiving a response in single digits or worse, none at all. If you observe your profile is not appropriate for a particular requirement, don’t apply. And yes, pay heed to all communications.
Another path in, though, they are closely related to networking, so I won’t emphasize it much. The key to this is maintaining communication with people in the same domain and, most importantly, staying connected with your college seniors. They can be of immense help.
#6) WhatsApp groups
Well, this is a new trend. I see numerous people posting on LinkedIn asking for contacts of other job seekers to create a group where they can discuss issues and share job postings. This is a fast and contemporary mode of communication with the community.
Occasionally, it can get irritating as people post irrelevant stuff there, but it might just assist you to secure your first job.
Share appropriate content with others; assist them in advancing.
#7) Software Testing Courses
I haven’t taken any myself, so I can’t verify their efficacy, but I know people who secured a job after finishing a Software Testing Course.
Honestly, in my opinion, the connections these institutions have with IT companies outweigh the training they provide. Obviously, they endeavor to prepare their students for the business world, but I would suggest not relying solely on any training. Begin your own preparations as well.
#8) Internal Job Postings
Lastly, if you are presently employed and wish to shift to Software Testing now, apply for internal job postings. Discuss with testers in your company. Inquire about their duties and visualize yourself in that role. If you feel confident, don’t hesitate.
About the author: This exceptional manual testing series was compiled for our readers by STH team member Mahesh C.
That wraps up this Manual Testing series from my end.
Don’t hesitate to share your feedback/views with me. Wishing you all the best and Happy Testing 🙂