Take the 2-minute tour ×
Software Quality Assurance & Testing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for software quality control experts, automation engineers, and software testers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am in a unique situation where I was hired as for QA with no computer background. How this happened is a long story but now I'm here, trying to become a useful and productive member of this team. Where would you start your training? What are some of the most useful skills to have?

share|improve this question
1  
Could you clarify two things? You say you have no computer background. Do you mean formal computer training (such as programming or IT) or do you mean you aren't comfortable using a computer. Also, what were you hired to test? Browser based software? Desktop applications? etc. You might want to go ahead and tell how you got hired. It may be relevant. –  John Oglesby Jan 24 at 20:31
3  
The answers to John's questions are going to help us give good, specific advice, but as a note of encouragement, I wanted to tell you that being good at QA is really about problem solving and mindset. The technical skills are fairly easy to learn if you have the right analytic mindset. –  Daniel Jan 24 at 21:10

4 Answers 4

The most important skill, I think, is learning about the product. Learn, learn, learn everything you can about your product and how it is used. That tide will float about half of your boats.

The other roughly half of your boats float on a different tide: your social skills. You need to do a lot of listening and offering support. Get to know the other people on the team and become known as the guy who says "yes I can look at that." "yes I can help you with that." Writing skill is part of this. Get to know users if you can.

When you combine social skill and product skill, it enables you to connect dots that other people miss. That's really what testers do (I'm going to assume that when you said QA you meant testing or something close to that): we notice inconsistencies that might be important and we report them.

Learning about technical things and programming is helpful over time. In some projects it's absolutely important. If you have gotten your job without that background, then it must not be considered critical in your project.

Also, take an honest inventory of what skills and talents you feel that you do have and consider applying this heuristic: get really really good at things you like to do, and find friends who can help you with things you don't like to do. That's worked well for me over the years. For instance, I like documentation, programming, and analysis, but I'm not very reliable when it comes to any repetitive or periodic task. I prefer to work in "episodes." So I'm better suited for test architecture work, consulting, teaching, or one time testing blitzes.

share|improve this answer
    
Fantastic advice. In addition to learning everything about the product, you might want to learn about (and speak with) customers. If customers aren't available, speak with customer support agents. If your product has customer feedback of any type, read through that. Do Google searches about your product (including "product sucks"). Learn the types of things that your customers/stakeholders hate. Ask for usage analytics to learn how your customers use the product. –  jruberto Feb 4 at 1:29
  1. To start with , please keep in mind that your primary objective is to detect bugs. These bugs might be with reference to requirements/common sense/learnings you obtain during the process. 2.You need to have very good documenting skills to log defect raised. I have seen many instances where lot of time got wasted just to understand what defect is.
  2. You need to have very good communication skills/assertiveness/ tact /diplomacy to get defect fixed/track defect properly as required.
  3. You need to have passion for quality and processes.
  4. You need to have lot of patience , tolerance and adaptability to change.

Formal training that you might need is: 1.Testing concepts/deliverables/processes 2.Testing organization 3.Defect Management process 4.Waterfall/Agile

share|improve this answer

Testins is definately not about learning theoritical concepts etc., It is more of application of common sense and functional knowledge. I suggest you start learn functionality of your application and follow below guidelines. If you still want to learn about testing theory concepts(which I'm afraid not going to be very useful in doing actual testing) I suggest you read http://www.tutorialspoint.com/software_testing/ and be done with learning theory. If you want indepth learning of theoritical concepts CBOK CSTE (http://www.softwarecertifications.org/cboks/cste/skillcategories.htm). You are not going to learn more theory than that. Coming to what is important in real world testing, I would suggest you concentrate on below points.

  1. It is not always necessary that we have to know alot about computers to be able to do testing. Once you know the basics of computers as to how to access internet, use MS Word, MS Excel etc, you can do manual testing, if the application you are supposed to test is a User Interface application. You just have to learn the functionality of the applciation. For example, if you are a manual tester for stackoverflow.com website, you will have to know how to post questions, give answers, upvote, close and other similar functionality that this site offers. Then you are good to do it.

  2. However, the testing you are supposed to perform is something to do with modifying xmls, writing sql queries and testing mainframes etc., you will have to have the specialised trainings in the specific areas.

  3. Once you have learned basics of the application you have to test and learned the process to test it, the next thing you have to know is how to use basic test management software that is being used by the organisation you are working with. Which again is not that complicated, how to document tests, bugs etc.,

  4. You will also have to learn different approaches to design test cases, scenarios. Writing test cases and scenarios is not a random work, you have to think about what different scenarios the specific application may be used. Have to decide what are the likely inputs and outputs to expect. Are there any rare scenarios that may break etc., for this you will have to gain experience of that application functionally.

  5. Next set of skills you need to posess is communication skills. Your test cases, bugs have to be clear and concise. You have to confidently elaborate why you think certain failure is a bug.

All the best.

share|improve this answer

If you want to be only a good QA employee then start knowing about the product of your company.

But if you want to expert in QA then you have to "practice" a lot.Remember you are the master of your own.No body will help you to learn.You have to find your way and that is only possible if you start practicing.Question is how to start?

1.Try to join weekend testing group.It will really help you to improve your skill.

2.Read more blogs.

If you want to learn something then start writing a blog on that topics.But don't copy from other source just read that topics from any source (Its may be from books or online resources) and then start writing that to your blog.Try to explain that topic from your own.This is also a good way to learn.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.