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I'm a software test engineer and want to improve my manual testing skills so that I can utilize them in my organization.

Please suggest any good exercises specially for manual testing.

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Open source projects don't have special characteristics for manual testing. They are the same as closed source. You can pick any public website and apply these techniques.

To improve manual testing skills, I suggest the following:

  • think like a user not a developer
  • try and break things
  • try and use as many different devices as possible
  • use emulators, virtual devices and remote testing services for different devices, e.g.
    • android studio
    • xcode simulator for iOS
    • Parallels (my favorite)
    • Virtual Box
    • Browserstack
    • Sauce Labs
  • use the different browsers that users use
  • use a variety of data to test valid input for happy paths
  • use invalid data to test sad paths
  • try changing your system clock to the future / past / after midnight GMT locally.
  • use persona testing, e.g. angry, impatient, forgetful, etc.
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In addition to already mentioned suggestions:

  1. First understand what you are testing, think as an end user.
  2. Understand the environment where your product is deployed or hosted. This will help you in checking system beyond the regular functional testing like: if the latest release is not creating too much logs thus filling up memory and the decreasing performance, or may be the new release is writing sensitive information in logs etc...
  3. Understand the domain and interfaces, this will help you in gauging the impact and then in turn, will help in estimating the test scope.
  4. Make sure your slippages are converted into test cases, this will help you in increasing the test coverage and avoiding the same mistake in future.
  5. Its always a good practise to have a regular meeting with Production Support / Technical Support guys, because these are guys who gets the real time issues and they resolve them. Meeting with them, will help you in understanding the product and real time issues.
  6. Try to avoid repetitive tasks as when you do the same task again and again, then being a human, you are prone to loose things. Best thing automate those repetitive task, if not full fledged automation system then at least small small utilities to help you in your daily task.
  7. Last - don't afraid of code, before getting into testing, always ask developer what he has changed and how it will impact other modules, to get a clear picture of what to test or not to test. Thanks.
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You are demonstrating the need to learn. Very good indeed! Here is some advise:

  1. Correct language usage. If you want to come across well and communicate effectively you need to take the time for this.

  2. Read up on methodology. Know your terms and apply them correctly. Avoid common pitfalls.

  3. Apply you mind. Look up existing test cases of good quality. Make sure you come to understand the how and why. Talk to other testers and developers, what are they worried about in the functionality? Initiate 2-sided discussions to come to good test approaches. Read up your bug database. How to catch these in your next test case? Etc Etc.

  4. Think up more approaches as you go along and have fun.

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