I'm new to software testing. During the last few months, I was studying software testing terms/terminologies and how to create test cases from requirements etc...

It started to get boring and I think it's about time for me to get my hand dirty with tools! I heard about Selenium, QTP, DevTest, HP Mercury, Loadrunner etc.

Which tool should I start with? Which ones are preferred by employers as I'm currently looking for a junior software testing job.

(FYI, I have some general programming language knowledge, I don't know if this help)


  • 2
    Are you looking for information on automated software testing and their tools, or general software testing tools? There's a bit of a difference, really. Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 15:39
  • What level of coding skill do you have? Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 17:12
  • 1
    My question is why do you say "boring"? If it is the study guides and classes, then I get that... school can be boring. But if you find the idea of testing boring, then I wonder how satisfied you will really be in this career? Just because you are playing with tools doesn't remove the fact you still need to understand the concepts of testing & how to best apply them. Maybe I'm just reading too much into that. But something to think about before you possibly invest too much into a career you won't be happy in.
    – CKlein
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 13:12
  • Boring? what is boring i don't understand. Also mind.. A Fool with a Tool is still a Fool. Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 11:11

7 Answers 7


The only tool you have listed which is free is Selenium. So I'd suggest you start there.

I don't believe it's as important to pick the one, specific tool that is hot in the market right now. It's better to understand how test automation tools work in general, what tradeoffs must be made, etc. That way, then knowledge is quickly transferable to other tools.

That said, Selenium is pretty popular with lots of employers these days. You can see that in the volume of Selenium questions and answers here.

  • +1 - Having the knowledge of what makes good tests is something you need to run/build test with any tool. It's also something you need for when you're not using a tool. You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day because we rather instinctively know how to eat. You can't give a man a fishing pole and expect the same result. (In fact, it's very likely he'll do little more than tangle up the lines of the other fishermen...)
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 16:21
  • I agree with Joe whole-heartedly. Knowing a tool if you don't know when and how to best utilize it doesn't mean much. You could be the most skilled person in the world & create lovely automated tests, but if they provide no value to the project they aren't worth anything.
    – CKlein
    Commented Aug 2, 2011 at 13:09

Welcome to the testing profession, Mr. Y. I agree with Joe Strazzere regarding Selenium. In addition, you would be wise to practice writing test plans. If you want to build a house, it is not enough to be able to swing a hammer; you must also have blueprints.


I concur with Joe, Selenium is good as a start, or you can pick any open source testing tool - many come in and out of fashion. What you should look at it learning how to apply the tool and integrate it into testing, so at some point focus on automated testing and maybe some programming - especially if you look at Selenium, it's real power comes not from the record and playback but being able to code Selenium in other frameworks.

You can check http://www.opensourcetesting.org/ for other tools and frameworks that are used.


OK, Be honest, which ones do you have the foundation skills to start with? Each of these disciplines have a set of foundation skill which are distinct, from manual testing to functional automation to performance. Assuming that the foundation skills of all of these areas is a lot like assuming that the foundation skills for bookkeeping, managerial accounting and financial auditing are all the same.

As you are new, begin with manual testing. Hone your testing skills to a sharp edge. As you add development skills then begin to look at functional automation. Work diligently in this area. As you move to performance testing you will now need to have skills in the area of application architecture, networking, project managemnet, development, testing, requirements management, systems analysis, statistics and custom reporting.


for Java: Maven + Surefire, TestNG, for UI testing add Selenium 2 with WebDriver API, JMeter (horrible thing)


I think JMeter is good for start (I have started from this tool) and another think if you do not want to get bored during learning (reading boring manual and so on) try for example write script for one of many browser game, this script should login to this game and try to play instead of you (building new buildings and so on) It is fun and you will learn how to use this tool very fast.


If you want to learn any performance or load testing tool, than J-meter is best option as it is very easy to implement and it's a open source, you just required jdk 1.5 or above version should be installed in your machine to run j-meter

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