We're looking to promote one of our customer service agents into a testing role. Right now they roughly go through our deploys in a staging environment prior to it going live. They've requested more formal training in QA testing, and I am looking for ways to get them started on this journey. One question I saw (Training a non-QA employee to do QA) helped a bit, but some of the answers seem out of date. At least one is broken.

3 Answers 3


Have them learn about:

I've done my best to provide links which should be stable for years / decades as they are wikipedia, w3.org, stack exchange, etc.

Note that once they have learned all the above they are exceedingly valuable. You may need to pay them much more and hire additional testers for all the needs they will realize are in their domain - which is also yours.

* Warning - massive topics, be selective in what you apply.


From my personal experience in transitioning from the go-to user support specialist to a more QA-heavy role, I found my involvement in QA and testing activities continue to increase and evolve over time:

  • Understanding the QA process/workflow -> how it fits in the end-to-end SDLC
  • Writing detailed bug reports -> managing issue tracking system
  • Creating user stories and test cases -> test plans and strategies
  • Reviewing tech specs -> contributing/collaborating with developers and engineers
  • Performing exploratory, ad-hoc tests -> functional, acceptance, smoke, regression testing
  • Building empathy with developers/engineers/PMs/BAs and gaining a deep understanding of all the moving parts required to build

Looking back, my foray into QA was pretty informal and organic. Areas I wish I had more formal, in-depth training and guidance in were:

  • Crash course in Quality Assurance 101 (back to basics/fundamentals, key concepts and industry terminology)
  • More coaching/mentorship from in-house QA specialists, developers/engineers, and networking opportunities around my community (online/offline)
  • Knowledge of and exposure to leading QA/Software Testing resources readily available (though this can be discovered through self-education initiatives if the individual is self-motivated)
  • Transparency and insight into prospective career paths/tracks for up-and-coming QAs

ISTQB Foundation level should be enough to start https://www.astqb.org/get-certified/istqb-syllabi-the-istqb-software-tester-certification-body-of-knowledge/

As soon as people learn basis Advanced level can be taken.

Syllabuses about 70-100 pages, easy to read.

  • I think they are looking to training hands-on. ISTQB Foundation is aim to provide basically a common vocabulary of testing, nothing much about how to test itself. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 13:54
  • 1
    In my point of view if qa engineer doesn't know the basically common vocabulary and main idea of testing there is no reason to continue. Also, each syllabus provides the list of books which can be read depends on topic. Advance level provides testing techniques: Advanced Quality Analyst - Section 3 astqb.org/documents/…
    – Nataliya
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:59

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