I have total 10 years of experience in testing. I am switching to Corporate Training now. I have been told to teach manual testing to a batch of developers who want to switch to Testing. I have not got opportunity to interact with these people till now. Need your advice/inputs regarding.

  1. What topics need enforcement?
  2. What will be specific needs of these people?
  3. Which technical/soft skills developers normally have will help them to switch to testing?
  4. Which technical/soft skills developers normally have need tweaking to switch to testing?
  • What will they be testing? Also, will you have other testers that these guys are supplementing or are they the whole testing team? I think that if they're going to supplement other testers, then you should focus on some strengths they will be bringing to the table already. Also, is this functional testing or something broader?
    – Daniel
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 19:11
  • I will get to know about these details in next 2-3 days.
    – Manasi
    Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 7:52

4 Answers 4


I have to disagree with SayushiAndo about the ISTQB material - that would not give "solid testing knowledge" in my opinion. Nor would knowing the difference between validation and verification - these are basic items which there's a good chance your developers already know if not by those terms.

My suggestion would be to start with the difference between tester-mindset and developer-mindset. The two are mutually incompatible, but someone can switch between them. It's just not possible to be both at the same time (since the focus of developer-mindset is building where the focus of tester mindset is somewhere between exploring and breaking. If you focus on breaking while trying to build, you'll never get anywhere.

The next thing I'd suggest is looking at the bug report from the other side: as developers, they know what they like to see in a bug report - so as testers they're going to be looking for ways to get that information into their reports.

The other main thing I'd suggest is encouraging them to think sideways - look at different ways of doing things, equivalence sets and so forth.


For the transformation from Developer to Tester (with a development background), my answer here will be oriented towards what can be done in a short amount of time. This will get your Developers acquainted with Software testing quickly, so they can see if Software testing is actually their cup of tea.

Good Software testers are people that really enjoy learning about the domain under test and have a real curiosity about what makes it work. If your students don't like testing after their first month of training, them let them out of your class!

First, I would simply start your students out reading every page of Elisabeth Hendrickson's fine book on Exploratory testing called Explore It!. This will give your students a firm foundation on manual testing, which is the foundation of all good testing.

Second, I would have them start creating automated tests with a functional testing framework like Selenium. You could just have them create tests for their (or your) favorite website.

These two training activities should overlap some, you could start creating automated tests after they have spent the first two weeks on Exploratory Testing study and exercises.

Another book that I would recommend is Debugging by Thinking by Robert Charles Metzger

Metzger's book is very unique in that it approaches how to do testing the way Sherlock Holmes and other fictional detectives might of done it, looking at logic, psychology, engineering, etc.

My thought here is that your developer students will pick up practical testing skills from Hendrickson and foundational thinking skills from Metzger.

Good luck and try to have fun with your students!

  • 1
    I would stay away from automation til they fully understand testing Commented Jan 26, 2014 at 11:31

The most important difference between developer and tester is the mind set. Tester should be able to understand the developers, the customers and the project managers and every role in a project. For the developers it is not required. Furthermore there is a chance they will not understand easily what the difference is between validation and verification, and risk based approach, etc. due to their developer background.

What I would do If I were in your shoes is the next:

  • ISTQB CTFL material to go through the testing methodologies to have solid testing knowledge
  • understanding what is the difference between the validation and verification, it is described in the CTFL material, to have the mind set
  • lot of example where the different roles had different viewpoints to have the chance to put in context the first 2 points

apart from the testing how-knows mentioned by various people in this thread, one thing I found useful for a developer is the overview on how various products in the company work together as a solution to the customers.

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