I am about to graduate in the Fall and have this summer to try and line something up in terms of a job. I wasn't able to snag an internship even though I am almost done with a computer science degree and was looking to get into the SQA world.

I have no actual industry experience I can put on my resume (only school projects which aren't that impressive - and if they are I dont know why I didn't get reponses). In my last semester I plan to take a Software Engineering course (that will include a lot of topics in SQA) but I was wondering whether I should take some online training course right now that could provide certification that I am able to put on a resume. What are the major industry certifications and do they even help too much when looking for a SQA position in the US? What are the most important tools that employers look for that are used industry wide in SQA (selenium seems pretty popular). Are there any widely known books that everyone knows about that I should study for SQA (ex. for C the K&R book is still very widely used)?


3 Answers 3


These summer projects from Mozilla seem perfect for you - this is real-life stuff (that any future interviews are bound to have heard of), you can show it to employers, and you'll start building your network.

Summer Projects for Mozilla Web QA

If Mozilla doesn't appeal, then there are a number of other routes you can explore to gain some testing experience. I'd suggest looking up the Weekend Testers for a start.


First off, the best way depend a bit on your personal skillset, but I'll give you a few things to consider.

Some organizations value certifications, and especially before you have work experience they can be used to show employer that you know about SQA. ISTQB foundation probably suits best at the beginning of SQA career.

The tools are often important when applying for jobs. If you become quite good in a niche expertice, especially in tool that is expensive, like for example less used LoadRunner protocol, your knowledge will become more expensive as well. You could also learn how to use some test management tools like HP ALM or Meliora Testlab. Those are used in most organizations. If you also learn to do automated testing using for example Jenkins CI, you will have better chances.

One way to get some real world testing experience is to join the crowdtesting projects. You could try for example uTest.


Below is the list of good books on Sotware Quality Assurance:

  • Ron Patton – “Software Testing”
    (great for beginners)

  • Lee Copeland – “A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design”
    (fits for all, from beginners to test managers)

  • James Whittaker – “How to Break Web Software”
    (for advanced testers, better to read after getting some experience)

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