Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Experts advise on Testing & General Software

Srini is a great tester in testing world.

Please read his advice for testing people.

Here is my advice to all aspiring QTP or Test engineers and professionals. These are lessons I learnt personally and useful for any software professional who is serious in testing.

1. Do not look for short cuts to learn and get knowledge. Have a long term plans to get good mileage in this profession. FAQs, etc are good to read only for knowing top line. To succeed in the interview you will have to win it from inside of your heart, invest honestly in studying and expect fruits. Banking on FAQs, interview questions etc may get you the job but will not keep you there.

2. Most important for a tester is to understand what makes a good tester? How he/she is different from a developer? What value tester brings to the table? How to find talent in testing and nurture it? How testing is different from QA or any flavor of process (CMM, Six sigma) etc.

3. Invest in sharpen problem solving and "thinking out of box" abilities. Read good stuff on testing. Participate in conferences, discuss with test professionals in other companies, participate in activities in SPIN, etc. Solve puzzles ( zig saw or shankuntala devi). Never
stop learning.

4. Sharpen Technology skills. Know about "How web works" , DNS, Networking, protocols, XML, Web services, Cryptography, databases, Datawarehousing, UNIX commands, Fundas of J2EE, .NET, system admin list is endless. Today testers are expected to know the basics. I take lot of interviews for various positions. Most of the people do not have these basics. It is difficult to survive in this world of testing only banking on "Automation tool" knowledge.

5. Lean programming languages like , C#, Java and scripting languages like PERL, python, Unix shell etc. This will increase utility value of yours. Developers and PMs will respect you.

6. Improve communication skills - take English class. Improve vocabulary. Read Read and Read. Most of the people I have seen ignore this important skill. They can not write a paragraph on their own without spelling and grammatical mistakes. Make a
habbit to learn a new word a day.

7. Read and write on blogs ( Google to find out what is blog- if you don't know already). Here are few blogs that I suggest for every test professional.

http://www.testingeducation.org/ - cem kaners free
testing courses.
http://www.testing.com/cgi-bin/blog - Brian Merick
http://blackbox.cs.fit.edu/blog/james/ - James Bach
- highly respected Visionary in testing.
http://blogs.msdn.com/micahel/ - Microsoft's Famous
Braidy Tester
http://www.developsense.com/blog.html - Michael
Bolten - Testing in plain English
http://www.kohl.ca/blog/ - Jonathan Kohl
http://www.io.com/~wazmo/blog/ - Bret Pettichord -
Automation testing Guru and

my own blogs -
http://blogs.msdn.com/shrinik ( my Microsoft blog -
is closed since left that company)

Last but not the least, Be a person with positive outlook in the life. Believe in yourself other wise nobody else will believe you.

All the best. Let us build a next generation test professionals community and change the way world does testing today.

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