Beginner’s Guide: How to Become a Software Tester? 2020 Update

@KingaTest

It’s 2020 people, the world is changing. So do our careers and expectations.
I was recently asked how to start a career in the IT world. How to become a tester/developer?

I thought that it is quite hard for me to answer, at first – because I’m old and it’s been a while since I was looking for my first engagement, moreover, the job market is changing very fast. the expectations, that were given to the candidates 2, 3 or more years ago, might be no longer valid. I often train students, but they are usually people, who study programming or follow a similar technical path, but how does it look like today, when you are completely fresh in the business?

I decided to gather some useful tips and share it with anyone in need.

I’ve asked Twitter first

How to become a tester/developer?

A group of my kind IT-related fellows responded:

I was also given some tips and linked to some good readings written by my Software Testing Gurus:

Ministry of testing advised this one, it is a great reading for beginners.

I particularly recommend this bit for all of you who are looking for an answer: What do software testers do

Here is also a great piece of reading by Katrina ClokieTesting for non-testers

And one more from Angie Jones.

Ministry of Testing recommends also following books:

  • Explore It! by Elizabeth Hendrickson, an excellent book about exploratory testing.
  • Evil by Design by Chris Nodder,
  • Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory is one of those books that everyone raves about and you wonder why it took you so long to read it.
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman – it is a psychological book, what’s more, he got a Nobel Prize for his research in the field of the economy! Definitely worth to read.

I would also recommend for Polish readers:

  • Zawód Tester by Radosław Smilgin – a good guide for the newbies.

Summarizing all the above, when you get a sense of what the testing or programming is, ask yourself if you like it and only then go further, join a community and gather knowledge.

Tai Lopez – pozdro dla kumatych 😀

What else

My overview of the market nowadays in Poland (as I live here) is that the demand for new employees is bigger every year. I live in Wrocław, which has become a great software hub during the past few years. We have a lot of international companies, who employ hundreds of people, we do also have tech startups and software houses, who create new job opportunities. And, to be honest, even with the great number of people finishing technical studies, it seems to be not enough to feel the employer’s needs.

That’s why, I believe, that new people are still needed on the market. Non-IT people, especially in the field of software testing. Certain skills, taken from the outside of the IT world, could be really beneficial when it comes to the act of testing.

I also have some advice for the people, who want to change their career path.

Some useful tips from me

  1. If you would like to start in the IT industry, just because “it’s money there”, please think twice. It’s great to earn money and have a stable post, but at the same time, when you start over, it should at least give you joy and make you feel happy about what you do.
    Money is not everything.
  2. Discover possible career paths within IT. There is no only the programming and the testing thing. You can be a Scrum Master, Business Analyst, UX Designer, Graphic Designer, Product Owner … plenty of possibilities.
    Do not limit yourself in your search.
  3. Write down your strengths and capabilities – there is no point in completely changing your career path into IT – because it is fashionable.
    You should be interested in the subject.
  4. Ask yourself if you are a curious person and if you like to learn new things, because, for me, those are the most important features of a tester or a developer.
    Never-ending learning 🙂

If the above are sorted out check out those advises:

  1. Find yourself a Mentor. It doesn’t have to be a person you know face-to-face. It might be someone, who is reachable for you – on the internet, who can guide you and help you in learning new abilities. Someone, you can follow and who can inspire you.
  2. Go to some career portal and look for the IT job offers.
    DO NOT APPLY yet 😀
    Read the advertisements and find out what is expected from a software tester or a developer of a certain language.
    It might be your guide – what is missing in your education, what you should learn, where to look.
    Go and learn.
    All blogs, books, and posts could be helpful, but at first, you should know what you are looking for.

Is it enough to become a software tester?

When I meet people during the job interviews or when I train them in testing, it doesn’t matter to me how old they are. Don’t have a chip on your shoulder about your age. When you feel like changing into IT – make it happen.

The most important for me is that people did their homework. What I mean by that? They did some work on their own.

Read the whole internet, but don’t repeat blindly. Have your own mind.

I’ve heard an opinion that it is enough to get the ISTQB certificate in order to become a software tester.
B**** The certificate proves just you’ve spent some money and a couple of hours of your time to memorize the answers for the test, not, that you can test anything.

Take any website you want and test it. Try to break it. Stress it. Note all your ideas for functional and UI improvements and bring it all to the job interview. I believe that the moment “tell us about yourself” is quite a good timing for the presentation.

And if you still enjoy it – it might mean that you are a superb match for the job.

If you have further questions, reach me on Twitter.

I wish you guys the best of luck in your career-changing, future interviews and finding your perfect IT-match.

Cheers!

Kudos

kudos

Derived from Greek word “κῦδος”, meaning “fame” and “glory”, became particularly popular in social media nowadays. I saw the other day some friends of mine posting Kudos pictures on their LinkedIn walls, in order to thank their peers for something.

I thought it is a great idea because in our workplaces or professional lives we sometimes tend to overreact on hard, upsetting situations, but not always appreciate these tiny little acts of kindness that other people provide us with. I think of great work within the project, but also professionalism and just being a human in your company, community, and society. Sometimes we forget to say thank you or sometimes it seems obvious for us that people do a great job, because they want to and they step out their comfort zone, which, in reality, is not obvious and it requires effort.

funny-pictures-cat-has-a-lot-of-pasta-to-eat

Local Kudos

At first, I need to say Kudos to my Man – you are the most supportive person ever!

Kudos to my great teams at New Voice Media, who helped me to expire the field of Product and taught me a lot about the project, processes, and people. Sorry for being a pain in the ass from time to time 🙂 It is an ongoing great journey, full of adventures 🙂

Kudos to the best Scrum Masters / Agile coaches at New Voice Media, who made me grow as a tester and Product Owner. There are/were people that taught me how to make Scrum fun again. I need to say κῦδος to Ewelina Wyspiańska, who is the best Scrum Master I’ve ever met and a great friend as well. She facilitates the meetings in the way that all benefit from those. (She can draw too – I can’t 😦 ). She is also one of the pillars of the Wrocław Agile community and volunteers to share her knowledge and skills with everybody.

Kudos to Helen Lisowski for amazing agile inspirations – she always says that the work of a great Scrum Master is invisible. I couldn’t agree more. She writes great articles and shares her knowledge on multiple events. She’s just great!
And, of course, kudos to Piotr Wieczerzak, who was a good spirit for the entire office and now everybody is weeping around the office, when he is not at NVM anymore.

It is important to be surrounded by the people, who believe in you, in your skills and try to cheer you up at work (for example by bringing donuts).

Colorful Abstract Heart Or Love Icons - Vector

Picture from: kudosmedia.com.au

Local Community Kudos

I need to say a few words about our local community heroes, people, who volunteer their time and skills to create events, write articles, blogs, do presentations for fun and for everyone else’s benefit. Kudos to great Test:Fest organizers – each year they do a stunning (FREE!) event for local testers. They not only host a fantastic conference but also take responsibility for beginner speakers and pair with them to teach how to speak in public.

Kudos to so many great individuals, who inspire me on daily basis with their knowledge and point of view (I see what you write and say on the internet!) – Aleksandra Kornecka – this girl is on fire! She speaks at the conferences, runs a community for female testers and organizes events for beginners in testing to help people join IT.

Kudos to Joanna Moćko – the good spirit of many Polish testing events – such as Testing Cup – for being a shining star on all of the conferences – always ready to help – always on time.

Kudos to Zuzanna Pacholczyk and all PL Geek Girls Carrots – I admire Zuzanna’s energy and ideas in running GGK meetings in Wrocław. I had a privilege to be part of two of them and those were very important events for me. Kudos to Zuzanna for driving women to get into technology and showing them this option as an achievable choice for a professional career.

Ladies first, but I just want, as a software tester in Poland, say kudos to Piotr Wicherski – a person who is guilty of being super-patient, super- understanding and super-helpful for all young testers looking for the answer. Piotr is a book of wisdom in the field of software testing, recruitment, and local events 🙂

Worldwide Kudos

Kudos to Daniel Knott, Rob Lambert, Jo ColantonioMaaret Pyhäjärvi, Danny Dainton, Maciej Wyrodek, Victor Slavchev , other bloggers, authors and all the people, who inspire me to grow – for great writings, even better conversations, and meetings full thought exchange.

Kudos to communities, which teach and enable testers to develop in their field and just create new opportunities for recognition.  Kudos to Ministry of testing for AAAAAAAALLLLLL they do. Kudos to Rosie and Richard, who still want to move on, write, review, present and create new communities for testers.

Kudos to Abstracta US, for empowering me and reminding that I have a blog and the audience, who is waiting for the next article 😀 It helps a lot!

Private Kudos

In the end, in the world full of terrors ;), I would like to say just kudos to YOU, my Reader, who visit the blog and even during the toughest days, when I say, oh crap, I’m closing the website, just come and read and visit and say hello sometimes on Twitter.

It is very nice to have you here 🙂

kudos-to-you

 

P.S. Writing this article cheered me up a lot. I thought about all great moments I’ve had with all of you 🙂