In Malcom Gladwells Outliers book he made the 10,000 hour rule famous - the idea that it takes approximately 10,000 Hours of deliberate practice to master a skill

What would do in your 10,000 hours to master testing ?
500 hours practising performance testing, 1000 hours practising security testing, 2000 hours practising usability testing, 400 hours practising writing skills,300 hours practising communication skills, etc ?

10,000 hours is maybe too big a goal – so if you were to set a target of doing 2 hours practice a week every week this year, how would you spend your 100 hours ?

Views: 6881

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hey Phil Kirkham,

I would like to spend 25 hours in learning Testing from all the testers worldwide + 25 hours in attending the Testing Conferences, Workshops and Meet ups + 25 hours in teaching/sharing my experiences with the newbies in Testing + 25 hours in practicing the learned/observed/noticed skills. Also additional to these 100 hours I will spend 20 more hours to blog my experiences and will share it with all the testers.




A mix between communicating via the online community, Weekend Testing, Testing Dojos and perhaps online support/coaching.
I'd love to become more skilled in Security Testing.  So I'd probably invest the full 100 hours gaining the large amount of knowledge & skill-sets required for that

I started with reading books, and learning to test, and learning to program. After a while I made the decision to look for teaching opportunities, to contribute to online groups like Weekend Testing, and currently I am wandering my path towards local testing user groups. With regular testing challenges from peers and consultants I feel that I am learning, right besides my learning at my daily work.


One thing I do more often than not is to solve a problem I have at work in my spare time. Once I am puzzled by something I am unaware of, I take a step back, leave for home, and look up possible solutions within a different context. When I get back to work, I can solve the problem at work easily. Early on I did this with tests for LDAP functionality, and I used this approach recently in order to learn more about webservices.


Another thing I would like to point out, is to write about a subject. If you can sustain the writing pace, you will learn a lot about a topic while writing about it.


These are my key ingredients:

- reading

- writing

- practicing



Please can you tell me where you practiced to test .

Are there any websites for that where a new tester can hone their skills

Thank you

In those 100 hours:


I would try to learn more about various testing mnemonics (RIMGEA for Bug Advocacy by Cem Kaner was really helpful to me).


The other idea I find very fascinating is that of an exploratory checklists designed to guide experienced tester in his work (we’ve tried that at work and I was pleased with the result) so definitely that’s something I would devote my time to (as in doing it better).


Apart from that, I would spent rest for book and blogs reading. 

I wonder if you can share your  exploratory checklists,

There are not enough of these on the web,

And we lack the community review abilities which comes from sharing these.

I might post another discussion on this topic, and my idea for Opensource Tests.

At the TestBash - 23rd March 2012 in Cambridge Steve Green is talking through the 8-layer model for Exploratory Testing

I read books and blogs and make notes as I go through them (some people underline the key sentences). I read my notes to see whether they make any sense. I revisit the published material if I have to till I am sure that I can explain the written material to someone who has not read it. This makes me

Secondly, I record seminars on popular testing related topics or find published podcasts online that I listen and write them down word by word. Then I read the content over and over again till I am sure I
understand them completely.  This is then
filed away to my digital library.

After a good few years of more hands-off QA work, I can thoroughly concur with first part and something all in QA should remember to do.  It's so easy to get lost in theories, when practical application of theory has so much more educational value in IT.  Most of the learning has come from practical application.  You can get a lot of information from reading on the web, though case studies are the most valuable (too easy to write from ideal-scenario perspective).

I definitely prefer 'doing' to 'reading' as I find, for me personally, I learn much more this way.

As for what I would devote the time to, I am lucky enough to be working in the area of Testing which interests me the most - Performance Testing, so I would use the time to enhance my current skillset and make me a better Consultant.

Obviously I would keep a few hours spare to update STC/Twitter/LinkedIn with my new found knowledge and share the experiences with others.

Of course I very rarely leave a project without learning something new, so you could say I am already paid to learn these new skills!




I would devote the greater proportion of my time - say 50 hours - to practicing black box testing techniques.  Then:


25 hours reading books and blogs related to testing

10 hours writing new blog posts, responding to others' posts and comments and tweets

10 hours practicing communication techniques

5 hours doing/reflecting on things outside testing but from which I can learn lessons to be applied to testing.


Great question Phil - thanks.






© 2018   Created by Rosie Sherry.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service