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 ?

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One important ingredient you left out - Malcolm Gladwell pointed out that it has to be "quality" practice time. Some of his examples: the Beatles did theirs in front of demanding German club crowds and Mozart had a demanding father. Sounds like Weekend Testing fits the bill!


A second ingredient is timing and opportunity. I can't remember if it was Gladwell or another author that pointed out the "best" hockey player were born early in the year, Bill Gates got access to nice computer systems as a youngster, and many financial tycoons were born in specific years early in the century from specific types of families. The key is to take whatever opportunities come your way and jump on them. When the door opens, be ready.



I did say deliberate practice :)


and it was Gladwell who wrote about the hockey players and Bill Gates

Oops ... you're right - I missed that. I must need more practice. :)


the link is broken, here it is again: 10,000 hour rule


if it's only 2 hours a week we're talking about, I'd simply read as much as I can. learning from other testers opens your mind to new approaches and techniques. the rest comes with practice, which we get to do anyway :)

Hi everyone,

I am a student from Blekinge university of techology, Sweden. Currently i am doing research on benefits and challenges of automated software testing  .As a part of my thesis I am a doing a survey and this survey aims to study benefits and challenges of automated software testing. By completing this survey, you are helping to develop knowledge that can be used by the researchers and practitioners in the field of automated software testing. The questionnaire has 24 questions in total and takes about 10 to 15 minutes of your time. I will be thankful to you if you can spend some time for answering the survey questionnaire. This is the survey link

Does anyone fancy trying this next year? Maybe committing to 2 hours of testing practice each week with a short blog post? 

I like it the idea, I might try and settle into doing a blog post of my '100 hours' here on STC. Would be great to see others doing it too!

Hello everyone,

If I were doing 2 hours practice a week every week I would spend it on one hour of reading (blogs, articles, books) and one hour would alternate between practicing black box testing techniques, writing, or researching problems I encountered during the week.

As 2012 is on the brink of starting I will try to put this into practice. As two hours seems a bit low I will spent 5 hours per week on practicing and some additional time on logging and writing short (monthly) posts about it.

Best wishes for the coming year,



Lots of hours needed for running Test Hats over the next year but mainly 'business' stuff on the whole, 10k hours sounds about the right amount to get mastery over running our nascent consultancy!

For my own continued professional development there's a few areas I wanted to spend more time on last year and never got around too, ah that old chestnut :)

In terms of where I'd spend 100 hours of fun time in 2012:

  1. 75 hours: Learning more Ruby via hands-on practice, beyond simple scripting.
  2. 25 hours: Creating 'worked examples' of OWASP issues to learn/demonstrate the Top 10 more fully.

On this topic, I read a book called Mastery a few years ago (gave it away to someone...) It has roughly the same idea - you get to know a topic in 1 year, get good in 3 and competent in 5, but mastery is something that you never fully achieve (roughly along those lines as far as I can remember).


I see testing and its role in development as an orchestra playing a symphony; there are many specialists needed to create the final piece. Most professional musicians can play a few instruments, but they tend to focus and specialise in one. I would say, pick a form of testing, make that my skill. Testing fits with other disciplines, so practise communication, practise integration and practise empathy with others. Teach others as well as learn. Balance single-mindedness with broad interest - the best testers don't work in a rut, they use outside knowledge in their testing, so get to know the audience too.

Hi, Joakim Hedvall here

I am a representative for the Swedish IT start-up Movieggs?

Would it be appropriate to offer a real-life test project in a forum like this?

I have no idea if it's a problem finding interesting test projects for newbies, so please excuse me if I'm totally off here.

With the best intentions / Joakim Hedvall

1000 hours practising performance testing, 500 hours practising security testing, 2000 hours practising usability testing, 400 hours practising writing skills,300 hours practising communication skills



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