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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Am still thinking about exact division in terms of number of hours - but it surely will have lot of Negative Testing , Compatibility testing across devices and web browsers , security testing and testing in cloud. Additionally, I would study management tasks also pertaining to testing - like defining metrics and implementation - measuring and improving, and Test Data and Environment management.

I am trying to add more techniques on preventive ways of QA than corrective in our end to end test solutions. So will be studying more about it.

Hey Phil,

                   Testing hours not define your testing accuracy.Performance testing never depend on time.




I think that generally you're right. Doing something for a long time does not make you good at something. However actively learning how to be better at something generally does help you improve. I know I will never get better at coding if I don't block out some time, set some goals and then work hard at it.

Good testing involves understanding techniques, domain, risks, and technical capabilities. Setting time aside to study and practice these will always help you improve.


Interesting question. To take a stab myself:

Reading anything related to software testing (books, blogs, articles) ~20 hours

Trying out new techniques, approaches and tools ~30 hours

Reflecting and refining my approach ~10 hours

Applying the new and old approaches to real testing scenarios ~40

Well... 10,000 hours is nearly 1430 days at 7 working hours per day.  Given 5 working days per week for an average of 47 working weeks in a year (i.e. minus holiday), that seems to suggest you need to work for 6 years to achieve mastery (which also assumes that everything you learn is static).  That seems like a    l o n g   time, but I'll tell you this - I've been in Test/QA for 25 years, and I'm still learning all the time!

One important topic that appears to be missing from the skills list (performance, security, usability, writing) is common sense - mind you, that's a skill that 99% of people forget that they already possess when aggressive delivery time-scales are imposed - not to mention that it's a skill with which those who impose such time-scales often seem to have become detached!

The link "10000 hours rule" is not working.

Hmm, 1 year, that's a long time, especially if you're fairly new to testing... I don't even know what kind of skills I would need/need to practice the most in say 4 months (I can guess but precision will be a problem).

I wouldn't plan for much longer than a month, except for a few special cases like if I wanted to attend a course or attend/speak at a conference... So I guess my first 10 hours would be spent something like this:

  • 5h of gathering information and practicing security testing / technical web testing / web technology
  • 1,5h of watching presentations I, in that moment, find interesting
  • 30 mins of Twitter
  • up to 30 mins to plan my next 10 hours
  • the rest is dedicated to reflection (so at least 2,5h)

Writing that makes me realize I spend a lot more than 2 hours a week to educate myself... I actually spend more than 2 hours of working time each week educating myself even though some of that time also makes me progress or help me start progressing again in current tasks (well you could argue I learn something every time I actually test but I'm talking about more "focused learning efforts").

Maybe I'm missing the spirit of the topic? .)



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