Hi all,
Imagine your friend came to you with a question: "I wanna be a tester! How do I become one? Where should I start from?". What would you answer to your friend?
Please share your thoughts and opinions on:
- where a non-tester should start his quest of becoming a great tester
- what steps he should take
- what are the main obstacles on the way of a newbie tester

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My 2c.

I'd suggest to read "Testing Computer Software" (2nd Edition) by C.Kaner, J.Falk, H.Q.Nguyen (Amazon link ).

After that, I'd suggest to start reading some blogs on the Internet. Depending on the types of questions the friend has regarding testing, I can probably refer him/her to some relevant blogs/discussion forums.

If the friend wants some practice, I'd do some pair-testing. Grab an open source app, do some testing together. I might even suggest doing that if the friend doesn't ask for it first (although I would expect him/her to ask for it when he/she feels he/she is ready, as I could forget to suggest it).

I believe the obstacles a newbie tester would encounter now are not the same as the one's I encountered myself, so I would suggest being on the lookout for /any/ obstacles, or any feeling of being "hindered" or "pushed". Whether they be "getting a first job", "how to advocate bugs without becoming an annoyance to the team" or maybe even "what to think about all this certification vs. non-certification stuff".
If the friend encounters an obstacle, I think it's better that he/she knows where to find me or other testers, to talk about the obstacle, than it is to "prepare" him/herself to something which might not even happen.
To add to Sarah suggestions, your friend could also register at the Weekend Testing Community which might help him to learn, test applications with testers across the globe.

Yeah, I must say that such communities as e.g. Weekend Tester or uTest are worth spending time in even if you are an experienced tester.
Yeap, that book is great start. Even more, there is Russian translation (see: Ozon ). Almost every tester here at Lviv, Ukraine has read it either at the beginning of his career or later and everyone finds it useful.

And, besides the book, practice is important.
i am a new tester sarah recently got a good job, though i think i am becoming an annoyance for my mentor and development team ,can you help me how should i classify some defects as bugs, and what should i do to increase my skills, all i have is a theoretical knowledge of testing want to gain some skills now, heeelp plzz
I would start with Weekend Testing to get some initial practical experience, follow-up by taking a course like the black box software testing course that Cem Kaner and James Bach developed. There are regular courses offered by the AST. The Miagi-Do school provides challenges and some continuing education. Finally, books and research over the internet may help as well.

Here are some books to get started:
Lessons Learned in Software Testing by Bach, Kaner, Pettichord
Secrets of a Buccaneer-scholar by Bach
Testing Computer Software by Kaner, et al.
Perfect Software... and other illusions about testing by Weinberg

oh, and some of the stuff your colleagues recommend to get the relevant technical background.

I think one way is to start is by thinking as a tester. Take some of your favourite software applications and try to see if it does everything it appears to be doing. This is not a suggestion to find ways to break software at any cost– personally I don’t believe in using extreme measures to break software looking for defects. Try familiar tasks in a different ways and look for inaccuracies. These are the real issues you find in most of the applications, and this will certainly help you testing with loosely put requirements in most of today’s projects.

There are many obstacles you can be aware of. One to avoid is getting lost in tools and technologies. Don’t get me wrong, they are good and required. But select some of them and understand the fundamentals than trying to sweep through all. With the time, you can look at the rest. And never forget to think as a tester, losing that is something you need to avoid, too :-)

Then use all the valuable resources mentioned in other posts together with related websites and forums. You can learn a lot by looking at the questions asked in forums. I still consider I’m new, even after been in the testing over a decade – learning is a continuous process and everyday you will find something new. That’s what makes testing so interesting!

First of all I join all the good recommendations already added here.
However I think it actually depends on the background (education and experience), motivation (why tester?) and even region (Minsk?) where he/she want to get a job.

I believe there is a difference if you want to get a tester's job in software company compared to non-software company, i.e. if you apply as a tester to bank, mobile operator, government organization, etc. Even software companies are typically one business domain oriented.
Sometimes it is more important to learn business domain (i.e. insurance specific in your country) than testing. My observation is: in non-software and small software organizations domain knowledge is more important because thy typically underestimate the value of pure testing skills/experience.
Here in Minsk the majority of testers work in software companies that provide outsourcing services. We had no special courses that provided tester's education until last year - this means that the mentioned majority of testers studied on their own. However that is not a problem at all, imo, you do not need a degree to become a great tester.

I do agree that business domain is very important, but in the context the knowledge of business domain is not more important that knowledge of testing.
In this case the above recommendations are very much valid. It may be a good idea to try learning process/terminology used in the company you try to apply to (do they speak at local or regional conferences? Such as SQA Days).
Also make also sure to prove English skills, they are outsourcing to Europe/USA, aren't they?
Actually yes, the given recommendations are pretty much valid. It's true for both: the ones above and the ones below.
English is very important as well because belarussian IT outsourcing companies work mostly with USA and Europe.
Regarding the conferences, I must notice that they are a good source of knowledge, mainly for juniors though (imo).
- where a non-tester should start his quest of becoming a great tester

Right here.

- what steps he should take

Take every kind of education available. Ask questions.

- what are the main obstacles on the way of a newbie tester

If you want a paid position, recruitment agents, they will use a simple test to search filter you out of the process before you get a chance to impress at an interview. this is why well known certificates are useful. they wont make you a great tester but they will help you get the first paid position. Then you need to kick on from there.



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