Having an influential writing skill is one of the many skills and challenges for a practicing software tester(beginner or seasoned). With some dedicated practice, I improved my writing skills. As a result of which I was able to come up with this blog post by breaking my ‘writing block’.
A few years back when I started as a Beginner in Software Testing in Moolya, I was taken through different hands-on exercises, assignments, and projects by my mentors. Moolya Academy (an initiative by Moolya for Beginners in Software Testing) played a vital role in assisting testers like me to practice by combating such challenges.
I picked up a few challenges which I had faced in my testing career to share with you. Also, I consulted my colleagues and other testers from the community to identify the common challenges faced by testers in this field.
Students are taught programming skills right from school. On the other hand, testers without any prior testing knowledge are usually trained on the job. Do you think Software Testing is missing its place in the curriculum?
Before going ahead, it should be clear that these are not hard code list of practices and challenges for every beginner. These are the most common challenges faced by most testers when they start off. If I had to face a challenge ‘a’, it is not necessary that others also had to face the same in the beginning of the practice.
Some common practices and challenges for beginners in Software Testing are listed below –
Do Your Homework
Testers sometimes do not go that extra mile to explore and find the most relevant learning resource of Software Testing. By doing your own research on the subject matter, one can get a better picture of it.
Existing Perception about Software Testing from decades
Traditional Software Testing practices and approaches are practiced by most software testers. There is a list of fixed perceptions that many follow in their practice.
Hiding oneself from the Mentors, Books, Peers
Can you name any five Software Testing books which you have read in recent times to improve your testing acumen? Or can you name your role model in the testing field whom you want to be mentored by? There are a lot of references and help that is available if you have the passion in you to learn and grow. As a beginner in software testing, one needs to let go of any hesitation and this helps to stay updated with the latest practices.
Where to start?
One needs to have clarity on the above 3 points to begin the learning process. So one can begin with first building a strong foundation.
Which idea to follow?
The greatest complexity for a tester is to choose between the ideas and approaches that have been established by different testers over a period of time. Clarity just remaining as a word here at this stage for the beginner!
Understanding the subject and its purpose
As a consequence, one needs to have a good understanding of the subject and its context to choose the most appropriate practice.
A Business requirement is always time-bound. It requires quick delivery from the testers end, so one has to start writing the code and begin testing immediately. Business timelines are mostly tight so one has to stick to those deadlines without compromising the testing quality. To remind, Software Testing is to provide quality-related information to businesses and stakeholders so they make an informed decision.
Familiar with words Structural language, OOP, Design Pattern but not Testability and its Coverage
Programming is structural and can have an object-based concept with design patterns. It is quite common to know them. Likewise, are there any structured and object-based concepts written for software testing which is known to programmers, talent acquisition team, or even by the testers themselves? The practitioners who practice Software Testing with passion and dedication many times develop such structured approaches and tools but do not write or share much about it. This contributes to the challenges in learning for the beginners in software testing, as well as those who are experienced in this field, yet are open to learning. Every tester must indulge in knowledge sharing activities for the betterment of the practice and community.
Communicating about the testing being done, its importance and limitations
When I do not have clarity in the fundamentals of Software Testing, how do I communicate my testing and importance of its outcome and its shortfall? Wait, how do programmers communicate the same for their code, task, and progress to people? Did you or your tester communicate the importance and priority of the test they did what you had asked or expected to see? Help your tester!
The bitter choice – Automation or Manual Testing?
The practice of programming surely gives a perspective in testing to testers. Having some knowledge of programming can prove to be extremely useful in the current technology era and industry. But under-weighting the Software Testing practice with Automation practice will disturb it for sure. Rather encourage, how automation can assist a beginner in software testing in the initial days. This will avoid the beginner from getting confused about what to choose and one can practice both with the same attitude and interest. Next to this is, “should I go for programming or manual testing?” This is very common to happen with a beginner or an experienced person when they do not get help to know about the craft. Unless we cannot think of the test and skilled in framing one, the automation cannot assist better in getting the coverage and learning the testability over the time period.
Adapting to programming technicalities
Here is an important question for you. Automation requires programming knowledge like data types, variable, method, class, and procedures. Do you know what technicalities are required in the case of Manual Testing? Ask your team or a tester in you! This tends to pose a challenge for a tester in the manual / automation field.
Tools and Skills
Having the idea of what can become a useful tool for a tester to assist in their testing, is a challenging task in the initial days and later too. Building the tools, creating a list, and knowing how to use them is one of the skills. Has any tester ever showed you the list of tools they have used? Another side of the problem is knowing the tool and using it inappropriate test cases. Such ideas have to be sanitized for the testers in the beginning days and every day.
So where do we begin?
As a fresher to software testing, what are the skills that you should possess? Take time to think. Now ask this question – “What are all the Software Testing skills?” List them. As a tester, have this list building as a practice. Even as an organization has this list building each day as a software testing practitioner. This helps us identify our testing strengths and the scope of improvements.
Written by Vani Vinay| Senior Exploratory Software Tester1