Happy new year everybody! Thanks a lot for your support so far! We are doing everything to make your experience as awesome as it can be!
I’ve been in the software testing industry for a few years now and I must say I love it. I think I’m ready to share a list of things that have helped me to become better. Be aware that these are not best practices as I don’t believe they really exist for testing but that’s another story for another time.
1. Read books and articles.
Subjects should vary from software testing to more general subjects and the particular features of a product you are going to test. Most people think that to become the expert you have to have a very focused reading only about software testing, but for me it wasn’t like this. Read random stories, books, blogs, listen to music. Be creative, explore new stuff, don’t sit in a little box. Go out and stay outside of the box. 🙂 If you’re looking for software testing books to read here are two of my latest favorites:
2. Go to conferences, meetings, seminars.
Participating in the community is very useful because then you feel being part of something big and you’d also meet people who are passionate about what they are doing. I’ve been to London Tester Gathering Event, Zappers and many other. Meetup.com is the best place to have an overview of upcoming events. Dig in!
3. Meet new people & listen.
People are the key. Meet with people who are very good at software testing and listen to them carefully what they have to say. This year I’ve become better thanks to Trish Khoo , Kristjan Uba, Oliver Vilson, Steve Green and James Bach.
4. Accept challenging work environments.
I’ve always had strong feelings to go outside of Estonia and see what happens in other parts of the world. I started working at Flextrade last year and when I started I didn’t have any idea of foreign exchange trading. Now after 10 months I feel confident and my knowledge has grown thanks to the people around me. Exchange knowledge people and gain new professional connections.
5. Join crowd-sourced testing.
Join any crowd-sourced testing site and check out Testlio while you’re at it. What I learned from a few of these sites is that I realized testing is that you can’t say you’re a good tester if you find lots of bugs. It’s so much more than that. 😉
6. Start writing a blog.
I know I started quite late, but better late than never, right? Many people are afraid of sharing their thoughts, but really, get over it! I did. Getting your thoughts out there helps yourself as well as others who want to learn from your experience.
7. Travel as much as you can.
Before I moved to the UK I spent 2 months away from work. I lived in the Dominican Republic, rode with horses on the beach, swam in the ocean, watched the world’s best kitesurfers. It was such a different environment. In the end, I got bored and wanted to get back to work and focus on what makes me happy work wise. Traveling and having a long vacation made me realize who I am and who I want to become.
Probably you can’t follow all these steps at once (that’s why they are steps), because if you take too many steps together you may hurt yourself and disconnect. Take it easy. Choose yourself the most effective route to becoming a better tester.
As a final thought, you’ve probably noticed I don’t have any ISTQB or any other certifications and I think I’ve done very well without them. I don’t know what would have happened if I would have had many certifications, but what I want to say is don’t feel sad or left behind because you don’t have too many papers to prove yourself worthy. Just believe in yourself.
By Kristel Viidik