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How to improve testing skills
Having worked as a software tester for so many years, we get to have that “eye to test”. You tend to look for defects/ gaps everywhere, and almost in everything. But, even after years of experience, if you are not able to get bugs in the system to test, you need to exercise your skills. You need to exercise your mind, to look for errors.
Quality is the biggest priority for all software products. With the booming software testing industry, the demand for skilled testers is on the rise like never before. With the right set of skills, you not only gain projects in software testing but also advance in your career as a tester.
Software testing is not a job, it’s a responsibility. It doesn’t matter, whether you are performing manual testing or using the automation tools to perform the test execution, you need to look for ways to improve the quality and performance of the Software Under Test (SUT). You always need to keep exercising your skills to remain in the competition by keep on reporting the defects before anyone else does, detect the gaps in the requirements before it is evidenced by the customer and to report something extraordinary or different ahead of the others. You can always co-relate past experiences, learning, same work experience with current task and generate a fabulous output.
Software Testing is a challenging job. You need to utilize groundbreaking strategies, to keep looking into more innovative methods to break the software. You have to keep yourself updated with the latest knowledge and technologies as well as you have to continuously provide more qualitative inputs to make the product better. Here are few of the tricks, listed below, to help you in enhancing your testing skills:
#1. Test Everything Around you
When you look around, you can find multiple objects which you can see from the ‘eye to test’. When you are traveling to a location or when you are walking on the road or when you are playing with a kid or when you are reading etc, you can notice everything around you. This is the perfect time to analyze each stuff. I remember while navigating through a Nokia 3310 model (old one), a fellow tester noticed that number 5 is missing in the list. It would be a good practice to Think of at least 5 test ideas for everything around you.
You can think of how can you test a scale, or a spoon, or a book. After following this practice for 20 days, you can see the difference in yourself. You will be full of ideas to test.
#2. Focus on a New thing Every day
For being in testing domain, you need to keep yourself updated. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a small testing technique or an automation tool or a domain specific terminology. Focus on learning at least one new item every day. The small portions of knowledge can fill the mind of beautiful ideas. This practice, if followed sincerely, will surely show wonders in your career. Try it!!!
#3. Know your Requirements
For being a good tester, you need to grasp the requirements of the test objects thoroughly. The requirements are something which can have immense knowledge and can give the proper insight to look at the testing product with a different viewpoint every time. Mug your requirements like a Bible, to remember each and every sub-point and to get in-depth study about the way things work.
#4. Keep Daily Targets
Another strategy is to challenge yourself, on daily basis. Create a daily Challenge for yourself in the terms of the number of defects need to be reported. This strategy helps you in thinking till extreme to accomplish your targets. Try it for 2 weeks, and you will be surprised to see how unusual, but still critical defects you can unveil. The way of looking at the requirements will be changed.
Reading isa very good habit. Always, read whatever you can. It’s not necessary to read only software testing books, but anything which can catch your interest. If you are able to co-relate things correctly, books on any subject will be a treasure for you. The knowledge you have gathered will surely help you in your career sometime or the other.
#6. Take Breaks
Human eyes have the habit of accepting the things the way they are. It is really difficult to look beyond the things which look normal. When working on a project, after a while, the testers are unable to find any defects. This is the saturation point. The best remedy to conquer the saturation point is to Take breaks, observe surrounding, discuss knowledge and resume work. What is the difference? A lot. You will be surprised to see that you can report more defects when you resume work because now the saturation point is over and a new perspective to look has arisen.
#7. Explore More
Conquer your fears and explore more. Exploratory testing is the best type of testing. The more you explore, more you can learn. And more you learn, more you can understand the gaps. So, try to be an exploratory tester and you will be able to fit in all the other categories.
#8. Learn from Others
The scope for learning never stop. The best way to stay updated is to be in active netwo rk and participate in the seminars, meet-ups, conferences and training. These keep your mind active and you are open to think beyond the possibilities and out of the box.
Learn from others mistakes and the way they have found new defects. The innovative methodologies should be discussed and implemented. The new ideas gathered, can help in improving the testing strategies.
#9. Coding Skills
So, we know you are a tester. The knowledge of the programming knowledge is equally important for a tester, as it is for a developer. To grow up the career ladder, it always helps to know coding that will help in fixing the bugs. Utilizing this knowledge, the testers can figure out the new defects which may get injected while fixing the reported defects. The coding knowledge can also help the testers to understand the requirements in a better manner.
You can invest your time in learning the basics of coding and also equip yourself to read the source files. This will also enable you to pick up automation skills faster.
There can be some more ways to improve your testing skills. Although these are just few of the tried and tested tricks. With the changing technologies, the methods for identifying defects also improve. So, keep learning and keep sharing the knowledge.
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