Starting Off as a Manual Tester

Starting off as a manual tester is as hard as mastering any other profession. A lot of people want to get into testing, but they do not possess or have no technical background. Hence, they take up manual testing as one of the stepping stones to get into a software testing company, are you one of them? Irrespective of the answer, it’s the scope of getting into and starting off as a manual tester in today’s IT world which is truly fascinating. To begin with, let’s take a look at a couple of things:

How to really start?

Here are a few points which have helped me in shaping up my career.

  • Blogs, dedicated to matters of your interest and testing in general. If you are trying to learn, you should focus on one technology at a time, however, going through other people’s experience and opinions are beneficial too.
  • The internet is mobbed with tutorials and Slide Share presentations; even Facebook and LinkedIn communities are dedicated to means of teaching new testers some great skills. However, this is exactly the part of your learning where you definitely should focus on one particular technology at a time, otherwise things may get confusing.
  • Keep learning about the tools you will be using in the future. The probabilities are you will be using apps like Jira, Kanban or Trello for project management and the rest will depend on the product which is under test, however, if you have a certain technology you wish to burst into, there are shorter lists of appropriate tools. Decide and find out your industry leaders. Study them and you will get a head start even before your very first interview.
  • Books, books and even more books for you. They are the ultimate source of information!
  • Never forget, having a right attitude & solid aptitude will always create opportunities, irrespective of the field you have chosen.

This educational process may take a while, yet the results will be more attractive. If you really want to be a tester, pay attention to it.

If you are a fresher looking to get into testing or an experienced professional with good domain experience say Finance, Healthcare etc. I have some views/suggestions to share, which are common for starting off as a manual tester.

  • Foremost is to acquire right Skills required for the Job: This can be possible with the help of friends/relatives who are already working or are certified from good institutes. Don’t draw any pictures/conclusions blindly (just by assumptions). This will definitely kill your interview! Keep learning is the motto. Search for answers online, practice hard. Now a days most job openings require you to have some certifications. This is mandatory in most companies, so that the candidate can be productive from day 1 and no amount of time or money need to be spent on training the candidates from the basics.
  • Secondly, ask yourself “Are you passionate enough?” Remove all other tracks/paths that you’re working on. E.g. A fresher may be searching for a job in oracle, c, c++, Java, testing, bla, bla bla. If you want to get into testing, Just keep looking for a job in Testing – NOTHING ELSE. If not today, tomorrow you will get. But till that time keep mastering your testing skills!!! People who are passionate about this field and love to grow as a quality tester, often end up getting the best jobs out there. Only the people with real interest in this field can make a name for themselves.
  • Thirdly, Choose Your Niche – In IT field, you need to specialize and not generalize. Don’t enter into an automation / performance without the knowledge of manual testing. What’s wrong if you go step by step? It’s always good to know the theories of manual testing which is a big task itself and may take years to master upon, before stepping into automation or performance testing. Slow & Steady wins the race.
  • Last but not the least, Experienced professionals can always use their soft skills or management skills they possess, which I believe is one of the important asset one should make use of to scale up or to learning things quickly, especially  when you switch from one industry to another i.e. Testing.

I would also like to throw some light on Virtualization in the form of cloud computing, which is carrying a heavy weight in today’s IT industry

Cloud testing- Need for it

Cloud testing refers to testing of resources such as hardware, software, etc. that are available on demand. Even the testing here can be viewed “as a service”. For cloud offerings, it’s essential to make sure that the service/product not only meet its functional requirements but also non-functional requirements. With the range of applications in the cloud it is now becoming essential to develop cloud testing strategy.

Why cloud is the need of the hour?

  1. Due to dynamic availability of testing environment – Users can easily replicate a customer environment and find defects earlier in the cycle
  2. Low Cost – Users can commission appliances as and when they want, saving huge costs for an organization.
  3. Test teams can easily perform load and performance testing scenarios in various permutations and combinations like – different OSes, browsers, configurations, etc.
  4. Scalability – Extremely useful in situations where the business requirements keep altering frequently.

Always remember:

Ruin All Myths: Nothing is primary or secondary.
All are of equal priority. These days test engineers draw same or more salary as compared to a developer. Just keep in mind that you need to beat the competition. Nothing else matters @ interviews.


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