The area of development is full of stereotypes about the professions from people who know little about it. There is a thought that the testing position is one giving the possibility to enter the coding with ease. The stereotype assets that it requires fewer efforts and knowledge than development. With this article, we try to define whether the testing is an easy walkover giving massive opportunities, or a real trial for a newcomer.
What is the testing in the development process
To ensure that the final product performs the necessary functions correctly, the development teams should pass the specific stages. They include quality assurance, quality control and basic testing.
Proving the company meets the standards of development is called quality assurance. It deals with:
- preparation and creation of the internal standards,
- quality system state analysis,
- introduction of processes improvements.
Quality control is more about practical cases:
- analysing the results of a particular product or task,
- technical reviews,
- UI and UX design analysis.
This part is reactive more than proactive as it evaluates the things that already exist.
Testing is the most basic process of checking the results of the performed work. It can deal with the coding quality, user interface clearance and failures in the logics or architecture.
The tests can be performed with the purpose to ensure the stability of security, modules connectivity, serviceability and usability. Also, they can vary depending on the introduction of manual or automated techniques.
This classification is general and does not cover all aspects of the profession. It happens because checking the quality is necessary for any sphere of production. Any process or activity can undergo tests in some way or another.
Requirements to the person willing to join this profession
Though it often happens that this position is considered the first step to line up with IT, it has some specific requirements for the candidate.
Analytical mind. The ability to build the schemes and classify the information will help with the calculation of the scope and interrelations of data.
Strategical planning. In some situations, proper planning can become the basis of correct task performance. Similarly, when it is necessary to do several tasks, you can arrange all activities and not miss the deadlines.
The skill to study new technologies in short terms as you will have to deal with various tasks and sometimes the projects can be from different coding languages.
Basic programming. To ensure the high level of the final product a quality assurance person should understand how it all works naturally.
Methodologies of coding flow. Different teams can use diverse approaches to the coding process, nonetheless, the understanding of the process helps to build the paradigm. There are several tools for testing management to help with this step – Jira, Bugzilla.
The quality engineer should be able to manage and fill in the documentation and reports, as there will be many of them.
Pros and cons of the position of a quality person
There are some positive moments for being the tester:
Even when staying for a long time in this sphere, a person will be highly sought. Even if everywhere will be automatization and robots, someone will have to test this variety anyways.
Testing is the area that improves each day. Nevertheless, a lot of areas of interest are still available for research. You can always build your own methods and techniques and provide a comprehensive analysis of their advantages.
The testing persons are often easier to accommodate back to work after a long break in activities. The daily routine of this position expects a particular figured scope of tasks that should be done in a defined way with checklists.
Testing activities can be easily combined with education, as the trainee\juniour-level testing often requires only manual testing, performed with pre-defined checklists.
This sphere deals with all pieces of the product, starting from the target functionality for particular users, design and architecture to outstanding features and the process of project management.
Nevertheless, there are some negative moments of testing:
Some coders will like you no more. As far as the tester is the person who finds the failures of the developers, it is expected that some of them will take you as an enemy. Though such an approach gives ensures competition and better code quality in the end.
A tester is the last step before submitting the product to release. All missed bugs will stay undisclosed in the project and make users unsatisfied with its quality. That can make a certain stressful situation for a person being afraid to leave some critical issues. And if any – they will be responsible for such an omission.
The work of testers is often imperceptible to the management. You should make one task after another and indicate whether it passed the test or not. The things can seem like routine responsibilities done in a moment, though in practice they require patience and accuracy. It is necessary to invest time anyways to make the regular actions right.
What can happen in future if to start as a tester
A quality assurance engineer can continue their growth in this area or shift the activities to coding. As far as the testing activities require experience in some technologies, a person can find their calling in building their own products for others to test.
Theoretically, a tester can become a Project Manager as far as they can discover the methodology and ways the project is planned for better understanding the process. This knowledge can be used to get an overall idea of the users’ most common requirements for the product.
A business analyst position is one of the possible directions for the further development of a tester. In case a person prefers to analyse a big amount of data, they can similarly express their skills in the area of big data. Moreover, understanding the users’ behaviour can influence the performance of the solution. In most cases, this is about the experience received by the target audience.
The books to start with to enhance the skills
There are several books a tester should study to get a better understanding of this profession. They will be rather useful for everyone who still is not sure they have enough experience or knowledge.
- How Google Tests Software by James Whittaker, Jason Arbon, Jeff Carollo
- Software Testing Techniques by Boris Beizer
- The Art of Software Testing by Glenford J. Myers, Corey Sandler, Tom Badgett, Todd M. Thomas
- Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach by Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord
- Software Testing: A Craftsman’s Approach by Paul C. Jorgensen
- Unit Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns: Effective testing styles, patterns, and reliable automation for unit testing, mocking, and integration testing with examples in C# by Vladimir Khorikov
In case you find yourself a patient and a cautious person desiring to join the IT – try testing first. It places lower requirements on the person and simultaneously brings a basic understanding of what is going to happen in a software company. In future, that would be easy to move on in different branches connected to development or stop making yourself pain with coding.