How should I spend the next 6 months
I've been working as an Acceptance Tester for 6 months in a job that only lasts for 12 months.
I'd like to make the most of my time in the hope that I can either learn skills that will help me become a software tester elsewhere or ideally so I have a better chance of getting a permanent job testing job.
One objective is to get to know the systems I'm working with as much as I can. Even though I've been doing the job for 6 months I find that I'm having to plan tests for systems I haven't even used before.
This will help me in my current job but I'd like to focus more on gaining transferable software testing skills. This could include outside training or book reading but ideally I'd like something I could apply 'on the job'.
Re: How should I spend the next 6 months
It is hard to understand what you can apply on your current job without really understanding what you are testing, and you are not giving us a lot to work with on this front.
With regards to transferable skills, even if you improve your current working methodology you will be able to take this as experience in your next job as a tester.
With regards to where to improve...? Why not trying the "usual suspects"?
- If your tests are repetitive than try thinking about some basic automation. There are free tools today that will let you do this without even getting a big compromise from your employer.
- If you think you can improve the way you are planning and running your tests then try to look for ways to do this. Look for books such as Lessons Learned in Software Testing by Kaner, Bach & Pettichord, or if your company works Agile look for Agile Testing by Crispin & Gregory.
- Lastly you can also look for blogs, there is a pretty good blog roll on the SoftwareTestingCLub where you can read many interesting things that people are writing all the time.