Getting Started in Testing and QA
I'd like to say hello to you all. I've been reading various postings on the forums for the last hour or so. Just checked the stats and I see that I am the newest member as of now - What an honour.
Now my question is this. I want to get into TESTING. My background is programming in Pascal, C, C++ on a pretty low scale. I have been designing websites in the last two years. It was nice to notice that there is also Web Testing. I am not sure how popular this is yet. I haven't come across any job ads in that area yet.
What training would you guys (and gals) recommend to get me into Testing. I've seen a few online training courses too. Are they any good?
Your advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks all and have a good day.
Re: Getting Started in Testing and QA
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by hopey:
I want to get into TESTING.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
So first understand that "testing" should be treated as a broad term. (Often it is not.) Also understand that many draw a distinction between "Quality Assurance" and "testing". To a certain extent there certainly is a distinction because Quality Assurance is often about process and overall improvement regarding various techniques or methods during a given software development life cycle. Quality Assurance is often strictly more relegated to discussions regarding requirements and design specifications, which can be used as the basis for various testing activities. "Testing" is often treated as a reactive component to complement Quality Assurance. Testing is often thought to simply be done against an existing executable software application or a finished Web site. However, Quality Assurance is predicated upon testing. (Bear in mind: some disagree with me on this so do not take my word as gospel; this is, however, how I see the industry.) Testing can be testing the executable and non-executable elements of a development life cycle.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>It was nice to notice that there is also Web Testing. I am not sure how popular this is yet.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Well, it is as "popular" as the various companies to create Web sites or Web applications recognize the need to test them. Many of the places I have contracted to have been strict Web testing ventures, either in terms of just simple static Web pages or to complex Web systems utilizing middleware, backend databases, etc. So it is certainly popular in the sense of being very much present in the industry but bear in mind that "testing the Web" can mean a lot of different things depending upon the nature of the Web site/application and what the organization you are working for deems as important.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>What training would you guys (and gals) recommend to get me into Testing.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I usually recommend checking out sites like this one and looking at the various topics. Do this just to sort of get a feel for what terms are thrown around a lot and at the general discussions that people are having. (Basically, "lurk" for a little while and get a feel for the questions that are asked and the general terminology that seems to be used.) For example, just looking at the forum structure here you probably note that there are many "types" of testing listed: functional, unit, performance, security. That should give you some idea of the different areas that exist. Within those areas you might hear other terms thrown around like "test plan", "test case", "black box", "white box", "test driver", etc. Once you start building a vocabulary you can start searching on those specific terms to learn a little more about each one.
As far as books, one book I always recommend to someone getting into the field from the start is Ron Patton's Software Testing. It is, in my opinion, one of the best books for someone to get an easy yet still thorough grounding in various concepts related to testing. Many of the other books you will hear about out there are very good as well, but Patton's is, again, in my opinion, one of the best in terms of overall readibility and it is a nice introduction to the field.
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>I've seen a few online training courses too. Are they any good?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I could not say, to be honest, as I have not been through these courses. Hopefully someone else can answer to that. What I can say is that most stuff in those courses should be taught for free. (I am a firm believer in open content for many things.) To that end, if the courses are charging a lot, I would recommend first looking into what you can learn on your own, i.e., by some of the excellent books that are out there or by forums like this one or by some of the various QA and test related Web sites that exist on the Web. A lot of times these courses seem to charge an arm and a leg, so to speak, for information that is actually readily available for free on the Web or at much lower cost in a good book.
Hopefully this gives you some ideas of where to start.
Re: Getting Started in Testing and QA
Thank you so much JeffNyman. That was a thorough answer to my question. I'll surely follow your recommendations. The money they charge for the courses I've seen are quite high. Most of these are for 2 or 3 day courses. For a newbie, I doubt if they will get any value for money.