Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Untrained Tester

I'm pretty much an untrained tester. And yet somehow I generally know how to test stuff. Huh? Okay, so my testing classroom time is limited. I am, after all, an autodidact in test. I'm untrained. But I'm not unlearned. That's an important distinction.

There are many ways to learn how to test something:
  • Training. Yes, this can work. Classroom or online, both count.
  • Books. I still swear by "The Complete Guide to Software Testing" by Bill Hetzel. It's a bit outdated in some ways, but it's got a lot of things I can poke at and say, "oooh, is that relevant and how would I apply it?"
  • Blogs and other online guides.
  • Google. This one's great for learning specifics, like how to work with certain tools. I tend to hit this one late in the process.
  • Past experiences. Things we tried that worked, or dev techniques, or things that failed. I learn a lot from coworkers, both testers and developers.
So keep in mind that learning counts, whether its formal training or something a lot more information. If you can to say, "what do I need to know?", then you can go learn it. Don't wait for the formal training. Just go learn.


  1. Gee, that was quite "Sapient" of you.

  2. I picked up (a used copy of) 'Complete Guide to Software Testing' for £5.40! Quite a bargain IMHO. Good times.

  3. Are you talking about the differences between certified training and regular learning on the go? Both are important and play a huge part in the overall professional testers development!

  4. Viresh, I'm more talking about formal vs informal training. Even if you're not in training, there are a lot of ways to learn.