Top-5 advice on how to improve QA skills

Self-development is one of the main points of working in QA. In the article, we dwell on how to strengthen QA knowledge and become a sought-after specialist.

When software testing was just becoming an independent stage of the software development life cycle, the requirements for the capacity and knowledge of QA specialists were not as high as they are today.

In the modern IT market, the demand for high-quality apps has grown, increasing the requirements for the testers’ skills.

Every day its stocks are being replenished with optimized approaches, new tools, and changing principles of testing. Thus, QA specialists need to adapt to rapidly changing conditions to satisfy both end-user requests and business needs.

So, today we will shed light on what freshmen should pay attention to develop their QA skills.

1. Improve soft skills

Even from the first minutes of the interview, HR managers can understand whether the candidate is suitable for the job of a software tester or not. Whether a person is open-minded, knows how to express their thoughts correctly, whether they are interested in a conversation — all of that comes first.

QA specialists work in a team where communication is crucial as they continuously interact both with each other and with the development and business analysis teams. So, what qualities do you need to train to effectively establish a connection?

The ability to ask the right questions at the appropriate time is the key to successful communication. Team members don’t have extra time to sort out inarticulate questions. Therefore, it is better to provide as much information about the problem as possible to solve it quickly.

Moreover, being an attentive listener and respecting yourself and your colleagues are other essential parts of productive communication. Don’t be distracted when you are told any message, even if it seems unimportant to you. Find out if something was misunderstood or not heard. Thus, you will stay up-to-date with the latest events and reduce your solving problems time.

How can you develop such abilities? There are many ways, but we have prepared the most effective ones.

Find out if your company has a competence center where specialists share their knowledge and experience. This is a great opportunity to improve your communication skills, as well as to meet interesting people. if there is no such place at your work, try to organize it by yourself.

Attend thematic events such as conferences or hackathons. There, you can come across experienced specialists, learn a lot of new things, and practice speaking the QA language. Besides, you can take the initiative and deliver a speech at a conference in your company or public platform.

2. Learn how to deal with the documentation

Every industry starts with basic knowledge. Do you remember Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? They are bright examples of outstanding people who started their business in the garage and only after years of hard work achieved success.

Considering software testing, it is vital to know techniques and strategies, distinguish types of testing, and understand what they are used for. You also need to learn how to describe defects in such a way that even your grandmother could reproduce them by reading the bug report.

Working with documents is another essential component, because all test cases should be defined in the test documentation, and the testing results — in the quality report. Beginners need to train their skills in writing, as the documents indicate how responsibly and seriously a team performs the work.

The reverse side of software testing is technical knowledge. Imagine that you are on a project ensuring the quality of an artificial intelligence-based application or a complex network structure.

Without an understanding of how applications operate and how they interact, it will be difficult to delve deep into the QA field and move forward on your career path.

Have neither time nor wish to study theory and practice? Our excellent tutors at QA Academy would be glad to share their experience and pave the way for your further professional development in QA on the course “Software Testing Basics”.

3. Get acquainted with software development methodologies

To become a good specialist, you need to understand the approaches to software testing. Agile and DevOps are the most popular ones in the IT world.

Just entering into the career, you may not have a holistic insight into the processes, but there should be a basic understanding. However, to go further, you should figure out the roles and responsibilities, ensuring effective communication and cohesive teamwork.

4. Find out more details about the software development life cycle

All apps on your phone have passed a range of stages: analysis, design, implementation, testing, and deployment. This path is also known as the software development life cycle.

QA specialists can be onboarded on the project both at the testing step and from the very start. It depends on testing approaches and strategies, the business goals, and the features of the application.

In any case, you should realize what is being done at each stage and who is responsible for one or another task. So, the knowledge of all stages will help you get involved in the project faster.

5. Continue expanding your horizons

The IT industry is a young one compared to other areas of activity. In line with the regularly changing market with its improved methodologies, even experts need to update their knowledge and hone skills.

In the QA world, companies prefer purposeful and self-critical employees who can be educated by themselves.

Freshmen should constantly improve their expertise and practice as much as possible. There are many ways to strengthen QA knowledge: electronic and physical manuals, webinars, courses, and much more.

Software testing is not only about finding defects, but also about imagination. You can practice even in everyday life. Try to think over how to test the things that surround you, whether it’s a pen, a lamp, or the Facebook registration form. After continuously performing these exercises, you will see the difference in the number of test ideas.

In a nutshell

High quality is one of the parameters of a successful application. With the rapid QA sphere development, the demand for qualified specialists is soaring, as never before.

With the right skill set and constantly improving, you will not only be onboarded on more interesting projects but also move faster on the career path from junior to senior QA engineer.

To succeed in professional development and reach new career heights, one should have not only strong technical knowledge, but also communication skills, the ability to work with documentation, and an understanding of global IT processes.

Improve your QA skills at the “Software Testing Basics” course, where you can delve deep into the tester profession.

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