A couple of weeks ago we posted a survey about our “top tips” for people just starting out in their software testing careers. How did we choose our top four for the poll? And what exactly do each of the options mean?

First of all, we asked all the great testers that work for us at tiQtoQ what their top tips for new software testers were. We then collated all the suggestions we had and put them to our management team. Drawing on their experience, they then chose their top four. It was a close call on many and we’ll write about the ones that lost out soon.

Using a poll has its limitations. Each option can only have thirty or so characters so we couldn’t give a detailed explanation of what each option means. So, here’s our thinking on each option.

  1. Always ask questions.  When you’re new to something, it’s natural to feel like you need to know everything before you can even begin. But the reality is that nobody knows everything, and the best way to learn is by asking questions. Not only will this help you learn more about the subject at hand, but it will also show your managers and colleagues that you’re willing to put in the effort to improve your skills. Also, if you’ve got a niggling doubt about something, you must ask. It might have a simple answer, or you may have uncovered a previously unknown issue.
  2. Get involved in the business. As a software tester, it’s important to have a good understanding of how the business operates. After all, you’re testing software that is used by real people to do their jobs. The better understanding you have of the business, the better testing you will be able to do. Also, software quality assurance is a pan-business ethos that everyone across the organisation has to buy into. By gaining that network and knowledge across the business you help to build that ethos.
  3. Keep up to date with new technologies. The world of technology is always changing, and as a software tester, it’s important to keep up with those changes. Whether it’s attending conferences or reading industry news online, make sure you’re making an effort to stay abreast of new developments in the world of software testing.
  4. Think like a customer. One of the most important skills for a software tester is empathy. You need to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and the end user and think about how they will use the software you’re testing. Only then will you be able to find errors that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Software testing is a complex field with many different facets. As someone just starting out in their career, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But by keeping our tiQtoQ Top Tips in mind you can set yourself up for success.