I am sure you are reading this article because either you have recently attended or attending or will attend software testing course. You wanted to know whether you are utilizing your time correctly. Is trainer teaching you all that is required to be a tester?
Designing any course or education curriculum takes a huge amount of time.
To design a course one should keep in mind the time duration and the audience.
One of my cousin, joined software testing course in Pune. First she asked me to give her training but due to personal constraints I couldn’t.
After finishing her course I asked her if she can join me on the testing project. She asked me what I suppose to do. I simply said ‘You have to find bugs.’ She paused for a moment and said – ‘I don’t know how to find bugs.’
Little surprised to her answer. One month of training did not teach her to find bugs. Do you think training was useful?
She was giving job interviews but kept complaining, “I am not confident. I get scared, lost… in interviews”.
If she would have practiced finding bugs, I am sure she would have handled interviews well.
My First student at Mindhunters, Amit Mahajan, whom I said that I don’t run courses with “Job guaranteed” programs. He was fine with it. And today he is working in Sungard company as a QA.
The point of discussion is not the institutes that are good for learning Software Testing but to understand that there are certain topics which may not add value to your career.
Analogy: Think of a retail consumer who always read the contents of the food product first (before buying) to know about the harmful ingredients present in it and then decide whether to buy it or not. Similarly one should always know the Course content before starting training.
And the most important thing in learning is – “learning without practice is no learning”.
In Theory, there’s not much difference between theory and practice. But in Practice, there’s lot of difference between theory and practice.
You need to find out the course content are worth studying by searching good articles, blogs or white papers. Don’t simply accept topics just because it is added in the course. Ask your trainer how much these topics enhance your testing skill. What would happen if these topics are omitted from the syllabus.
Avoidable topics of software testing course came from my own experience.
6 “Avoidable” topics that can save a lot of time for you to practice.
Remember, only practice will make you confident to face interviews.
Topic 1#: Software Development Model
Course emphasize on software development model. One of my Corporate client asked me to spend a day teaching SDLC and various models to a fresher.
I never understood the importance of SDLC with respect to testing.
Have you seen any syllabus of programming talk about “SDLC Models”. Does programming / testing change according to the model you work?
I have also designed Selenium Automation course but never taught Software Models. Have you seen any automation course dedicating one session or whole day teaching how software is developed?
Instead of teaching models just brief them about how software is developed and focus more on Core concepts and its practical learning.
Maybe one of the main reasons for adding Software model is from Interview perspective. This is for both Testers and Programmers. Java developers should first learn SDLC before giving interviews. Selenium Automation developer should learn else she may not get selected. This is not true.
Interviewer while looking for the right Tester should not worry too much about the knowledge of SDLC model. What is the point in knowing all theory but unable to test the application?
Anyone can learn how software is developed by reading books, or once you join project, Project Manager will provide information on their development process.
Topic 2#: Traceability Matrix
Fact of traceability matrix in software context is “Unfortunately the practice of constructing and maintaining a requirements trace matrix (RTM) can be very arduous and over time the traces tend to erode into an inaccurate state unless date/time stamped.” – source is Wikipedia.
Now the question is why you want to learn traceability matrix? Are you going to develop one? Is it really worth to spend time?
Its good concept but you need not to worry about it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know traceability matrix.
Institutes should not burden students with unwanted / unnecessary concepts? Maybe they feel more confident when you are in miserable situation.
Ask your trainer if she has ever used traceability matrix in real.
Again spend your valuable time on practicing testing.
Topic 3#: Template Creation
Test Case Template, Test Data Template, Test Plan Template, Bug Report, Status Report and so on. Do you think you need a dedicated topic to learn Template creation ? This can be automatically learnt while practicing writing test cases, bug reports etc.
Topics like Test Plan, Bug Reporting should cover templates/structure. It should be included within the topic rather than having it as a separate topic.
You use templates at the time of practice. In your practice you change the template according to the requirement.
Generally structure / templates changes as per the project requirement. Hence allocating special session only for template creation is futile.
If you understand how to find bugs, or how to do test planing – then definitely you will come up with your own template. And that’s the beauty of practicing the craft.
Topic 4#: QC(Quality Center) Tool
What is covered under topic QC is hilarious. It covers – How to open QC, what are different tabs and reports.
Why on earth you need to learn QC tool. Is it enhancing your skills ?
Why any programming course do not teach about GitHub or any other repository tool? Because they are more focused on learning the language rather than how the code is stored in repository which can be learnt while working on the project. Similarly, QC tool or any bug tracking tool can be learnt while on the job. Testing course should more focus on learning Testing over bug reporting tools.
Let me ask you “Anybody taught you how to use Facebook or Gmail?” You learned it on your own.
So I am sure if given QC application, you can easily explore and learn it without any help. You just need to trust your ability of learning. Human mind is great at learning!
I experimented with fresher’s batch – I simply gave them QC to test. Surprisingly students came up with their own findings and moreover they taught new features to me. See the power of learning application your own.
Topic 5#: QTP (Quick Test Professional)
Introduction to QTP is not of much help in Testing course unless exclusively taught. Testers can gain from QTP learning only when thoroughly taught and practiced rather than by giving introduction.
The worst part of learning QTP in Software Testing Course is, trainer will only show you record and play feature of QTP. That’s it!
What is the point of knowing record and play feature if you can’t write your own program. To write a program, first you need to learn script. And to learn script or programming, it takes time.
Course creators should focus more on learning testing and practically using it over giving introductions to various tools.
Instead of QTP introduction, learners should self learn how to use tools which helps to amplify your testing power. eg. Fiddler, Mindmap, Inspecting Web Element(F12), Browser Add ons, Screen Recorder, Firebug etc.
Topic 6#: Mobile Testing Types
Why is it separate topic? If that is the case then one should include topics like Tablet Testing Types, Desktop (Application) Testing Types, Smart Watch Testing Types and so on…
‘Mobile Testing Types’ covers the same test techniques – Like Function, Performance, installation testing etc.
Actually if you learned test techniques then you can use them to test anything. You do not need to learn separately those techniques for mobile.
If anything provides function then you do function testing. So you have to learn function testing rather than mobile function testing.
Such topic creates confusion, and it mislead students who are just learning to test.
Testing is Complex…
Testing Courses adding these topics are not utilizing student’s time properly. Lack of practice results in poor confidence. You lose valuable resources and you end up disliking testing as you don’t see your dream job coming to reality.
More exposure to practical learning will definitely help to get through interviews.
Already, testing community is confused, over burden with unnecessary things. Many definitions, practices, courses and people are misleading.
Testing is such a wonderful and finest field.
I never found teaching testing is easy. It’s the most challenging job and only passionate testers can teach you testing. And only serious students can learn testing.
Getting job is by-product of learning and practicing.
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