Here are few points of the post that I made for QTP yahoo groups - in response to a query made for FAQ/interview questions on QTP. The main motivation for me to post this is that I see most of the new entrants in this field, do not know where to invest time and effort to know the field of testing. Often they end up reading some FAQ or Typical interview questions posted on some site and think that they have arrived. Software testing today suffers from lack of education and awareness about "What it takes to be a software tester" and "how to successfully carry out and add value to the overall process of software development.
Read on .....
Here is my advice to all aspiring QTP or Test engineers and professionals. These are lessons I learnt personally and useful for any software professional who is serious in testing.
1. Do not look for short cuts to learn and get knowledge. Have a long term plans to get good mileage in this profession. FAQs, etc are good to read only for knowing top line. To succeed in the interview you will have to win it from inside of your heart, invest honestly in studying and expect fruits. Banking on FAQs, interview questions etc may get you the job but will not keep you there.
2. Most important for a tester is to understand what makes a good tester? How he/she is different from a developer? What value tester brings to the table? How to find talent in testing and nurture it? How testing is different from QA or any flavor of process (CMM, Six sigma) etc.
3. Invest in sharpen problem solving and "thinking out of box" abilities. Read good stuff on testing. Participate in conferences, discuss with test professionals in other companies, participate in activities in SPIN, etc. Solve puzzles ( zig saw or shankuntala devi). Never stop learning.
4. Sharpen Technology skills. Know about "How web works" , DNS, Networking, protocols, XML, Web services, Cryptography, databases, Datawarehousing, UNIX commands, Fundas of J2EE, .NET, system admin list is endless. Today testers are expected to know the basics. I take lot of interviews for various positions. Most of the people do not have these basics. It is difficult to survive in this world of testing only banking on "Automation tool" knowledge.
5. Learn programming languages like , C#, Java and scripting languages like PERL, python, Unix shell etc. This will increase utility value of yours. Developers and PMs will respect you.
6. Improve communication skills - take English class. Improve vocabulary. Read Read and Read.
Most of the people I have seen ignore this important skill. They can not write a paragraph on their own without spelling and grammatical mistakes. Make a habit to learn a new word a day.
7. Read and write on blogs ( Google to find out what is blog- if you don’t know already). Here are few blogs that I suggest for every test professional.
http://www.testingeducation.org/ - cem kaners free testing courses.
http://www.testing.com/cgi-bin/blog - Brian Merick site
http://blackbox.cs.fit.edu/blog/james/ - James Bach - highly respected Visionary in testing.
http://blogs.msdn.com/micahel/ - Microsoft’s Famous Braidy Tester
http://www.developsense.com/blog.html - Michael Bolten - Testing in plain English
http://www.kohl.ca/blog/ - Jonathan Kohl
http://www.io.com/~wazmo/blog/ - Bret Pettichord - Automation testing Guru
my own blogs -
http://blogs.msdn.com/shrinik ( my Microsoft blog - is closed since left that company)
Last but not the least, Be a person with positive outlook in the life. Believe in yourself other wise nobody else will believe you
All the best. Let us build a next generation test professionals community and change the way world does testing today.