From tester to QA. How to shorten the path to the profession for several months

In 2020 in top five the most in-demand IT professions – Testing Specialist, or QA Engineer, according to job search portals. The market is growing and IT companies are actively building Quality Assurance teams.

In universities, testing is taught in some, but not all, IT specialties. Therefore, most often people come to QA through online courses or self-study. Typically, both methods take at least 12 months. At the same time, the time and money invested does not yet guarantee that a QA beginner will be able to immediately pass an interview and get the desired job.

Is it possible to develop skills faster without losing quality? This issue became especially acute for us when all our annual IT meetups and intensives had to be moved online. We share our opinion on what should be in the program in order to make the first steps in QA efficiently and at the same time quickly – on average, in 3 months (or 60+ hours). We hope that this experience will be useful to everyone involved in the transfer of knowledge in QA, and we look forward to your feedback.

Hello! My name is Marina and I am the head of the QA team at SimbirSoft in Saransk. I have been in testing since 2014 – I came from another industry to a testing course and discovered a new profession. I am engaged in testing web and mobile applications and training – at first I worked with newbies, now with the QA Lead group. Our team also prepares QA specialists for ISTQB certification.

About five years ago I started teaching intensive testing for students and beginners. We have experienced QA, like developers, constantly share knowledge – inside the company and outside, at meetups, hackathons, as well as intensives.

We started holding such meetings back in 2012 – in our head office in Ulyanovsk and at universities. In 2019, meetups and intensives were already held in all our development centers – in Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Dimitrovgrad. We register through TimePad and receive more than 2000 applications for participation in a year.

Until 2020, we did everything offline: we invited participants to our offices, arranged excursions. Now, like everyone else, we have moved to Zoom and YouTube.

Part of the large SimbirSoft QA team

Online intensive courses: where we started

Our first online QA intensive took place back in early 2020. We connected a group of experienced QA specialists to his organization, who were ready to talk about their profession.

What was on the intensive: 9 lectures, homework, as well as a chat with teachers. In total, we received over 600 applications and invited everyone who confidently coped with the test task. We made sure that QA beginners are interested in learning from practitioners.

Our observations on the results of the intensive:

  • It takes more practice to fully immerse yourself.
  • It takes real design work to help the participants get comfortable.
  • Many participants need the opportunity not only to ask questions in the chat, but also to personally contact an experienced mentor.

These observations formed the basis large intensive QA Skillswhich starts in the fall. Let’s tell you more about the program.

Who will benefit from

Our QA team has prepared a new expanded and balanced program for entering the profession.

  • For IT beginners.
  • For entry-level testers and QA specialists.

Online intensive QA Skills helps to master the theoretical and practical part of the QA profession and immerse yourself in the working atmosphere in the Agile-team of the project, which is as close as possible to the “combat” one.

When: from October 1, 2020. The duration will be about 2 months.
Intensive program covers over 60+ hours. These include 19 online consultations, tasks for self-control and project teamwork.

What we will tell you about

For the most complete immersion in the profession, we have compiled the following program:

  1. QA processes in software development cycles.
  2. Requirements and their analysis.
  3. Types and levels of testing (part I).
  4. Types and levels of testing (part II).
  5. Types of test documentation: test plan, test strategy, test report.
  6. Types of test documentation: test case, test suite, checklist, trace matrix, bug report.
  7. Test design techniques: black box.
  8. Test design techniques: white box.
  9. Client-server architecture and API features.
  10. API testing. REST.
  11. API testing. SOAP UI.
  12. Features of testing desktop applications.
  13. Features of testing web applications.
  14. Features of testing mobile applications.
  15. Features of operating systems + virtual machines.
  16. Git version control system and work with it.
  17. SQL queries for QA.
  18. Automation in testing. Selenium.
  19. Master class on interviewing and writing a resume.

Sharing impressions

Maria, QA specialist: My first step in QA was the SimbirSoft Summer Intensive 2019. Then we had several teams, and each chose a role for himself. For example, I chose QA and tested Olenemeter, an application for viewing statistics in games. We worked well with the guys, it was great to join the team and feel involved, and after the intensive several of us – including me – were invited for an interview. I came to QA from another industry, so I was really worried in preparation – I still remember how chills ran!

Changing profession is always difficult, so after passing the interview, I continued to study a lot. I remember how I was constantly thirsty and sweet – my brain was completely loaded!) Fortunately, I had a wonderful mentor, always ready to help, and after 3 months I passed the exam on the knowledge of certain blocks of theory and practice. I have been in the QA team for more than a year now, gradually building up my skills, testing desktop applications for various industries and participating in the process of recruiting specialists for projects. It is very interesting for me to develop in my profession, and I invite everyone who is “burning” with QA to our intensive!

What will you learn

  • Make a test plan, test case and test report.
  • Test and search for bugs in conditions close to reality on a specially created test bench.
  • Learn to create tasks in the most common Jira task tracker.
  • Get familiar with functional and non-functional testing.
  • Master the REST and SOAP testing tools.
  • Make simple queries with Select and more.
  • Put your Git commands into practice.
  • Analyze the terms of reference for compliance with the characteristics of the requirements.
  • Learn which tests need to be automated and which tools will come in handy for this.
  • Get basic skills in working with well-known operating systems mac, Linux, Windows.

What we have prepared as part of the QA Skills intensive, says Head of QA directions Anastasia Leontieva:

What are the pros

  • Support of mentors and their feedback throughout the intensive: feedback from a professional will help you find growth points and achieve high-quality results.
  • Self-control with the support of mentors.
  • Experience working on a project in an Agile team and replenishment of the portfolio.
  • Interaction with participants – exchange of experience with the community.
  • Master class on interviewing and writing a resume.
  • The opportunity to receive an invitation for an interview with our QA team.

We want to help the participants in a short time to master theory, practice and gain experience of working on a project close to real. We consider it important that the acquaintance with the profession does not stretch for many months and years, and the invested resources provide the most effective return.

Although our field of activity involves constant self-study, at the start, as a rule, an intensive with a ready-made program helps to sort everything out. Self-study usually takes at least 6 months, depending on the intensity of the session. We tried to build the program in accordance with the real project work, so that the participant could cover this path in an average of 3 months.

We invite everyone to the QA Skills intensive who wants to develop testing skills with us! TimePad registration

Register, call our administrator the code word “HABR” and get a 25% discount on registration until September 15th. In addition, we will send everyone who is interested in our practitioners’ recommendations on how to study QA on their own. Waiting for you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *