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How to be a Better Software Tester

As you know, whether you are ISEB or ISTQB certified, if you’re a software tester then you must regularly dedicate some time to constantly improving your skills because the more practice and experience you have, the more effective your performance will be.  Plus, the nature of the software on which software testing is performed is constantly evolving, and thus the simple art of practice can help ensure that your mind remains sharp enough to keep up. 

Here is a non-exhaustive list of some things you could do to continuously hone your software testing skill set over time.

  • Participate in open source projects. This will allow you to gain real world experience with no risk of failure. 
  • Download a few open source tools from a website like OpenSourceTesting.org and play around with them. 
  • Form a software testing club and meet regularly to work on complex problems.
  • Start a blog and write about your experiences in software testing.  Writing about your experiences forces you to better internalize your knowledge. 
  • Identify teaching opportunities.  For example, conducting training at work, executing a distance learning scheme, or becoming an adjunct-professor at your local university. 
  • Attend a conference or workshop about software testing.
  • Join a couple software testing forums online, and maybe even subscribe to a magazine or two.  Just the simple act of keeping yourself informed and open to new ideas can help reduce your brain’s propensity to get complacent.

The bottom line is, although practice may not make perfect, it certainly helps.  This is especially true in software testing, which is constantly evolving.  One thing to keep in mind as you identify your own opportunities to hone your craft is that you must make sure you practice the right things. Do an honest self-evaluation and identify your weaker areas, and focus your efforts on those areas until you see some improvement.

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