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Lessons I’ve learned as a QA tester

I joined Invotra over two and a half years ago as an apprentice in Invotra’s QA team. When I started it was my first job and my first role as a tester, so it was quite daunting at the time, to say the least.

Over the past couple of years, I have gained a range of skills and experiences and I now have the opportunity to help pass these on to our new team members and support them in their own QA journey.

As you may have guessed from the title of this blog, I have also learned a lot of lessons during my time as a tester and here are just a few:

Think like an end user

As a QA tester, this is probably one of the most important things to remember.

It can become very easy to fall into the trap of just following the provided acceptance criteria and user cases.

As testers, we should think about how the end-user will use the functionality that is being tested.

Continuously ask yourself questions while you test:

  • What are the different actions I can take to achieve the same end result?

  • What should the application not do?

  • What would I not usually expect the user to do?

When testing an application, it’s key to think outside of the box. An application will never just be used in the ways given in the acceptance criteria.

People will always find weird and wacky ways to do things that we wouldn’t usually expect, so getting into the mindset of an end-user will help you uncover the more subtle and unusual bugs.

Most importantly, it will help you improve the quality of the product if you can understand the needs of the end-user.

Know your product

This leads on nicely from my first point. Getting to know your application is vital.

If you don’t understand how to use the functionality you are testing it’ll be much harder to explore the different use cases of the product and find bugs effectively.

Learning an entire product may seem overwhelming but try and break it down into manageable chunks. Start off by learning the core functionality of the product you are testing. Once you have the foundations, it’ll be much easier to pick up the knowledge needed to test other areas.

Learn from your mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, it’s how you use those mistakes to learn and gain experience from them.

It’s never a great feeling when a bug slips through but don’t get too down about it. If you do miss bugs look back at them and figure out what caused the bug, why you didn’t find it previously and learn how to not make the same mistake again.

Don’t get too caught up about catching every bug though. It’s impossible to find 100% of the bugs in your product. Try and find as many bugs as possible but aim to at least cover the most crucial and fundamental functionality. The main goal should be to create a user friendly and risk-free product.

Be positive

Last but not least, always try to stay positive! It’s easy to be negative when your job is to find all of the things broken in a product and be the bearer of bad news when bugs are raised.

At the end of the day, you’re helping to create a quality product that the end-user can rely on and enjoy using.

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