Every day we get swamped with a number of ads of “QA” courses. While there are many combinations for this title, essentially, it is always about “QA”. But, let’s be honest- “QA” and Software Testing are just not the same thing. Then, why you’d ask representatives of the “Academy” are trying to cheat us into believing that they are? I’m sure they know the difference between these two terms quite well. It would make more sense if, for instance, the course would be based on the topics related to “QA”, and not QC. But usually, it is merely an ISTQB training program for test engineers. Why call it “QA something”? It is crucial to understand what harm this “substitution” of terminology imposes on the entire professional aspect of things.
First and foremost, the new generation of test engineers, graduates such courses with “QA masters” or “QA Experts” diplomas within just 9 months of learning. Such a facile training, usually results in such undesirable consequences, as lack of test engineering knowledge – cornerstone skills for the QA professional. As a result, young professionals are not well-versed with the software testing and QA vertical in general.
Although, it is quite popular nowadays to use “QA” and “quality engineering” terms, without providing with a good theoretical and practical basis in test engineering, QA part of the profession cannot evolve by itself. Therefore, in order to train professional QA specialists, we need to first educate and nurture talented test engineers. And then let them decide for themselves whether they want to move to QA engineers or not.
Albeit you heard them say the era of testing is over, it has proven to be a false statement. And Hi-tech giants will support my case.
And here is a list of skills a good test engineer should master before starting a career in this field:
- Static Testing – Analyse Requirements – Business understanding.
- Test Planning – Manual and Automatic
- Test Design
- Writing Test Cases for Agile Environment (scripted / exploratory testing)
- Data Knowledge and management
- Life Cycle Development
- Lean Development (MVP)
- Investigation and data collection skill
- Use of development / debugging tools: Postman, Fiddler, Android Studio, ADB, XCode Console
- XML / JSON / HTML reading and understanding
- DB – tools and SQL.
- Fast learning of development language – reading level. OOP languages.
- Client-Server Architecture in Mobile and Web, etc.
I could keep on adding important skills to this list, but let’s put it aside as a “Must-have” for now. My point is – testing is skill and a craft, which can be developed only through constant practice.
Testing is a whole world of tailor-made techniques, practices, tools and real-world knowledge of a fast-paced modern Hi-tech environment. And, believe me, it is quite “sexy” if well-taught, quenched with a constant thirst for knowledge and practiced on a regular basis.
Be proud, put the title “Test Engineer” in your Linkedin profile, because that’s “sexy” too.
Good luck and enjoy your exciting career path of a Test Engineer.