What should I learn about…

Often I get the question what subjects should I learn about to start a career in Software Quality Assurance (a.k.a. Software Testing). Well, the world around is changing so fast, that to pin one down on subjects now, that would be very sure a shortcoming later. So instead of subjects, I want to talk about paradigms instead.

So what paradigms should one learn about:

    • Logical Reasoning most problems in IT can be reduced in complexity just by applying mathematical solutions and reasons. When you are good in solving equations in your math class then you are on your way to set your steps in computer science. Logical reasoning comes into place when you have to create test cases, write queries to verify outcomes, etc.
    • Distributed Computing these days you hear a lot about microservices and a few years ago it was Service Oriented Architectures that was rocking and before, that we had Enterprise Application Integration, n-tier solutions, apis, etc.. They are all a form that I start a process in location A and it will continue somewhere else to bring the result back to me. When you know how your platform is created and where it is easier for a tester to deduct where and if something has gone wrong.
    • Communication all stands and falls with the ability to communicate so we understand each other and can tell one and another what it is that we want. If we do not communicate we certainly cannot create solutions that our constituent is waiting for.
    • Domains all testing professionals work within a domain, which can be the domain testing but also the domain of the user his business. If you do not have the knowledge about the processes of the user his business, you cannot create added value for you as a professional nor for the project or the constituent. So if you are on an assignment within the healthcare sector learn the tricks of the trade of that sector so you become more valuable for the organisation.
    • Automation, as there is one thing there I know about what there is a consensus about in the market, it is that the era of pure manual testing is over. So if you want to succeed as a Tester you should learn on how to automate processes, create stubs and drivers, maybe even learn to write code. It helps you to understand code, it helps you to create a test automation framework, you can even benefit from it in your daily life.
    • Trendwatching as things are changing rapidly around us, it is a keen eye who sees what will become trending and what will certainly not become trending. So it is of the utmost essence that one can spot trends or at least knows where he can find them.
    • Effective Searching knowing where to find information is one but knowing how to pull up the information you need is a ball game that becomes more and more necessary for IT professionals. With solutions that gather information from all around us and from all of us, it is necessary for an IT professional to know where you can find information and how you can pull up the right information you need from all these vast sources that gather information around us.
    • And my personal favourite: Drawing. The proverb is a picture says more than 1.000 words and that is absolutely true. The moment you can capture your words and envision them, you make your thoughts more transparent to your audience and make it less prone to misunderstandings. But beware when I say draw I do not mean to draw process diagrams, no I mean to draw processes as they happen with realife figures. You can describe a chair as being something you can sit on, with a certain color and it maybe even has wheels and armrests. But when you show a picture the other person knows exactly what you mean and that is the point you want to make.

I know this list is not exhaustive and there are more topics testers should get knowledge about, but remember this: the day you stop learning is the day you are excluding yourself from your profession. So get up, stand up and enrich your self.