Practical Tips for Novice QA Engineers

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Software testing entails analyzing a product, studying its domain area and characteristics of users that utilize its capabilities in their everyday life.

Testing involves the implementation of various analyzes, therefore, every junior QA engineer should understand that if he/she wants to become a top-notch expert in this field, he/she needs to completely delve into all peculiarities of software testing from the first day of his/her work.

Further, we’ll talk about some useful tips that will help to become an expert in this field.

What should/shouldn’t junior QA engineers do?

Learning from personal experience, by analyzing and executing various tests, is the best way to study something.

The first tip: newcomers should start from various or even trivial tests, in order to study software completely; they shouldn’t focus their attention exclusively on test design and all possible test techniques.

You should study a product to understand its usefulness for end-users.

Analyze software to understand its basic functions, technical capabilities, and available reproduction interfaces.

Analyze software every day and gain experience of interacting with it.

You should not search for defects deliberately — the time to do this has not come yet.

Analyze how this software can help people do certain work, communicate with other users, receive expected results, and so on.

You can also do something with a product — do some simple tasks, reproduce them, “play” with software, etc.

When you get familiar with a web product, you need to record all your impressions, new ideas, and thoughts.

Also, analyze everything that has surprised, impressed, or interested you.

Think about the things that have surprised you and pay attention to the factors that have made you angry (a bad-working system, slow work of functionality, and so on).

If you have been testing software for a very long time and something still confuses you, then something incomprehensible and strange happens.

If you have ideas on how to fix potential bugs, record them.

Record everything you have studied in a form of a certain list, in a form of mind maps, or write down how it should work.

You can also use illustrative tables and charts.

It’s not recommended to take notes in a formal way — this formality is really expensive and its time has not come for you as a newcomer.

It’s good to perform testing together with an experienced tester: one person can focus on software testing, and another one will be responsible for taking notes and recording everything he/she finds.

If you find a bug, record it but do not analyze it immediately.

You’ll probably meet it once again since you have found it so easily.

When you start working, you don’t need to analyze trivial bugs.

At first, you need to create a software mind map to be prepared for quite crafty and deep-seated defects.

At one of the stages of testing, share your thoughts on a testing process with your colleagues.

It’s great to share knowledge and get rid of cognitive distortions by finding everything you may have forgotten or not taken into account.


When we perform independent testing, we study software completely (or we should study it, at least).

When we test, we should have various ideas arising in our heads on the way it should look like, on the way end-users will use it, and on the way it can be useful.

This analysis helps to study software but affects its further development.

By improving their deep understanding of software, junior testers and other testers can become more prepared to the thoughts about what potential problems users may have while using it, how they can improperly utilize it, and what can be risky for the values of this software.

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