Let’s Talk QA!
Getting into QA a.k.a Quality Assurance sometimes can be a little unconventional and that’s totally okay. A lot of QA roles aren’t just filled with Computer Science majors at every turn. You may be surprised once you start digging in more that there are a variety of backgrounds and skills that make up the role. If you’ve ever ran into a broken page or a button that didn’t react to touch, that was something that most likely the QA Team behind the product failed to check before deployment OR it’s an issue that happened due to a recent code push.
Quality Assurance is a methodology of processes used in the development of products which aims to provide upmost quality in production. In other words, a QA Team or QA Tester is responsible for ensuring that features in development are thoroughly tested manually or via automated tools. The QA Team “signs off” and are sometimes that last layer before a feature is released to the public. A QA’s role is so important. Next we’re going to get into different tools YOU can use to gain testing skills starting today for free!
Earlier I touched on QA roles being filled with people from non-traditional backgrounds and this is true. Not only have I experienced it but I’ve talked to a number of people that are or have been in QA roles that come from Psychology, Science, Arts backgrounds and excelled in QA roles. With that, landing in QA is a lot of times by chance. Either you start in Customer Support and since you udnerstand a product so well you get moved into QA or you have development skills though maybe you’re just starting out so applying to QA roles is perfect for getting your foot in the door.
Now, let’s say you’re curious about entering a QA role or maybe it’s just a skill you’d like to have in your arsenal. Well, here are some awesome ways to gain QA knowledge and testing experience.
Attaining QA Skills
Firstly! If you are completely new to QA, I suggest heading over to this link - http://searchsoftwarequality.techtarget.com/definition/quality-assurance. Read through this post and it’ll provide a decent overview on QA, its history, QA team setups, QA standards to follow. I want you to be able to understand a bigger picture of why QA is important and what skills are needed to be a successful QA candidate.
Youtube - And no not to watch videos! But on Youtube there’s an area that allows you to be part of Youtube’s testing crew. Head on over to https://www.youtube.com/testtube. Youtube uses this page to reel in actual users to test Youtube’s New Look, their Youtube Creator Studio or 4K Videos. This page is updated every once in a while with new features in beta stage or the MVP phase of a feature for Youtube to gather feedback before pushing it out to ALL of Youtube’s users. This is a quick and easy way to start developing skills that a QA needs - attention to detail, testing on mobile/desktop, testing on a variety of browsers, testing for responsiveness, providing feedback on the UI.
Testing for Mozilla - You heard it right! Mozilla offers volunteer and community opportunities for current users to test their beta products, specifically their browsers. When I stumbled across this on Mozilla last year I was stunned - “I can run testing for Mozilla and actually enter in bug reports and feature improvements? Sign me up!”. This is an easy and quick opportunity to get involved in weekly to really start getting comfortable with working with a QA or Dev team and it also gets you ramped up on best bug submitting practices, documentation and feedback reporting.
Head over to this link https://whatcanidoformozilla.org/#!/progornoprog/support that will allow you to choose through the type of testing you’re interested in doing. They have User Support, User Experience Design, Testing Software, Teaching and a couple more. This makes it simple to test in what peaks your interest and even have fun while doing it! Also, I love visiting this link https://wiki.mozilla.org/Main_Page it’s Mozilla Wiki and it has TONS of useful information. When I first started in QA, I used their Wiki to help me come up with a concise and quick bug template for our JIRA tool at work. There’s also posts on how to test, what to look for while testing and etc.
Test.io - https://test.io/become-a-tester/ This is a crowd source testing platform. Last year I didn’t even know what this was. Essentially, there are companies out there that are based on hiring or signing up REAL human testers to their platform to perform manual testing. This way of testing saves companies money in possibly paying full-time QA’s, paying for VM’s or writing a whole suite of automated tests.
Test.io allows anyone to sign up and start testing! They include some bigger names, such as SoundCloud and Doordash, which are clients of Test.io. How this works is after you sign up, you’ll be asked to complete video training as well as input all the devices you have around you to test and once that is all set, you’re ready to start testing. You’ll receive testing requests via email from different companies and you’ll receive a due date. As long as you complete testing on time and provide feedback in a structured way you’ll get paid. This is a great way to learn testing and make some money on the side.
Testlio.com - https://testlio.com/for-testers/ Same concept as the tool I mentioned above. This one is my favorite tool, it has an easier UI to manage, see your test requests as well as communicate with the test leads for any questions that may arise. They work a lot with companies like CBS and Grammarly are just a few. When you first sign up and start, you won’t receive payments until after you complete a sample testing rounds and PASS. Once you complete that you’ll get notifications for paid testing and you can earn up to $20 per test, which is not that bad. And easy money.
That is all for QA! If you have any questions on the tools above please leave me a comment below or @ me on Twitter, link below! Let’s talk shop.
Honest opinion - I love QA, it has really made me fall in love with product and be passionate about customer obsession.