Posts Tagged ‘training’

Google is your friend

Posted: 28.7.2011 in Ei kategoriaa
Tags: ,

Every now and then (actually more than just every now and then) I find the word which I don’t have any idea. That can be e.g. “threat modeling”, “virtual user”, “xpath” and so on. I have to find quickly, what is behind that and should I really know it. I have multiple options how to proceed.

  • Ask from the forum like this
  • Ask at IRC
  • Ask at Twitter
  • Ask at Google+
  • Do the search at Google

 

If I’m using first four bullets, I have several assumptions. First is that someone else knows about subject. Secondly I’m expecting that “somebody” to be online and he have some free time. While waiting those conditions to become true I’m still clueless about the topic. And usually I have to get at least basic information about it quickly. I don’t want to waste my time and my client’s money for waiting. And even if I got answer, I never can be sure if that is correct answer. The one who answers might be as clueless as I am, but he doesn’t realize that. So situation is lose-lose situation. I might get wrong information. Or it’s possible that I won’t get any information at all. Not even wrong one. My work is blocked until I get the information. And someone else must waste his time to explain me the basics.

I’ve found that Google is much better option. If I write keywords to search field, add additional word “Tutorial”, I usually get some basic information about the subject I need. I also might get good references for further reading. This Monday I really had to find quickly information about threat modeling. First there was Wikipedia article, then article at OWASP-site. Those gave me good overview to subject. But it wasn’t enough. Third link was to Microsoft site and there they advertised book about threat modeling. Great! That’s what I needed. There was direct link to O’Reilly site, and possibility to buy eBook. I bought eBook, downloaded it, uploaded to my eBook reader, and now I’ve read more detailed information about threat modeling. I didn’t have to wait for days (or not even hours). I got quick overview and after that knew I had to know more.

Summary: Google doesn’t force you to wait. Usually you find at least the basics of subject you’re looking for. If after that you have questions (e.g. how to implement threat modeling to your environment), then forum is good place to open discussion about that. It won’t give you the step-by-step instructions, but it can give you some ideas how others has used same tool at their project.

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How to become a tester?

Posted: 12.7.2011 in Testing
Tags: ,

So you want to become a tester but don’t know how to do it? This is my opionion how to become one. I’m not going to recommend any book, I’m not going to give you list of courses you should take. But go on – read rest of the post and think how you can learn skills which are needed at testing.

The most important mindset at testing is curiosity. Be excited and interested everything you see around you. Computers and software are just tiny part of it. You should go to walk, do it slow enough, open your eyes, look around like child. If you look at the ground, you can see different kind of insects crawling around. Look at them, be excited how they look, what they do, how they react to you. Or look at tree. At forest every pine-tree has own outlook. Stare at them, touch them, even taste them, compare them, and learn that they are unique. That sound childish, but that’s what curiosity is. To be a tester you have to be curious about every application you ever test.

Read everything you can. There isn’t such thing as “unnecessary knowledge”. I suppose I don’t have to know Russian history at my work, but reading it helps me to see the World at wider perspective. I know how scheduler of Windows 2000 works. Outdated information, but it still gives me some idea, how machines are working. If is find new protocol, I want to find how it works, who has defined it I try to find implementations and even dig the transmission packets. These kinds of things are never unnecessary stuff. They keep my brains awake. Large part of testing is reading, understanding, asking and digging.

Learn new technical skills by doing. You never know what you will need at your work. I know how to code with PHP, C, C++, Java, Perl, Python, how to build shell scripts, I’ve tried Ruby, Smalltalk, Lisp – uh.. I don’t even know what all languages. After I know them, I also know their weaknesses. Quite often I develop small scripts which are helping me at testing. I know different operating systems. Some of them are dead or vanished to history. I don’t use most of them anymore. But every now and then I end up to project where I have to use knowledge about different operating systems. BSD, Solaris, different Linux distros, QNX, different Windows versions, DOS, CP/M – I can’t even remember all I’ve used.

Take part to open source projects. They are good field to learn new things, and also if you have done something to them, you can show from bug reports that you have skills to find problems and report them. If you have done something at open source project, mention it at CV. It looks good! Open source is my favorite way to learn new tricks, learn new ways to blow up systems. Just take part to random project at Freshmeat, start beating and contribute with the bug reports. If you don’t know what to do, go thru their bug database and see if closed bugs still exist or make sure that older reports are still valid. Reproducing and retesting teaches what kind the good reproducible bug report is but also how others have tested the application.

So that’s my short list. It’s far for complete. It’s only from my perspective. At testing field is plenty of different kind of persons. Some are artists like me, some are engineers. We have lot of different skills and we can contribute testing community with our personalities. So welcome, enjoy your way to testing community. Become the active member at testing world at different medias.

I love testing world, its exciting new ideas, large knowledge it needs.