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Recently added a QA team to our development group with 2 testers to provide QA for medium sized web projects. These two have relatively little experience with any kind of QA.

We have been tasked with coming up with a testing process and training for the two new members.

What is a good way to introduce these two to the world of software testing?

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What background do these people have? Programmers? No software development experience at all? Domain experts/business users? –  FinnNk Nov 15 '10 at 9:11
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closed as not constructive by gnat, AProgrammer, Dynamic, Walter, Glenn Nelson Jan 3 '13 at 13:21

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5 Answers

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I would try something like this:

The game of testing is to make the application break. Therefore, I would teach about cases of unit tests, where parameters are wrong. Second, unit tests where function calls are missing or not yet implemented. Take note of their new testcases such that they can be automated and be run in the continuous build

Once, unit tests give a first understanding of software workings, I would let them move up to integration tests. It is important to take them the role of a user and make the logic behind the software break. Also here, take notes and run their output automatically in continuous build.

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I'd start with this: http://www.amazon.com/How-Break-Web-Software-Applications/dp/0321369440/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1290138063&sr=1-1

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this seems like a really good option. –  jellyfishtree Nov 19 '10 at 5:34
This looks like a great read if your team is agile: amazon.com/Agile-Testing-Practical-Guide-Testers/dp/0321534468/… –  Steve Goodman Jan 10 '11 at 20:16
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If your QA testers are not from a development background, and the software in question is based on multiple applications from the same core code and not unique software each time, I would make the Unit Testing part of the original developers job in the agile testing phase, and make the QA testers follow User Scenario based tests to see if the code does what it is supposed to do in practice.

(This is assuming that your QA testers are testing once all of the functionality has been built but before launch, as you have called it QA so I am assuming this is separate to your agile testing).

To start with you could create a simple spreadsheet format with the test question e.g. "Can the admin user create a new blog entry in the CMS?", "Can the admin user edit an existing blog entry in the CMS?", and "Can the admin user delete a blog entry in the CMS?". Obviously these are really high level examples and you would want to get right down to the nitty gritty level. Then have a column to put "pass" or "fail" and a column for the date and for their name. This makes someone accountable for each test scenario even if both QA testers end up working on the same project at some point (think holiday cover etc). Remember to include all applicable browsers/operating systems/devices in your test case scenarios.

You then need to put a process in place for getting the bugs found resolved on the project by the development team.

This is a starting point and ideally of course you would build this up into a more stringent and permanent process with metrics for tracking progress etc over time.

Hope that helps!

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I will ask them to apply software practically on daily basis for sometime. And let them come out with good and bad stuff about the application. During the usage they must have come across lots of things which will become inputs for later versions. Also, testers need to be more intuitive to find bugs and bug finding skill comes to them during the course.

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I'd recommend looking at the Association for Software Testing's BBST Foundations online course. This will give them a really solid understanding of testing fundamentals, as well as letting them make connections with other testers, so they're not just dependent on you guys for everything, but have a community who they can go to for ideas and help.

The course materials are also freely available online, but given that the Foundations course is free with AST membership, I'd strongly recommend doing the online course.

(If you do have a budget for external training, then don't bother with test certification courses, they're expensive, and tend to promote heavyweight documentation approaches that will divert your new testers onto spending time creating endless paperwork rather than testing your code. They also won't teach them to test.)

Other good resources: Try looking up James Bach, Michael Bolton, Elizabeth Hendrickson (if they don't love the Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet, then you may not have picked the right candidates). Point them at sites like the Software Testing Club. Send them along to the Weekend Testers.

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