Since people get hired into testing from diverse backgrounds, possessing unique skill sets, training is always necessary for proper execution on a test project. The degree to which people get trained in these skill sets varies. This section of the Global Testing survey deals with QA/Test training.
1. Have you ever taken a testing methodology or QA process course?
Analysis: 32% or respondents answering “no, I have never taken a class” is too high. To have close to a third of any job skill never to have had training in that area is absurdly high. I fear the number in the general testing population is probably much higher than 32%. In this survey, the respondents reached are those who are actively seeking additional information through education resources, magazines and other outlets. Corporations need to realize – for so many reasons – the response for this question must be “yes”, 100%.
2. What skills are missing in the group? (you may select multiple answers)
|Subject matter/domain knowledge||32.7%||32|
|Technical understanding of the code, system, platform, environment||34.7%||34|
|Test tool (ALM, test case manager, bug tracking, source control, continuous integration tool)||22.4%||22|
Analysis: These numbers speak for themselves. There are a lot of people who test that self-describe as lacking some skills to do their job. The accompanying lack of confidence will also contribute to other problems such as job satisfaction, morale, confidence about their work, ability to defend their work, among others.
Especially problematic is the people who feel they do not have the automation skills to do their job.
As a trainer, consultant and software developer, I see this as a major problem in our business. While many companies have testers automate their own tests, others leave the job of automating to specially skilled test automation engineers. These test automation engineers must have automation skills ready-to-go. Conversely, the current movement in testing is toward action-based or keyword-driven test automation. In action-based testing, an automation test engineer can build and support an automation framework where “subject matter expert” black box testers can utilize their technical expertise to easily get their tests automated. In TestArchitect, Fitnesse, etc., anyone who tests can have tests automated that use action or functions coded by someone else. Regardless of who automates, extensive knowledge of test automations is the only way to stay competitive in the software development world today. That 52% of surveyed testers feel they are lacking test automation skills clearly defines a need for more training in this most important area.
3. What types of training have you and/or your group taken within the last two years? Sources varied, including:
|University of California Extension|
|HP QC (tool training)|
|Cisco and technology specific trainings|
4. How do you get job skills? (you may select multiple answers)
|Take a course||42.7%||44|
|“Brown bag” lunch, internal team training sessions, internal knowledge transfer||57.3%||59|
|I don’t have an opportunity to increase my job skills||1%||1|
Other answers included: Co-workers, read blogs, tech/tool trainings.
5. If you answered “books” in the above questions, please tell us what books you have read to get your job
Of the 30 people listing books, three books to get more than one response:
|Testing Computer Software (Kaner, Nguyen, Faulk)|
|Lessons Learned in Software Testing (Kaner, Bach, Pettichord)|
|The Art of Software Testing (Glenford Meyers)|
6. If you took a course was it paid for by:
7. Are you currently certified?
Note: of the 142 people completing the survey, 26 indicated they are certified. That is 18%
8. Yes, I was certified by:
Note: of the 142 people completing the survey, 26 indicated they are certified. That is 18%. Of the 18% of survey respondents who are certified:
|Six Sigma Black Belt||3.3%||1|
9. Do you feel you have all the skills you need to do a successful job testing?
Analysis: These numbers speak for themselves. That a quarter of testers feel they are not prepared for their job is an industry problem. This group needs to be helped along the way and directed to the many training solutions available today!