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April 29, 2020

Role Model: Application Tester

Agata Piekut by Agata

Monika Kowalewska, our WrocLOVE Carrot, shares with us how to become Application Tester and why she loves this job.

Why did you decide to become a tester, what was your professional journey?
I am a chemist by profession. I went to chemistry studies because I was interested in the explosives topic. During my studies, I’ve become interested in the IT industry. I participated in several meet-ups on which I understood absolutely nothing 🙂 It didn’t bother me because listening to people talking passionately about their projects was a pleasure.

In the last year of my studies, I decided to try myself as a tester and took the ISTQB Foundation Level exam. After spending many romantic evenings with notes I was able to pass the exam and obtain a certificate. After the defense I was looking for a job as a software tester and I was able to find it as a front-end tester and then HTML5 application tester.

Many people wonder what testers do, could you share with us some of your recent projects?
My work is mainly based on exploratory manual tests. I test the application on various devices in different environments, e.g. Linux, Android. I check if and how the application works and whether there are any errors blocking further publication. My favorite part of testing is the one when I try to break the application. This is the most interesting in this work, looking for a way to make the application crash. After completing the tests, I report the found bugs and add technical information to help the developer fix the error. The last major projects I took part in were tests of the BBC and VEVO music app. During such tests, I tested an app’s logic, navigation, video playback and everything related to the application.

How important are programming skills for testers?
In my opinion programming skills are very important and definitely useful. There are many tests in the IT industry that are performed manually. Because those tests are based on user-experience or they are one-time tests, and such are not profitable to automate. I had the opportunity to work as a front-end tester. It was necessary there to manually check websites and check whether the product meets the expectations of a demanding user. It would seem that in such work knowledge of programming languages ​​is not useful. But are you sure?

As a tester, I checked websites written using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I became interested in JS and with “The Net Ninja” I discovered what this language can do. I only learned the basics of JS and it was enough for me to understand better how the websites work, what part of code iis responsible for what action and of course ‘what can go wrong’. This experience has shown me that learning programming languages ​​is really useful.

We testers work on a “living body” which is e.g. a script, website, app. Therefore, I think it is good to know at least basic information about its structure or properties. I am currently learning JavaScript to write in the future automatic tests that will work for me. This is something cool!

Which programming languages ​​would you recommend for those who’d like to follow your steps?
If you want to work with apps or websites, it’s definitely JS. I don’t know if this language is generally recommended as the first to learn, but for me it is really pleasant to learn. A big plus is that all you need to start programming is browser e.g. Chrome. I started my adventure with this language one day when during testing I decided to make a prank on a workmate and “change” one element in his program. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to do it so … I asked Google and I came across “The Net Ninja” the rest of the story you already know 😉

I think that for beginners, any programming language is good. I learned the basics of Python and JavaScript and I think these programming languages ​​are okay for beginners. Learning must be fun! Working with a programming language that we don’t like but we do it because it is popular makes no sense. In this case, it is very easy to get discouraged, which is a pity, because programming can be fun.

When did you decide to join Geek Girls Carrots and what are your favorite projects so far?
I wanted to join Geek Girls Carrots much earlier but I unfortunately hesitated. Earlier this year, I finally wrote an email to GGC that I want to be a volunteer. The girls wrote back almost immediately, and after a few chats and Skype conversations, I became one of the Carrot girls.

My favorite project was the “JS Heroes” JavaScript workshop. It was the first IT workshop in which organisation I took part. To this day I admire the girls who were able to handle this amount of knowledge in such a short time. It was a very inspiring experience, if you ever have the opportunity to attend any workshops then do it because it’s really worth it!

I also like all meetups. This is a great opportunity to meet people who have similar experience and listen about interesting topics. And because meetup takes no more than a few hours it’s much easier to book some time and take part in it.

What are your favorite books and online resources to learn?
I highly recommend the book “Clean Code” to people who think about learning to program, it’s good reading to start with. I started my testing path by reading “Syllabus” attached as a learning material for the ISTQB Foundation Level exam. The basic testing rules and nomenclature are explained there, which is not obvious to a beginner. Today, to enrich my knowledge I usually use… Google 🙂

Test articles and posts are published daily, people share their ideas and experiences. I recommend joining tester’s social groups, which are an immeasurable source of knowledge. I often participate in meetups, now most of them are available online. So you can take part in them, without leaving your home, in your favorite tracksuit. It is an opportunity that you should not miss! I also encourage you to sign up for test.io, where you can challenge yourself at various test projects, and by the way have fun hunting down the bug.

As one of the most important tester rules says. “There is no software that has zero bugs” so sometimes you just need to look well and the error will show up. 🙂

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