I don’t know you, but if you like me, it’s very difficult to find good and trusted sources to learn software testing these days. Doing a quick search on Google, there are millions of result returned and you don’t know which one to pick up, or you pick one and then ask yourself “Can I trust this?”. This is even more difficult if you are new in software testing.
I’ve been in software testing for around ten years and I share your pain.
In this post today, I would like to share with you my best online resources to learn software testing. Those are resources I’ve used myself to learn or received good feedback and recommended in the industry. I hope after this post, you will find a right source for you, the one will go along with you and help you improve your testing skills.
1. What are my best software testing blogs?
Not sure if you know this, but reading blog is one of my favorite reading habits. Blog can bring up fresh view instantly and it’s easy to digest.
TestBuffet website did an amazing job when collecting 114 software testing blogs testers can follow and read. It’s a great list, but to narrow down, here are my favorite ones:
Developsense – Michael Bolton
No, I’m not talking about Michael Bolton American singer with the song “Said I Loved You, but I Lied” 🙂 . While I love this song, there’s another great Michael Bolton in software testing.
Michael is well-known for Rapid Software Testing, a skill of testing software under pressure of time, and exploratory testing. Michael has blogged since 2005 and his blog is full of resources to read and learn.
In case you are new to the site, I suggest to start with his Blog page and filter to blog category and select the category fitting your need instead of using Monthly Blog archives.
Most of categories are worth reading, but my favorite categories are Testing vs Checking, Critical Thinking, Rapid Software Testing, Heuristics.
A little warning: If you are using English as second language and new to software testing, you will find difficult to catch up the ideas Mike is trying to convey, but don’t be discouraged by that. Keep reading and you will soon get familiar with his writing style and thoughts.
Official website: http://developsense.com/
Satisfice – James Bach
James is one of the most respected speakers, writers and testers in the industry. James started as programmer, but then he moved to software testing because he found finding problem in software is more interesting than software production. James is the creator of Rapid Software Testing, Session-based Test Management. James subscribes to exploratory testing and Context-Driven Testing.
James’ blog covers most (if not all) topics in software testing from beginner to advanced level. If you are new, you may want to start with For Newbie category
Official website: http://www.satisfice.com/blog/
2. What are trusted sources to read articles?
Let me tell you this, I don’t often read paperback book, but I read articles a lot. This is not because books are not good, but I find online articles are more convenient for me to read.
According to Chartbeat, there are 92,000+ articles published a day about any topics in life and choosing a trusted source to read is challenging even when you shorten the list of software testing industry only. To make things easier for you, here is my favorite sources to read articles:
StickyMinds – TechWell:
If you are looking for articles written by experts in the industry, StickyMind is the right resource for you.
Most of articles published in StickyMind community is worth reading and well reviewed, so you can trust the validity of the content. The articles are not only about software testing, but also about other topics dedicated to improving software quality.
StickyMind covers the following topics:
While articles on StickyMinds are great and helpful, most of them are not written for beginners. If you are looking for a step-by-step guide article, StickyMind may disappoint you.
Official website: http://www.stickyminds.com/
3. What about online Magazines?
If you are a fan of online magazine, you will love these magazines I’m going to introduce you.
The great thing about online magazines is they often presented in themes. They gather all topics in the same theme and release in monthly issue. This will help you focus better and have an in depth look for a certain topic. Also, you can download these magazines for free and read it later. Here is my favorite list:
- LogiGear Magazine
- Testing Circus Magazine
- Better Software Magazine
- Tea-time With Testers Magazine
- Testing Trapeze
4. Online Training Courses
Besides of reading blog, articles, picking up an online course to learn software testing is not a bad idea at all. Here are few courses I recommend.
Udemy is one of most well-known platform to learn online. With more than 40,000 courses (until 2016), you actually can find courses in any subjects you can think of. Udemy has been trusted by 12 million students around the world as their learning source.
One of the reasons I believe Udemy is a good source to learn software testing is because you can find free (or low cost) software testing courses instructed by experienced instructors.
BBST course is probably one the most recommended courses in black box software testing. The course is designed by Cem Kaner, Fidler, and Associates. The course consists 4 series:
Foundation: Foundation course provides a basic introduction to black box software testing. It presents basic terms and considers:
* Mission of testing
* Oracle problem
* Measurement problem
* Impossibility of complete testing
Bud Advocacy: You will learn how investigate a bug and report bug effectively. That’s all this serie is about.
Test Design: This course is survey of testing techniques:
* Gain familiarity with a variety of test techniques.
* Learn structures for comparing objectives and strengths of different test techniques.
* Use the Heuristic Test Strategy Model for test planning and design.
* Use concept mapping tools for test planning.
Exploratory testing: An introduction to exploratory testing. You should also know that “exploratory testing” was first coined by Kaner.
The BBST course is basically a self-study course with slides and videos. You just simply download slides and watch videos. However, to take advantage of this course effectively, it’s recommended to learn this course with instructors. Association for Software Testing organization (AST) teaches this course with a reasonable price. By learning with AST, you will have a good chance to learn with help from instructors and peers and it would be much more fun I believe.
Official website: http://testingeducation.org/BBST/
uTest University – uTest
uTest is better known as a provider for paid testing projects for freelancer. If you have no interest in finding paid projects to earn extra money, you should love the software testing courses provided by uTest University.
uTest University provides all of courses in software testing from manual to automated testing, mobile testing, usability testing, security testing etc. with all levels from beginner to advanced level. The course is step-by-step guides, so tester would find no problems to follow the course.
Good design and easy to read are what I can tell about uTest University course
Not all courses are free, but you can surely find the good ones there
Official website: http://university.utest.com
MinistryOfTesting – by Rosie Sherry
If you don’t know Rosie, Rosie is also the founder of SoftwareTestingClub.com community, TestNinjas, and TestBash conference beside of MinistryOfTesting.
MinistryOfTesting provides The Dojo where testers can check out online courses. Dojo is a room or hall in which judo and other martial arts are practiced.
What makes the Dojo is different is it provides practical courses using Podcast and Video. If you are too busy to read text, The Dojo may be for you.
The Dojo has both Free and Pro subscription. You can start with a Free plan first. If you like the content, you can upgrade to Pro any time.
Official website: https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/
Are you looking for a 100% free online software testing course? You will love Guru99.
While most of training class is designed just to take your money, Guru99 is not one of them.
Even though Guru99 provide their course for free, their content quality is more than my expectation. Courses are designed as step-by-step guide with screenshot to help new testers follow easily.
If there’s one thing I don’t like about Guru99, it’s the way they present their contents. You could be distracted by frequent AdSense advertisements display inline. However, it’s common for free content service.
I highly recommend Guru99 for new testers. Good job Guru99!
Official website: http://www.guru99.com
5. Online forum and communities:
You may be familiar with LinkedIn, but if not, LinkedIn is the #1 network of professionals. Unlike Facebook where most people take pictures and share what they eat or where they are, LinkedIn is where people shared their professional experience and discussion. LinkedIn is considered as complete tool you need for your personal/business marketing.
If you haven’t got the LinkedIn account yet, create one. It’s free. You can also login LinkedIn using your Facebook account.
LinkedIn has many useful features, but my favorite feature is LinkedIn group and my favorite group is Software Testing and Quality Assurance (QA) @Standardqa. To join the group, you can follow the necessary steps to search the group or simply click on this link and join the group
Your group joining request will need to be reviewed for approval. It will take you a day or two as I remember.
Software Testing and Quality Assurance group has been created since 2008 with almost 200,000 members which is one of the largest group in the software testing community I know. With such a large number of members, you will surely find the support you need from this community.
Once you are in the group, you can start asking your burning question in software testing or you can find the discussion you like and join to discuss. However, unlike other forums where you can ask anything in any ways you like, here in this group you need to pose your questions in a professional way because many experts may ask you back for clarifying your questions. This will help you ask better questions and they can help answer you better. I think this makes sense because if you are looking for advice or discussion from professionals, you have to be professional.
I’m on LinkedIn too, connect with me
…And the last resource I want to introduce you is a website which is unrelated to software testing, but it surely can help you do better testing.
LearnCodeTheHardway.org – by Zed A. Shaw
I can’t remember how I knew or who recommended me this site at the beginning, I’m glad that I knew it. 🙂
Unlike other programming training site choosing the easy way to learn programming (or at least that’s what they advertise). LearnCodeTheHardWay does the opposite. When following the course, you have to sweat to learn programming by doing exercise, by typing and mostly on…Notepad. If you are familiar with IDE to write your code, you can image how difficult it is when typing on Notepad.
LCTHW will teach you the following programming languages:
- Learn Python The Hard Way (My favorite one. I learned it)
- Learn Ruby The Hard Way
- Learn C The Hard Way
- Learn SQL The Hard Way
- Learn Regex The Hard Way
…and the best part? They are all FREE for online version. Of course, if you like what Zed wrote, you can buy the book to have full access to video and lifetime support. Anyway, if you are looking for a book or a course to learn a programming language, free online version is all you need.
Official website: http://learncodethehardway.org/
Related read: Top 7 software testing forums you don’t want to miss out
There you have it. I have just introduced you my best online resources to learn software testing. Some of them are free, but some will cost you money. You don’t have to like these courses or take my words. You need to check out and assess the site by yourself. If you are new to testing, this list will give you a heads-up or some initial guide so that you know where to go.
Also, while I’m tempted to find and introduce some good websites or course to learn automation or security, I haven’t found any good ones so far to introduce to you. I did some searches but I was getting confused by the results returned. Some of them are low-fruit courses and designed just to get your money. No, I’m not saying that all the courses out there are like that, it’s just my personal feeling. I would rather make you disappointed than point you to wrong resources I’ve never experienced.
Note: This is not and will never be a fixed list of learning sources, I will go back and update this list if I can find something interesting to share with you. If you are having a good source to learn and you want to recommend testers, please drop me an email at thanh [at]asktester.com or comment right below.
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