QA learning mistakes
Best practices Management
12 mins read
January 16, 2024

8 critical mistakes to avoid in QA learning process

Are you frustrated with making common mistakes at the beginning of your software testing journey? Do you feel like you are not progressing despite putting in work hours? Do not worry; we've got your back.

Nurlan Suleymanov

Are you frustrated with making common mistakes at the beginning of your software testing journey? Do you feel like you are not progressing despite putting in work hours? Do not worry; we’ve got your back.

From basic blunders to significant errors, we will show you how to avoid common QA learning mistakes and become the tester you want to be. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just starting out, these tips will help you stay on track and ensure your testing efforts are efficient, error-free, and top-level.

We touched on other QA learning mistakes during the video.

#1. Lack of focus on the fundamentals

One of the first mistakes you might make in the QA learning process is focusing on more advanced concepts before you master the fundamentals. Your eagerness and enthusiasm to do the most complicated things should not lead you to skip the basics. Here is how you avoid this testing learning mistake:

  • Ensure you master the basics of software testing, including defect identification, test planning, or reporting.
  • Do not rush into more advanced concepts to demonstrate your high-level technical skills.
  • Review and practice the basics repeatedly until you fully grasp them. 
  • Ask for guidance from experienced QA professionals to help you develop a strong foundation of QA basics. 
  • Attend QA conferences and workshops to learn about the QA best practices and new techniques.

You should remember that if you master the basics of QA, you will be confident to move on to more advanced concepts and implement them successfully in your testing projects. 

You can expand your knowledge in QA with these must-read books that will help you avoid testing learning mistakes:

  • “The Art of software testing” by Glenford J. Myers
  • “Software testing: principles and practices” by Srinivasan Desikan and Gopalaswamy Ramesh
  • “Testing computer software” by Cem Kaner
  • “How to break software: a practical guide to Testing” by James A. Whittaker

Lack of focus on fundamentals in QA

#2. Overconfidence in yourself and not learning from others

It might not be specific to the QA industry, but for juniors in all professions. It is common for beginners to rely too much on their theoretical knowledge and get too confident about their abilities and skills. You might take courses, complete certifications and assume that you already know everything you need to know.  But practice is always different from theory, and you can face problems where your knowledge might not be enough. 

Not learning from others is another QA learning mistake, and here is how you should avoid it: 

  • Network with other QA professionals, gain insights and learn from their mistakes.
  • Participate in communities and forums to learn more from a broader range of professionals. Joining Reddit communities or Linkedin groups where professionals share their knowledge can also help you in practical learning.
  • Do not be afraid to ask questions because they make you seem inexperienced or incompetent.

In every job, communicating with seniors regularly and learning from their mistakes is one of the most effective ways to avoid these errors in your path. Networking is an underrated skill, so do not only rely on your theoretical knowledge in QA and communicate with as many seniors as you can.

#3. Not knowing the basics of QA management

If you are new in the software testing industry, it is common to face QA management problems. It is crucial to learn how to manage testing projects effectively. Following the steps below, you can effectively tackle this problem: 

  • Take time to understand the project management methodologies and tools, such as Agile and Scrum.
  • Learn to prioritise testing activities, allocate resources, and follow the deadlines to complete the testing process.
  • Understand the risk management principles and how to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks.
  • Embrace test management solutions to simplify and streamline your QA management. 

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#4. Underestimating the bug reports

Bug reports are a crucial part of software testing. Producing poor bug reports is one of the most common QA learning mistakes you will probably make if you are new to software testing. So when learning QA, ensure you know the importance of bug reports as it is the document of the problem or issue you find during testing. 

Understanding the importance of the following concepts will help you avoid the mistake of underestimating them: 

  • Incomplete information: A bug report should include all the necessary information the developer needs to know to fix the issue. The expected outcome, actual result, and steps to reproduce the bug should be included in the report with screenshots or videos.
  • Unclear language: A bug report should be written directly and clearly for the developer to understand. So you should avoid the jargon or acronyms in your report.
  • Lack of prioritisation: Not all bugs are equal, so you should prioritise the most crucial bugs that affect the software’s functionality and security. So do not focus on the quantity, and learn to prioritise.

If you avoid the mistakes mentioned above, you will be able to provide the devs with a detailed bug report. This will help you ensure the bugs are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

#5. Ignoring Continuous Learning

One of the most common software testing learning mistakes is neglecting to stay updated with the latest trends, tools, and techniques.  In software testing, it can significantly impede your professional growth. If you fail to engage in ongoing trends in the rapidly evolving tech industry, it will result in outdated practices and stagnation. 

This commonly happens due to a perceived lack of time or underestimation of the impact of staying current. The consequences are tangible: your skills become obsolete, testing methods lag, and overall efficiency takes a hit. To avoid this, you should set aside dedicated time for learning, exploring various resources, attending webinars, and actively participating in relevant communities that can help you stay abreast of advancements.

#6. Not improving soft skills

Effective communication, collaboration, and problem-solving are crucial in successful QA testing. However, sidelining the development of these soft skills can be deadly. Doing this will hamper teamwork, compromise the ability to convey findings clearly, and muddle the understanding of project objectives. 

When you put all your energy into nailing the technical side of things, it’s easy to forget that being great with people matters just as much in QA. But if you overlook this, it can mess up how your team works together, make it hard to agree on the projects, and harm your team’s problem-solving. To fix this, try getting involved in workshops, finding a mentor who’s been around the block, and working on listening better and understanding where others are coming from.

#7. Not learning about feedback culture

Imagine you are a new employee or an intern just learning QA testing. Of course, you will get all kinds of feedback for your work. If you brush off feedback from people like your peers, bosses, or users, it stops you from growing personally and professionally. 

Feedback is fuel for improving your testing methods and improving your work. Ignoring feedback might come from a fear of criticism or thinking you don’t need anyone’s help. But here’s the deal: if you ignore feedback, you miss chances to get better, might not spot where your testing could be off, and your work might not be as good as it could be. To fix this, try to be open to feedback, actively ask for it, and use helpful criticism to keep getting better at what you do.

#8. Relying too much on automation

One of the most common mistakes in learning software testing is assuming that automation solves all your problems. Although automation will help you with repetitive tasks and save you a lot of time, it is vital to understand the importance of manual testing too. Here is how you can avoid the mistake of over-reliance on automation in software testing: 

  • Take time to understand the pros and cons of both automated and manual testing, and use each of them when appropriate.
  • Develop manual testing skills, including exploratory, boundary, and negative testing. 
  • First, understand the underlying logic of software and how it works to enhance your manual testing skills. 
  • Do not ignore the importance of test planning and design, even if you are using automation tools.

Learning manual testing with its core principles and knowing when to use it will help you avoid the mistake of relying too much on automation in the QA learning process. 

However, the proper usage of AI for test management will help you optimise resources, reduce costs, and save time. Only 7% of vendors offer AI in QA tools, so make sure you choose the best one for your testing efforts. 

aqua Copilot is the ultimate solution for you that will help you prioritise the necessary tests for your needs, review the test cases you have worked on, and create entire test cases based on the requirements. You can increase your efficiency massively with aqua’s AI solution.

Learn how testers use the power of AI to boost their testing process, cut costs, increase revenue, and save lots of time.

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Learning QA can be challenging, especially in the beginning. But following the abovementioned steps, you will avoid QA learning mistakes more efficiently. Learning manual testing techniques, focusing on the fundamentals, continuously learning from others, networking, prioritising and learning to create better bug reports will make you an efficient QA professional and help you avoid novice mistakes.

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Is QA difficult to learn?

QA is not difficult to learn if you are eager, continuously learn from others, do not make the same mistakes repeatedly, and rely on practical knowledge as much as theoretical.

What are the challenges you faced in learning QA?

Challenges in learning QA include getting used to complicated technical concepts, keeping up with ever-evolving technology, and multitasking.

How to learn QA efficiently?

To learn QA efficiently, you need to pursue relevant courses, attend QA conferences, try to get hands-on experience, continuously learn and adapt to new technologies, and also learn to manage last-minute requests.

Is QA testing easy?

The complexity of QA testing can vary. While some aspects might be straightforward, mastering it requires a blend of technical knowledge, attention to detail, and adaptability. Embracing the fundamentals, staying updated with evolving technologies, and honing soft skills like communication and problem-solving are crucial. It’s a field that demands continuous learning and an openness to feedback to excel. While it may have challenges, dedication and a passion for improvement can make it an enjoyable and rewarding profession.

Is QA harder than coding?

Both QA testing and coding have unique challenges. Coding demands strong understanding of algorithms, problem-solving abilities, and precision in writing code. Debugging and troubleshooting can be time-consuming and require deep analytical thinking. On the other hand, QA testing involves meticulous attention to detail, understanding complex systems, and devising comprehensive testing strategies. It requires a critical eye to identify potential issues and ensure the product meets quality standards. While coding often involves creating software solutions, QA testing involves validating and ensuring the quality of those solutions. Both fields require continuous learning and adaptation to evolving technologies.

How can I improve my testing performance?

To enhance your QA testing, mastering software testing fundamentals, including defect identification, test planning, and reporting is crucial. Avoid rushing into complex concepts before mastering the basics. Engage with experienced QA professionals, attend relevant workshops or conferences, and explore online resources to stay updated with the latest trends and techniques. Additionally, fosters soft skills like communication and problem-solving, which are crucial for effective QA testing. Embrace feedback from peers, supervisors, and users, utilising it to refine your methodologies continually. Strive for a balance between manual testing and automation, avoiding over-reliance on one method. Lastly, approach each project with a critical eye, continuously seeking improvement and learning from successes and failures to evolve your QA testing prowess.

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