Learn how to choose QA tester training subjects and find credible resources, and which delivery methods are most effective.
Internal employee training programs are critical for QA testing teams. Internal training provides employees the opportunity to proactively plan their careers within the organization. Organizations that support internal employee training have a 90% employee retention rate. Internal training opportunities help keep your QA team up to date on the latest testing technologies and enable employees to increase their knowledge and experience. Training is a powerful tool for improving morale and creating a renewable resource of internal talent.
A solid QA tester training program does take an investment of time and energy to plan, create and deliver. There are a lot of moving parts in providing training, including topics, format and training delivery methods.
This guide provides information on how to choose QA tester training subjects, find credible resources, and which delivery methods are most effective.
Developing effective QA tester training starts with setting a training goal or objective. Decide on your objective first and then determine two or more key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your success or determine what improvements are needed. KPIs are quantifiable measurements used to gauge performance. Setting KPIs will help to determine if the training program is meeting its objectives or if changes are needed.
For an internal QA tester training program, a valid objective may be to provide training for QA testers to learn advanced testing skills, obtain a certification, or improve employee performance through advanced training on skills particular to working within the organization. The objective may be as simple as making a QA team more efficient and effective at finding defects throughout the code including the backend, API, database and UI functionality.
Once an objective is set, move on to deciding the training topics, course content and format.
QA testing topics are nearly endless! Seriously, there are always new tools, testing techniques and types of testing that change frequently to adapt to changing technology. Additionally, there are several certifications for QA testing professionals. On every QA team there is a continuous need to train in automated test development and validation testing to ensure regulatory compliance, AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) and accessibility.
Example QA training courses include:
The list can be quite extensive. Consider including options related also to product management, requirements gathering and management, communicating with customers, scrum master, and general Agile methodologies training.
Add into the training all specific certification options that are applicable. Certification options include project management, QA testing and Agile. Empowering employees to earn certifications for subjects within or outside their role helps foster engagement in the organization and builds employee skills that benefit the business.
Now that a training objective and plan are in place, where do you find courses or the information to develop custom courses? There are numerous free online courses available through organizations like Udemy, Coursera and PluralSight, to name a few. Find additional options by searching nearby colleges or universities as well as other online options.
The QA testing team may find the best, QA-focused training available at places offering certification in software testing. ATSQA has a comprehensive list of available online courses with or without tester certification for a reasonable cost. If you’re developing custom training, ATSQA is a credible resource for information on QA testing from the basics to more advanced topics.
When creating custom internal training course content, be sure to search scholarly articles online for credible information. Additionally, there are many online QA testing services that post valuable articles pertinent to a variety of QA testing topics.
Don’t forget to tap the talent the team already has. Most QA testing teams have several senior-level or highly experienced testers. The value of long-term experience comes in very handy when training needs to be developed. Leverage the knowledge of your QA team to assist in creating valid and effective training courses.
Remember to also review several books on software testing. Below are a few classics that are timeless:
What type of training delivery method is the most effective? Videos and online presentations are popular, but neither quite replaces the quality of live instruction. The best option may be a blend of both live and recorded presentations.
Training presentation options to consider include:
The advantage of in-person classroom or workshop-type training is its isolation. The isolation allows employees to better focus on training rather than training in between performing work tasks. Group training also provides an interactive training experience rather than simply listening and taking notes. Training that is interactive and inclusive to an audience makes the training memorable and engaging, and learners are more likely to retain the information.
However, in many organizations, training cannot be isolated due to time or cost constraints. The best bet then is on-the-job training as individuals or as a group. Individual on-the-job training is more effective because it’s focused on the individual learner rather than trying to educate an entire group. On-the-job training is effective but repetitive for trainers, especially if there are more than a few employees to train or a matching number of trainers.
Online training via learning management systems (LMS) is a modern method for creating and presenting training. Companies already using AWS (Amazon Web Services) may be able to take advantage of adding AWS Moodle. Moodle is an LMS system where users create effective training courses and then users can learn in their own time or on a schedule. The beauty of eLearning is the flexibility and ability to reach both individual learners and large groups. For QA testing teams who are usually quite tight on training time, eLearning may be the best option to provide self-paced training that interested users can work through as they are able.
Internal training programs are valuable and worth investing time and money into developing and presenting. Start by creating a team to develop the objective for training, the type or types of presentation and delivery methods. Determine if the QA team is creating the training courses, or if the team will use external online courses. Teams may decide a mix of training works best for their schedules and training needs. For example, develop the courses internally that are specific to the organization, and leverage online courses to fill in the rest. Internal employee training is important for keeping existing employees engaged and proactively planning their careers.
The more credible the training offered, the more likely employees see it as an investment in their career and the more likely they stay actively engaged and employed. Build your QA team investment and create training that moves the team forward.
QA teams need testing tools. Consider tools for managing tests and creating automation. automation. Testing tools like Test Studio keep QA test teams organized and productive.
A QA test professional with 23+ years of QA testing experience within a variety of software development teams, Amy Reichert has extensive experience in QA process development & planning, team leadership/management, and QA project management. She has worked on multiple types of software development methodologies including waterfall, agile, scrum, kanban and customized combinations. Amy enjoys continuing to improve her software testing craft by researching and writing on a variety of related topics. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cat management and the outdoors.
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