What Will You Learn This Year?

It’s a new year, which is a great time to take a look at your career and plan what you’d like to accomplish. One of the things I love about software testing is that it’s a continually evolving craft. The software that we test changes over time, as do the methods and tools we use. Because of this, we must always learn new things: new languages, new tools, and new strategies. Let’s all learn something new in 2022!

Here are some resources you can use to learn new things:

Take a Course:
In 2019, I took this awesome course on Node.js and I learned enough to create a simple API and website to accompany my new book. This year I’m going to be taking this course on Android development with the idea that understanding more about mobile app development will help me be a better mobile tester. Here are some great resources for online learning:
Test Automation University– all of the courses are related to test automation, and they are completely free!
W3 Schools– another free resource, this site teaches HTML, CSS, SQL, and a whole host of software languages.
LinkedIn Learning– If you have a LinkedIn Pro membership, you can take LinkedIn Learning courses for free. If you don’t have a Pro membership, you can always purchase courses individually. Check out my course on API testing with Postman!
Udemy– the price tags on these courses look daunting, but they very frequently go on sale. This is where I took that great Node.js course.
Pluralsight– many workplaces offer memberships to Pluralsight as a perk of employment.

Read a Book:
Books are a great way to learn about software testing, because they dive deeper into testing concepts. Books are also easy to take with you when you are on a train, on your lunch break, or on vacation. Here are some software testing books I recommend:
The Complete Software Tester by Kristin Jackvony: Of course I’m going to recommend my new book! This book is a comprehensive look at all aspects of software testing, from manual testing through API testing, from coding basics through test automation, and from creating test plans through working effectively on a team.
Agile Testing Condensed by Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin: This is a great introduction in how to test on an Agile team and how to help your whole team own quality. I’ve written a review of the book here.
Perfect Software, and Other Illusions About Testing by Gerald Weinberg: This book gives a fun, unbiased look at what happens when people test software. Read my review here.
The Way of the Web Tester by Jonathan Rasmusson: This is my favorite book for helping people get started with test automation. My review can be found here.
Continuous Testing for DevOps Professionals by Eran Kinsbruner: Once you’ve learned test automation, it’s time to set up continuous testing. Reading this book is a great way to get started. Read my review here.

Listen to a Podcast:
We all have hours in our day where we can’t read or look at a computer screen: when we’re driving, exercising, or folding laundry, for example. This is a great time to listen to podcasts, and there are a lot of testing podcasts out there! Here are some I recommend:
The Test Guild Podcasts: The gold standard of podcasts, Joe Colantonio offers the original Test Guild Automation podcast as well as two newer podcasts: the Test Guild Performance & SRE podcast, and the Test Guild Security podcast.
AB Testing: This podcast is hosted by the creators of the Modern Testing Principles, Alan Page and Brent Jensen. It’s always interesting to hear them talk about testing philosophy!
The Guilty Tester: A fun and irreverent look at the challenges and triumphs of software testing, presented by Dave Duke.
The QA Lead Podcast: Hosted by Jonathon Wright, this podcast looks at recent developments in software testing, with a special emphasis on leading QA teams.
The Testing Show: Presented by Qualitest and hosted by Matt Heusser and Michael Larson, this podcast features great guests and fascinating discussions.

Read a Blog:
There are SO many good software testing blogs to choose from! One great way to discover which blogs you enjoy the most is to read one of the weekly digests that aggregate the best posts of the week. Here are some good sites to try:
Software Testing Weekly by Dawid Dylowicz
CodingJag by LambdaTest
Test Automation Weekly
And here are some blogs I read regularly:
A Tester’s Journey by Lisi Hocke
A Seasoned Tester’s Crystal Ball by Maaret Pyhajarvi
Beth the Tester by Beth Marshall
Marie Drake’s blog
Satisfice blog by James Bach
Developsense blog by Michael Bolton

Attend a Conference:
One of the unexpected boons of COVID-19 was that many conferences went online. This means that you can attend conferences all over the world without plane fare, a hotel room, or expensive restaurant meals! Here are some conferences to attend:
Automation Guild: Joe Colantonio’s conference has been online from the beginning, and it offers really high-quality content. The 2022 conference is just a few weeks away (and I will be presenting)!
QA Global Summit: Presented by Geekle, this conference focuses on all aspects of software testing, from agile and devops to the tester’s role and test automation. I’m speaking at this conference as well, along with some well-known presenters!
TestFlix: This is a fun annual offering from the Test Tribe with bite-sized presentations about all areas of software testing. Click here to watch my presentation at the 2021 TestFlix.
TestBash: Brought to you by the Ministry of Testing, these online presentations, courses, and conferences cover a wide variety of topics from navigating your software testing career to writing test automation.

This has been a fairly extensive list of resources, and this is just scratching the surface! We are so blessed to be software testers in a time when there are so many great ways to share information. Don’t let your skills stagnate in 2022; learn something new!

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