How Can I Be A Better Tester?

On my first post I stated that I want to be a better Tester, but at that time I only had a rough idea of what I wanted to achieve.

Well, I’ve been busy researching the different areas I was interested in, namely testing & Java programming, & I feel I know the route I am going to take.


Initially, I need to focus on building on my ISTQB-ISEB Certified Tester Foundation Level knowledge & understanding of testing.

I am at a point in my career where I need to choose between increasing my technical knowledge, or to go down the managerial path.

Judging by interests & current reading, I’d say I’m more inclined to go down the technical route. I do enjoy getting my hands dirty with the code, & I feel if I was in a more managerial position it would mean I was not as close to the code as I’d like to be.

Consequently, the managerial path is on the back burner until a later date, & for now I intend to sit the ISTQB Certified Tester Advanced Level.

I’ve been browsing the Advanced Tester syllabus and by the looks of it I’ll be aiming to pass the Advanced Level Test Analyst certification as it is the most pertinent to the work I have been & am currently doing. An overview of the certification, taken from :

Test Analyst
The Advanced Test Analyst qualification will give Internationally recognised advanced skills in test analysis, design and execution. Successful candidates can:
  • Structure the tasks defined in the test strategy in terms of business domain requirements
  • Analyse the system in sufficient detail to meet the user quality expectations
  • Evaluate the system requirements to determine domain validity
  • Prepare and execute the adequate testing activities, and report on their progress
  • Provide the necessary evidence to support evaluations
  • Implement the necessary tools and techniques to achieve the defined goals

The Technical Test Analyst looks like my next logical progression – to be reviewed at a later date.

Being a contractor, I want to spend as little time out of the office during office hours as possible. Having a hunt a round, I have found a self study package for the Advanced Tester certification. I’ll look into it to see if it is a viable alternative to classroom training.

To compliment my training, i’ll also be purchasing Advanced Software Testing Vol. 1 (Rockynook Computing) and using the internet – I have already stumbled upon this ISTQB webinar on youtube. cant really read the text though. I love the internet.


To compliment my testing training, I am also learning the Object Oriented Programming language of Java.

Looking into it, a useful certification for me to obtain is the Sun Certified Java Programmer which should help indicate to potential recruiters & clients my level of understanding of Java.

As well as working with Java  in my current role, I am doing a lot of background research into the language.

I am following online tutorials to help my understanding of Java, as well as being fortunate enough to have brown bag sessions with Jim Barritt from ThoughtWorks. Both of these tutorials have been & are very beneficial in helping me understand Java. 

I’m also looking at & tinkering with the tests which have been written in the project code to ascertain what they’re upto & what code they’re testing – this is also helping me to get familiar with the syntax & structure of the Java language.

Even with the little training I have undertaken into Java, I am still able to provide benefit to project by helping to scope the lower level tests (e.g. unit, container, integration) required for a particular story.


I’m also absorbing copious amounts of agile ideas from numerous websites, podcasts, books & agile enthusiasts.

I’m currently looking to start building an agile community in Liverpool as there doesn’t appear to be one.

It would be ace to be able to provide some agile nuggets in my next role which helps the project be leaner with less waste.