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5 Tips to Easing Your Role as a Junior Quality Assurance Engineer

5 Tips to Easing Your Role as a Junior Quality Assurance Engineer

Having been in the software testing industry for approximately a decade, I have had the privilege to witness multiple amateur quality assurance (QA) engineers find their feet while growing in professional capacity. And one thing always stands out; every beginner struggles with the feeling of inadequacy due to the complex workload that comes with the role they have been assigned. While that feeling of inadequacy can only be lifted by time and experience, there are tools you can have to make your early days as a QA more comfortable. So sit back and relax while I attempt to alleviate your anxieties.

1. A Trusty Workstation

When starting out in a new tech firm, everything you encounter is relatively new to you. This ‘newness’ can create a detached feeling in the mind, which can affect your ability to integrate seamlessly into your new working environment. Therefore, it is quite helpful to bring with you certain items you are comfortable working with and a trusty laptop could be the difference between learning very quickly or lagging behind. In situations where you are asked to choose a new company laptop, select one carefully. Here are things to look out for when buying/choosing a laptop.

2. Purchasing the Perfect Phone

In today’s software community, development firms now focus on building cross-platform software applications and, although this should play a part in the mobile device you choose to use, there is something more important you must consider: That is your ability to work on the go regardless of your location. As a quality assurance engineer, multiple situations will occur where you will be asked to get something done in your spare time or during the weekend. In these situations, having a handy mobile device with an operating system that runs all your testing tools will prove to be a life-saver throughout your career. So when choosing a phone, ensure that the most important criteria you consider is its app support base and not how good its camera is.

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    3. Stay Hydrated at all Costs

    The stories on employees or interns of certain fortune 500 companies either passing out or dying due to having been over-worked are not just child tales. These sad incidents do occur in high-stress work places where too much work is given with too little time provided for delivery. Sadly, the job of a QA sometimes falls under this category. Therefore, if you have been given steep deadlines combined with too much responsibility on a regular basis, it is important to remember ingesting the universal life-source known as water. For while you may be able to go without food for extended periods of time, going without water will definitely affect both your performance and your health.

    Yes, water may have been provided in the general water dispenser but the tip here is to always have a handy water carrier by your side for regular use. To ensure that you do not shun your hydration needs due to the distance from your desk to the dispenser a the other side of the office.

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    4. Develop Interpersonal Skillsets

    No matter how efficient a programmer, software tester or analyst you are, not getting along with your superiors as well as your colleagues will hamper your growth in any firm. I do know that individuals have their different personality traits, but even a person taciturn in nature must learn how to communicate effectively to remain firmly rooted on the good side of his or her boss. Also, it is important to remember that you are a QA engineer, which means providing feedback is an integral part of your job and how can you do that without good interpersonal skills?

    5. Time is Your Ally

    For anyone willing to truly learn and grow in the QA role, time spent in the office must be viewed as an opportunity to learn from his or her superiors. During my time as a QA engineer, I have seen individuals who could barely work effectively with MS Excel sheets become experts with Selenium and other automation tools in time.

    So do not be afraid to spread your wings and fly while working towards the goal of becoming an experienced quality assurance engineer or a professional consultant in the near future.

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    Image Credits:

    Smartphone Via Pexels.com

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    Featured photo credit: Smarttips via smarttips.in

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    Vikas Agrawal

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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