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Rock your first day as a QA tester: Tips and Tricks for Junior Testers

July 20, 2021

Congratulations! You’ve taken your first big step towards a new life. You’ve finished your QA manual testing course at Careerist, you’ve completed your interview phase and you’ve landed yourself a great job. All you need to tackle now is your first day at work! 

In this article we’ll cover what you can expect from your first working day. Let’s get started...

Your primary goal on day one is to show the company that they didn’t make a mistake in hiring you. You need to prove to them that you’re an interesting worker, and that you’re a rare treasure that they need to hold onto.

For many graduates, they find it hard to accept that companies already see and treat them as specialists. When in reality it’s only day one as a QA tester for them. The key to remember is, the company has made you a grand offer, so they know you’ve got it within yourself to be an amazing tester, so go and live up to it.

Remember, you were hired to be part of a team, to make team life even better and to improve workflow for the company. The knowledge you have gained from Careerist will go a long way to helping you, but you will also need to learn to do some stuff for yourself.  

Indeed, you will probably find your first tasks difficult to understand, and they could be tricky, but the team won’t give you a task that you’re unable to deal with.

It would be great if the company allowed you to choose the day you start because your mindset is important. (The best day to start a new job is a Thursday or a Friday. You can analyze the new information and emotions over the weekend this way). 

But on the whole, it’s day one in a new job, so do your best and keep calm, and don’t worry too much.

What can help to reduce your stress levels?

Day one is one of the most stressful days ever, so take on board some of these tips:

  • Time management. Think about your route to the office and anticipate delays. Do your best to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before your day officially starts.
  • Appearance. If there’s a special dress code you will be notified by your manager. If not you may want to check clothing details before you start. It’s important to dress like your coworkers, plus this way you won’t stand out as a newcomer.
  • Prepare your documents. If you haven’t signed your contract yet, take all the necessary documents you need with you. Ask your manager or recruiter about this.

Basic things to expect

Every company is slightly different, and each company has its own way of doing things. However, there are some things that will be consistent across many companies...

  1. The manager shows you your new workplace. Working hours and breaks are also discussed.
  2. You are introduced to your team. Do your best to learn your team mates’ names and roles as fast as possible, and check who you should go to if you have questions.
  3. Access to the corporate systems. Joining the corporate chat, mailing system, bug-tracking system and so on will certainly happen on day one. Don’t forget to introduce yourself on the chats.
  4. Knowledge transfer. It’s a sort of database that will help you to understand your tasks and it’ll allow you to start your work as soon as possible. 

The first working day is not only about meeting new people and signing your contract. It’s the time when you put everything you’ve learnt at Careerist, and during your internship, into practice.

It would also be great if you could do the following things by the end of the working day:

  • Try out the testing system (some simple actions, navigation and so on).
  • Study the testing documents.
  • Figure out where the project is now and where it has to be.
  • Share your lunchtime with your coworkers. Start getting to know them using the informal spaces available.
  • Make sure you have access to all the working systems. 

Probation Period 

Many companies have a 30-60-90 probation period model (numbers refer to days). 

The first month, so your first 30 working days, is when you should be studying your duties and tasks. It’s about getting to know the workflow and the project itself.

The next month, so up to 60 days, is devoted to working on tasks. You could have a mentor at this stage who is there to guide you through all the processes.

In the third month, so up to 90 days, you are expected to be able to work independently, this includes completing tasks set to you, on your own. You can still ask the developers about certain points, but this won’t happen too often. 

Traditionally, companies will review you many times during the probation period. The primary aim of this is to track your personal progress, and to let you ask questions. These meetings also help you to see your strong and weak points, it’s a time where minor errors and improvements can occur. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need some. 

By the end of the probation period you have to decide whether you are okay with the job or not. In other words, do you stay or leave. 

Recommendations

Experienced QA testers recommend that you keep an eye out for growth opportunities in your company.

Additionally, each company also invests in education and development options, so you should consider participating in these QA events. This will also demonstrate to managers and leaders that you have an interest in the field, and you’ll get to learn about new tools, strategies and market trends as well. 

Don’t let your emotions take over on your first day at work. You have done so much to get to this point. Love what you do, and you’ll quickly see that your career will grow at an exceptional rate.


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