Accumulating life energy and strength to embark on a new endeavor at the beginning of the new year? Learning QA happened to be on your New Year’s resolution list? What a coincidence! We’ve just compiled a list of the best QA courses for you to acquire a valuable set of soft and hard skills in testing and quality assurance.
But hold on a moment—are they different? So to make sure we’re on the same page about the concepts, let’s explore what the notion of QA encompasses.
Is QA the Same as Testing?
In a nutshell, testing is a part of QA, which, in turn, is defined as a set of operations and strategies implemented to check the quality of a product.
Traditionally, QA procedures are employed throughout the whole Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), while the testing stage is performed only at the end when a software product is already built. Thus, QA aims to check not only the final product but every stage of its development in order to prevent bugs from occurring at an earlier stage. Moreover, not only testers but also developers, business analysts, and DevOps engineers are involved in the QA activities.
To make the correlation between QA and testing even more clear, we’ll compare it with managing a restaurant and the process of cooking. Having the skills for the last one is obviously important. But it doesn’t guarantee the successful running of a whole place, for it involves a much greater range of activities, including one of the essential ones: cooking. Real-life analogies are always the best, aren’t they?
This being said, today, with DevOps and CI/CD pipelines, the boundaries between stages of development and testing are blurred, hence the boundaries of QA and testing. Of course, testing can be compared with diagnosing a problem and QA with its prevention. But most of the time, you may hear the two concepts used interchangeably. In the end, it’s believed that a perfect QA engineer should know how to perform all types of testing. For this reason, a less noble name of "testers" is frequently applied to what we call QA engineers. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, right?
Usually, QA engineers that deal with testing, have one of the four roles within a project, but they are not necessarily limited by them and can combine a number of different functions.
- Test Analyst
Works with static testing of requirements.
- Test Designer
Creates tests according to the requirements.
- Test Executor
Executes tests and describes the problems found and the ways to solve them.
- Test Manager
Controls requirements for tests, allocates the roles and tasks, and monitors deadlines.
QA engineers can also be classified according to the type of testing they perform. So, we can single out manual QA engineers and automation QA engineers.
In very broad terms, their responsibilities include the following:
- Creating test scenarios for automated and manual testing
- Analyzing and dealing with bugs detected
- Documentation of the bugs for developers
- Inspection of quality standards and their implementation and development
- Research of the competitors’ software products and motivation of the development team
The list is not exhaustive, and different companies and projects challenge QA specialists with more complex and diverse tasks. That’s why they should always keep track of automation testing trends, never cease educating themselves on the newest technology, and maintain their skills at a decent level.
However, before reaching the step of skills maintenance, we need to amass knowledge and learn how to use it first. Every master was once a beginner. The modern world provides us with a great opportunity to start our exciting journey into the IT world via online software QA training courses for newbies. Let’s explore the ones that garnered the most accolades.
The Best QA Courses to Develop Your Hard Skills
1. The Complete Quality Assurance Course on Udemy
Udemy is an online platform with a myriad of educational courses on a wide range of fields and disciplines available in more than 75 languages. Udemy can be accessed from any device, and upon completion, a student is awarded a certificate.
Many of the courses are dedicated to programming and training for software testers. Among them, we chose one of the most comprehensive software testing courses for beginners that aims to boost your QA skills and keep you motivated.
What you’ll learn
The program includes studying both manual and automation testing. Not even basic knowledge of programming is required to start this QA course, as it begins from the very basics and covers 13 lectures on C# programming, 9 lectures on automation testing with Selenium and C#, and another 14 on Java. What’s more, students of the course study back-end testing with Postman, JIRA, Agile methodology, and the basics of cyber security and ethical hacking as a bonus.
It’s $12.99 paid once for limitless access to the course materials. One of the main advantages of Udemy is that if you don’t like the program, you can have your money paid back within a month.
2. Software Testing Basics on QA Academy
QA Academy focuses solely on teaching Quality Assurance, just as the name suggests. Their programs are developed and taught by experienced QA engineers who deliver the most up-to-date knowledge and real-life examples. Another sign of the excellence of their educational programs is that they offer not only online but also blended format courses at the renowned Riga Technical University. It most likely wouldn’t give a bunch of incompetent people an opportunity to hold classes within its walls.
What you’ll learn
This online QA certification course offers an exhaustive list of all the disciplines a beginner has to know: requirements-based testing, product quality modeling, defect life cycles, every type of technical testing, and a lot more. This QA tester course also covers studying the checklists for automation testing, mobile and web apps, and, of course, quality control.
Hands-on experience is of the utmost importance for QA Academy: the course is filled with practical assignments, and the studies involve working with the bug tracking software Jira. Of course, each task completed is reviewed, and students are provided with detailed feedback to keep honing their skills.
The QA testing course is far from easy. After eighteen hours of study, every trainee has to pass a final exam to receive a certificate of achievement.
€ 260 for learning all the skills required to become a junior tester.
3. Setting a Foundation for Successful Test Automation at Test Automation University
Studying automation testing from the business perspective and learning about the developers’ techniques that support test automation can greatly contribute to the progress of a beginner in QA. But this QA automation course serves as an initial step in a challenging learning journey.
This small but important introductory stage about QA automation testing opens up the paths towards Web UIs and APIs testing with Python, C#, or Java, as well as codeless testing. Irrespective of the path chosen, Test Automation University allows learners to take quizzes and see their names in the rankings as they progress through the program. Students are motivated by special badges when they earn a specific number of credits. Who wouldn’t want to be a unicorn? Achieve 3,000 credits, and you’ll become one!
What you’ll learn
On the initial step, the course’s primary objective is to help you develop a test automation strategy optimized for a company’s business needs, choose the right test automation tools, and even evaluate the profit for a company. Once you've chosen the path you wish to continue exploring, the program will be oriented to the programming language and type of testing of your choice.
4. Learn SQL on Codecademy
One of the requirements for a good QA engineer is to know at least the basic commands in Structured Query Language (SQL). It’s demanded to work with databases to make sure that the whole system works just as it’s supposed to, as all the apps and websites are about storing and managing data. For back-end testing, knowing SQL is an essential skill.
What you’ll learn
It takes only eight hours to complete four lessons and five projects on the basics of SQL. Taking the course, you’ll learn query keywords, how to create databases, update and access data inside them, and all the fundamentals.
The Best QA Online Courses to Develop Your Soft Skills
5. Communication and Interpersonal Skills at Work at FutureLearn
We all know that highly developed communication skills are a must for anyone who works with people. Needless to say, every QA tester’s job routine demands constant interaction with other team members involved in the SDLC. Thus, training for software testers includes not only enhancing hard skills but learning various communication strategies as well.
What you’ll learn
During classes held twice a week, learners gradually build strong interpersonal skills through exploring their individual communication style.
FutureLearn educates people on how to alleviate tension and manage conflicts in the most non-toxic way possible. Given that any job in IT is stressful and the current trend towards fostering a benevolent environment in the workplace, these abilities are crucial.
Throughout the course, students practice with each other and exchange valuable materials via a special online platform, while a Progress page shows the learner's achievements and their scores. A student receives a certificate upon completion of 90% of the course, so you’ll have confirmation of your advanced communication skills.
For $27.99 per month, FutureLearn offers the opportunity to subscribe to this and the other thousands of educational courses with tests, exercises, and certificates. Buying one particular course will cost aspiring QA engineers with great interpersonal skills $44.
6. Speak English Professionally on Coursera
Novice testers are required to have a minimum B1 level of English, and we don’t doubt that you have one if you came across the article. But it’s not uncommon for people to struggle with the speaking aspect. We’ve said enough about the importance of effective communication, but does it make sense to learn how to communicate without the linguistic capacity to do so?
If your speaking skills lag behind and you find it difficult to clearly and eloquently express your thoughts off-the-cuff, consider taking this course as part of your training for software testing.
What you’ll learn
It’s claimed that the course will level up a learner’s online, offline, and phone communication abilities. Students improve their pronunciation, expand their vocabulary, and simply become more confident in interacting with other people.
Getting the heebie-jeebies every time it comes to group discussions? This course helps with it as well. Besides learning tactics for presenting your opinion in front of others, your skills and progress are always evaluated by your peers, who also advance through the course.
You pay $49 per month to access this and the other three courses, all of which aim at enhancing your English skills for professional purposes. But paying for one month will be just enough to complete this particular course, as it lasts for approximately sixteen hours.
Wrapping It Up
Each of the QA courses listed has its own set of benefits. Some believe that financial investment in a product endows it with a special value and guarantees that you’ll take it seriously and study hard. Some, not being sure that the field of testing will mesmerize them with all its bright prospects, prefer to undertake a free QA course, at least at the beginning.
Many outstanding QA engineers learned all the nitty-gritty of the field from the humble connoisseurs of testing, who generously shared their accrued experience through YouTube. In an avuncular manner, they’ve managed to enlighten current QAs with priceless knowledge and, through 240p resolution videos and poor sound quality, encourage them not to give up.
The generation raised by the philanthropists decided to pay it forward and created innumerable QA testing courses that are practice- and learner-oriented, brimming with interactive activities, and aim to teach the most in-demand skills.
Whether your purpose is to get acquainted with QA testing to keep track of your business software or you want to pursue digging the testing field on the professional level, or maybe you just want to learn something new, one of the software testing courses will do the job, if not, you may always resort to the old but gold YouTube videos.
As someone who is exploring the best QA courses online, you should probably be au fait with no-code testing tools. They come in handy when you lack profound knowledge in QA but still need to test your software products.
DogQ is a breakthrough in codeless testing automation with a user-friendly interface. Why not give it a try while on your exciting QA journey? DogQ is not so much about saving money on redundant QA workers as about keeping the testing process as efficient as possible.
Do you want to learn more about this and other testing tools? Contact us!