Getting started on a testing project (revisited)

A few years ago I wrote a post on getting started on a testing project. I’ve learned a few things since then and wanted to share an updated checklist for what new testers on a project need and some good starting questions when you, as a tester, are new on a project

Checklist for what new testers on a project need (Note, your project may not include all of the below)

Note to check if user credentials are needed for any of the below

  • Access to test environments
  • Access to instant messaging groups
  • Added to the correct channels within the IM groups
  • Access to the bug tracking tool
  • Access to the test tools
  • Access to email
  • Team wiki
  • Time-tracking system (applies if tester is a contractor/consultant)
  • Version Control e.g. Git
  • Someone to do a handover/introduction
  • Access to the shared folders
  • *Access to the database
If you are writing test automation then the following can also be good to know/have:
  • Access to code repository
  • Git branching strategy
  • Code review process in the team
  • Access to the CI/CD
  • Are there already jobs created for the test automation? (or do you need to set that up)

Some starting questions you can use, if you are new to a project (This isn’t an exhaustive list; only a starting point)

Test Environments

  • How reliable are they? (this could help when it comes to raising bugs only to find they are environment issues)
  • Do people’s actions affect others? (how are environments shared?)
  • How do you set up test environments?
  • How do I know which test environment to use? (i.e. is the same one always used? does it change, how do I know it changes?)

People

  • Who do I speak to if I have questions about XXXX?
  • (To buddy/mentor) who do you think I should meet?
  • Who do I report to?
  • Any existing testers I should meet? Any established process they have already set up?

Raising bugs / Handling bugs

  • How do bugs get classified? (e.g. Area of Product)
  • What to do if you don’t know how to classify? (is there a misc area)
  • Am I part of the bug triaging process?
  • How do I help make sure that bugs are added to the sprint when needed? (are there any particular fields I need to pay attention to here in the bug tracking tool?)
  • Can you show me how to raise bugs in bug tracking tool? (some tools need more explaining than others, especially when it comes to filling in certain fields of the system)
  • Is there a bug/defect template you are expected to follow?
  • If your team receives bugs from the customer or a client, what is the process for handling these and do they have access to a bug/defect template to help enable them to write clear reproducible bug reports.

General Testing

  • How is testing done here?
  • Is there a QA process?
  • Who decides how testing is done? (the tester; test lead; test manager)
  • Are there any testing team meetings? (These might be outside the product team meetings – it depends on your definition of team)
  • *What tests does the team currently have? (both automated and manual tests)
  • What expectations does the team have when it comes to testing?
  • What are people happy with when it comes to testing? And what do they think can be improved? (being a fresh pair of eyes and ears, you’re in a good position to get input from people who may not otherwise have an avenue to provide this information)

Is there anything I’m missing? Can you think of any other questions to ask? Anything else to add to the checklist?
Updated: Have added some more questions and access needed from others, questions from others are marked with *. Thanks Danny Dainton, Lim Sim

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