The fact that you are reading this is already setting you apart from the testers who are unaware – or don’t care – about the great resources the Internet can offer a tester.

What can the internet do for you? Here are five things that I’ve found invaluable.

Test ideas

The other day I read a tweet from a tester who was booking a car through one of the major car rental agencies. He chose the ‘plain text’ option for email responses and the emails he received had bugs in them. You might not have a system that offers this option – but it acts as a reminder to test that configuration options are tested end-to-end.

Searching Twitter for the hashtag #BugMagnet can bring many more examples of testers encountering defects – which in turn provide test ideas for your testing so that your application does not suffer A Tweet Of Shame


There are plenty of testers reviewing books and suggesting books to get. These can be directly related to testing (for example Tap into Mobile App Testing) or can indirectly be a good source of inspiration for a tester. I’m currently making my way through Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and it’s really making me think about my biases and how my thinking process could catch me out when I’m testing


There are many ‘lone gun’ testers out there – the Internet gives them a chance to feel part of a community. Or you might not be a solo tester but you have a problem that you’d like help with.There are places to have general testing discussions or if you have a specific problem there are places to post your problem and get advice and answers.

If you want to test your testing knowledge then trying to answer a question is a great way of finding out if you really know a subject and can explain it to someone.

Learning new tech

If you’re looking to learn a new technology then chances are someone has written a beginners guide – I’ve just finished following along with a 6-part blog series that got an app written in Ruby and using Javascript, Sass, CoffeeScript up and deployed onto Heroku. You can find guides to learning languages such as Ruby and Python, guides for learning frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, database courses from Stanford, learning Vim – the list is endless and the main problem is deciding what you want to focus on.


Two years ago I was standing at the peak of the Rock of Gibraltar, looking out over the Mediterranean with a troop of Barbary Apes. I was there for a job interview after I read a tweet from a test manager looking for testers who wanted to work in the sun. I didn’t accept the job offer I got after the interview as I also had an offer to go and interview at Atomic Object ( in Grand Rapids, Michigan – this opportunity also came via the internet and seeing an opportunity listed on a s/w testing mailing list.

How are you making the most of the Internet?

About the Author

Phil Kirkham: Phil is a developer turned tester and has been involved in IT for 30 years. He moved from England to Grand Rapids, MI to work for Atomic Object. He also blogs at Atomic Spin ( can be found on Twitter as @pkirkham