The company I work for have provided me with money to spend on training?
I've been working in QA for a year and a half now, I started of doing manual testing and then I've moved on to QA automation and or been using Ruby + selenium webdriver + page object model + page factory. I will also be doing API rest testing in a few weeks. I've been given some money from the company for this year to spend on whatever training I want to.
I don't know what to spend it on to improve my job the only things I can think of are below, can you guys advise me on my ideas or even add ideas that could aid in my job.
Ruby training - am new to using Ruby coming from Java but not sure how much a course would benefit as there are plenty docs online for general programming.
Jenkins - once I have created my tests locally and they all work I commit my code to a branch on git and then run on a Jenkins box to test my test on a second box before adding to master. - I use Jenkins but I don't no how to set up my own testing box. Would a course on Jenkins benefit my CV and make me more valuable as a tester to future company's by being able to set up my own testing box? Could this help me make more money?
ISTQB - I don't have any of the ISTQB Certs - would this be any benefit to my CV help me get better paid future job ? Baring in mind I have 1.5 years testing experience. And a 1st class bsc degree in computer science?
Mobile testing - I have never done any and I don't know what tools or languages are used to test mobile apps.
Any other ideas you guys have and any advice please comment or add to this post.
Are there any big QA festivals etc? We're I could go and learn good stuff to take back to were I work?
The most helpful book I have is "Lessons Learned in Software Testing". Pretty much anything written by Jerry Weinberg, Cem Kaner, Michael Bolton or James Bach will change the way you think about testing and make you a better tester.
Look for local gatherings of testers. Many cities have monthly meetings of test professionals.
Go to conferences. They can be expensive but will ultimately be beneficial. In the U.S and Canada you can look up STAREast, STARWest and STARCanada by Techwell.
ISTQB is useful only if you want to work for a company that has that as a checkbox requirement to get hired. India is big on using ISTQB certification as a requirement to get hired, while North American companies focus more on demonstration of a tester's actual skill by noting his career achievements. Look up "ISTQB James Bach" on YouTube or on his blog at www.satisfice.com for a great argument on why to avoid this certification and what alternates to consider.
If your boss is willing to back his offer of money with time, ask for Friday afternoons as learning time. Google has implemented this. The idea is that you take 10% of your allotted work time to learn whatever you want, build whatever side project you want, as long as it pertains to the business. To see some of the stuff that came out of such thinking, look up Google Labs. By making use of this Friday Time you can study a programming language and build yourself a tool, or follow video & text blogs from authors like those mentioned above, or cruise sites like Techwell, StickyMinds, Ministry of Testing, or others you find of interest. Be prepared to show and share your work. If you have other testers in your organization, share your findings with them. If you are the only tester, do a show & tell to your developers on the cool tool you built or the funky thing you got an existing tool to do to help you in your work.