Introduction -> Lecture 1– A Bug Or Not A Bug



In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.

But, in practice, there is.

– Yogi Berra

If you don’t have good dreams, Bagel, you got nightmares.

– Boogie (from the movie Diner)

Hello, friends!

My name is Roman Savin. Welcome to my Practical Course, How to Become a Software Tester.

Quick info about myself:

– I’m a professional QA/Test engineer with 10+ years of Silicon Valley experience.

– My QA experience comes from working  for several Silicon Valley start-ups and big companies, the most notable of which is PayPal.

– My teaching experience comes from tutoring in the areas of software testing and Python.

– In 2006, I published a book on software testing, Testing Dot Com (in Russian), which became a best seller on the largest Russian online book retailer, Many readers have found their first jobs in software testing after studying this book and following my recommendations about the job search.

After I received positive feedback from my Russian speaking audience (THANK YOU!), I decided to translate my book into English. Soon after I began the translation process, I realized that I could provide much greater value if I created not simply a book, but a Practical Course with written lectures accompanied by actual Web-based software.

So, I created this Course:

– To give my readers (my students) practical skills.

There are a number of good, in-depth books on software testing. The problem lies in the HUGE gap between reading about something and being able to do something.

Take kung fu, for example. Is it possible to become a kung fu master by simply reading about kicks and punches without kicking and punching?

The same is true with software testing: to become a solid tester requires a lot of hands-on experience, and you cannot get that experience by reading without practicing.

This Course was created to give you an opportunity to get that experience…at your own pacewithout paying the thousands of dollars usually needed for a practical education in testing.

– To help my students find their first jobs in software testing.

My personal story is that I was a poor immigrant who came to the U.S. for a better life. I didn’t have a Plan B (like landing at my parent’s apartment) if something “didn’t work out.” I had only one plan: to succeed. My situation required focused effort to obtain a job, and to do so I needed solid, targeted, practical skills in two areas:

1. How to test Web-based software

2. How to make money as a software tester

That’s why this Course consists of a set of how-to lectures and practical exercises designed to help you learn:

> Software testing skills

> Job hunting skills

> Job keeping skills

I was lucky to have two amazing tutors: Alex Khatilov and Nikita Toulinov. It was their valuable experience and kindness that helped me to get started with my career. Now it’s my turn to help YOU!

Why is this Course different?

– This Course is a set of lectures in the form of a book, but here is the thing: the material in these lectures is linked to an actual software project, ShareLane is a test application that I created to:

> Illustrate the examples

> Enable you to interact with real software as you go through material

> Enable you to look into the software code so you can see the root causes of software bugs

> Enable you to view the contents of the database and log files so you can see the relationship between user activities and the Web site back end

> Enable you to use test automation and see how it was written.

> Enable you to file bugs into the bug tracking system.


When you see this button: ShareLane -> it means that you should click it and interact with ShareLane software or use its materials. I strongly encourage you to practice and learn as much as possible using the resources you’ll find there.

– This Course is about action – NO DRY THEORY here. I’m going to give you the approaches, methods, ideas, and brain positioning that have immediate practical application. Under “Brain Positioning,” I explain the most vital fundamental concepts and attitudes regarding the subject.

– We’ll cover many topics that are not usually found in software testing tutorials: e.g., how to prepare for and successfully pass interviews; practical advice for an inexperienced tester who joins a start-up (young company) and has no idea how to begin; nuances about office politics, etc.

– The testing approaches that I recommend have been successfully implemented at PayPal, one of the top software companies in the world. You’ll learn concrete practices that have been used to test:

> Very complex financial software

> Money-transferring service where a tester’s mistake can cost millions of dollars in damages

Who is the primary audience for this Course?

– Anyone who wants to get a job as a software tester

– Black box testers who want to expand their knowledge of grey box testing

Who else will find this Course useful and interesting?

– Anyone involved in software development

– Recruiters working with/for software companies

– Those who want to learn about the inner workings of software companies

We’re almost finished with the Introduction. I want to mention several other things before we get started.

A note about Test Portal

Test Portal is a special site for ShareLane testers (i.e., for you!). IMHO, it’s the most important part of ShareLane. Test Portal gives you an opportunity to do a variety of things: use test automation, look into the database and software code, file bugs, and so on. The link to Test Portal is located at the bottom of the ShareLane pages.

Let’s agree that we will use the “>” (more than) sign to separate the steps of a path when using Test Portal. For example, Test Portal>DB>Data>users means that first you click the “Test Portal” link, next you find the “DB” section, then you click the “data” link, and then you click the “users” link.

I encourage you to use Test Portal as much as possible! This is your real chance to learn software testing on an actual software project.


Please, read disclaimer here.

My contact info

My personal email is roman [at] qatutor [dot] com. I’ll be happy to hear from you! Being a self-published, independent author, I fully depend on your recommendations, so if you like this Course don’t be shy about sharing your positive feedback with your friends, relatives, coworkers, jogging partners, and everybody you’ll meet for rest of your life 🙂

Let’s begin our journey!


Introduction -> Lecture 1– A Bug Or Not A Bug