I've blogged elsewhere about what I look for when hiring QA Engineers, and it's full of useful things that I think are important in being a good QA Engineer/Tester.
One thing that is often overlooked and probably not really spoken off much, especially when hiring or looking for a new job, is something that is potentially extremely important when it comes to being a successful Engineer, and that is the ability to find out information. For most people this is being able to "Google" for something, or use Stack Overflow to find out a solution to a problem.
You could argue (and rightly so) that the ability to Problem Solve is what we are talking about, and you'd be right, but this is specifically really about being able to use Google effectively to find the answer you are looking for.
Why is being able to Google important?
There are a number of reasons for this:
1- Being able to structure your search query appropriately is important and can save time sifting through results
2- Once you have your search query nailed, there is no point reworking something that has already been done, there may be a library available that you can reuse, there may be examples that you hadn't thought of, there are a whole plethora of testing cheat sheets out there for example that if you can google can aid you in your testing efforts!
Here are some simple tips for Googling more efficiently:
1. Use "Quotes"- If you want to search for a term of more than one word, you can use quotes to tie words together. For example if you wanted to search for Test Strategy rather than searching for Test Strategy you might want to search for "Test Strategy"
2. Use - to exclude words - For instance if you wanted to search for Test Strategy but wanted to exclude for instance Waterfall you could search for "Test Strategy" -Waterfall
3. Make use of the OR key word - If you wanted to search for 2 things, you could use the OR key word, and by using quotes again we can search for "Newcastle relegated" OR "Sunderland staying up" This would get you results for both search terms...
4. Location is useful - You can search for something nearby and Google (providing it has access to your location) can search for things nearby which is pretty useful! Especially if you don't know where you are! So a useful search term might be "Testing meetups" nearby