Is it possible to become a Software Tester by reading a good book or taking some free courses online?
There are two myths about the profession of “Software Tester”. The first one: testing is a kind of semi-mechanical process, it does not require any knowledge of the system. A tester is a type of “clicker”, driving the program until it “crashes”. The second one: testing is an extremely complicated process, comparable to the work of a programmer, especially when it concerns automatic testing, requiring a special mentality and, at least, a Computer Science Degree.
In truth, there are many different forms of testing, which require different qualifications. After a 6-month intensive qa course in our school, and 3 months of practice, one is eligible for a position called Junior or Intermediate Software Tester. This specialist engages in relatively simple types of testing. Upon acquiring experience and education, the person is ready for more technical work, where higher qualification is needed. One thing can be said for sure: it is impossible to become a specialist in this area by reading a book or taking some free courses. Education for software testers (as for any other profession) requires a systematic approach, time and effort.