How Domain knowledge is Important for testers?

Jayant Deo asks:

“Looking at the current scenario from the industry it is seen that the testers are expected to have both technical testing skills as well either need to be from the domain background or have gathered domain knowledge mainly for BFSI is commonly seen.
I would like to know why and when is this domain knowledge imparted to the tester during the testing cycle?”

First of all, I would like to introduce three-dimensional testing career mentioned by Danny R. Faught. There are three categories of skill that need to be judged before hiring any software tester.

How Domain knowledge is Important for testers_

What are those three skill categories?

1) Testing skill
2) Domain knowledge
3) Technical expertise.

No doubt that any tester should have the basic testing skills like Manual testing and Automation testing. Tester having the common sense can even find most of the obvious bugs in the software. Then would you say that this much testing is sufficient? Would you release the product on the basis of this much testing done? Certainly not.

You will certainly have a product look by the domain expert before the product goes into the market.

While testing any application you should think like an end-user.

But every human being has the limitations and one can’t be the expert in all of the three dimensions mentioned above. (If you are the experts in all of the above skills then please let me know ;-)) So you can't assure that you can think 100% like how the end-user going to use your application.

A user who is going to use your application may be having a good understanding of the domain he is working on. You need to balance all these skill activities so that all product aspects will get addressed.

Nowadays you can see the professional being hired in different companies are more domain experts than having technical skills. The current software industry is also seeing a good trend that many professional developers and domain experts are moving into software testing.

We can observe one more reason why domain experts are most wanted! When you hire fresh engineers who are just out of college you cannot expect them to compete with experienced professionals. Why? Because experienced professional certainly have the advantage of a domain and testing experience and they have better understandings of different issues and can deliver the application better and faster.

Here are some of the examples where you can see the distinct edge of domain knowledge:
1) Mobile application testing.
2) Wireless application testing
3) VoIP applications
4) Protocol testing
5) Banking applications
6) Network testing

How will you test such applications without knowledge of specific domain?

Are you going to test the BFSI applications (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) just for UI or functionality or security or load or stress? You should know what are the user requirements in banking, working procedures, commerce background, exposure to brokerage etc and should test application accordingly, then only you can say that your testing is enough – Here comes the need of subject-matter experts.

Let's take an example of my current project:

I am currently working on search engine application. Where I need to know the basic of search engine terminologies and concepts. Many times I see some other team tester's asking me questions like what is ‘publishers’ and ‘advertisers’, what is the difference and what they do?

Do you think they can test the application based on current online advertising and SEO? Certainly not. Unless and until they get well familiar with these terminologies and functionalities.

When I know the functional domain better I can better write and execute more test cases and can effectively simulate the end user actions which are distinctly a big advantage.

Here is the big list of the required testing knowledge:

  • Testing skill
  • Bug hunting skill
  • Technical skill
  • Domain knowledge
  • Communication skill
  • Automation skill
  • Some programming skill
  • Quick grasping
  • Ability to Work under pressure …

That is going to be a huge list. So you will certainly say, do I need to have these many skills?

Its' depends on you. You can stick to one skill or can be an expert in one skill and have a good understanding of other skills or a balanced approach of all the skills. This is the competitive market and you should definitely take advantage of it. Make sure to be expert in at least one domain before making any move.

What if you don't have enough domain knowledge?

You will be posted on any project and company can assign any work to you. Then what if you don't have enough domain knowledge of that project?

You need to quickly grasp as many concepts as you can. Try to understand the product as if you are the customer and what customer will do with the application.

Visit the customer site if possible know how they work with the product, Read online resources about the domain you want to test the application, participate in events addressing on such domain, meet the domain experts. Or either company will provide all this in-house training before assigning any domain-specific task to testers.

There is no specific stage where you need this domain knowledge. You need to apply your domain knowledge in each and every software testing life cycle.

If you are reading this article till this point then I would like to hear on which domain you are working on? So that our readers can get a better idea of different domains and projects. Comment your domain below.

Update: As per the request from many readers I have updated our software testing resource page for the BFSI domain online documents and articles for downloads.

Recommended Reading


552 thoughts on “How Domain knowledge is Important for testers?”

  1. As far as domain is concerned
    its gud to know
    bfsi and investment banking apart from retail banking

    more we do not have to know much if u know operation level then its sufficient…
    there is a site called intutuion web really gud for BFSI

    google it n learn that

  2. Hi…I know DOMAIN knowledge is imporant.But During
    Interveiw if they ask me like What did u do in your recent project that based on Financial.(More concern about Security) Can Anyone Explain me or If you have any document that’s great for me.

  3. Dear Reader,

    I know the value of Analyst Because i’m working as a functional analyst in IBM (I) PVT LTD from past 3 years. So,Domain Knowledge is must for any software tester and Developer. Without Domain Knowledge any person cannot get through his job as a s/w Engineer.

  4. I am currently working in education and training domain, i.e, testing products (software) related to education. I would like to know more about telecom domain, banking domain, BFSI and others. How to get domain knowledge in other areas without practical experience??

  5. Hi,
    I am working in the healthcare domain.
    So , i would like to know ,on which topic in healthcare domain, utter most importance has to be given & if u have the related links please do send me.

    Thanks.

  6. Hi all,
    i am job training on Telecom domain plz send some suggestions for me about telecom domain, how to use siebel CRM in telecom domain any one have documents for telecom domain please send me based on that i am prepare for interiews or any sites u know please tell me.

    Thanks
    Tulasi

  7. I just started my career as a tester and looking for job as a tester. Could u please provide me with some test cases on mobile applications. Thanks in advance.

  8. I just started my career as a tester and looking for job as a tester. Could u please provide me with some materials and test cases on mobile applications. Thanks in advance.

  9. I just started my career as a tester and looking for job as a tester. Could u please provide me with some matrials and test cases on mobile applications. Thanks in advance.

  10. Domain knowledge means we are completely validating customer’s requirement without their much intervention and to their full delight.

  11. DOMAIN KNOWLEDGE TO ME:
    It is a very important aspect in terms of bringing the testing down to closure. Domain Knowledge matches the requirement (ERD/BRD) and the understanding of the developer in the building/fixing of an enhancement/issue. It also helps in structuring constructive test scenarios. It gives a virtual figure on the output during testing.

  12. hi i want to know about domains that a performance test engineer(loadrunner) tests .HOW MANY DOMAINS ARE THERE?AND ABOUT BANK DOMAIN,EDUCATION DOMAIN,SALES DOMAIN . SOME websites provide study loans and course details which domain it is? please……..tell me.

  13. Hi i am a tester and currently working in Hospital management domain, but i wanted Life and car insurance domain knowledge and how to write test cases. Could somebody help me please. as i tried so many websites but i couldnt fine any.

  14. hi i have very much interest to know the new idea and idelogies about the domain knoweldge of health care in modern technology and i learn more from this to give me an good apportunity.

  15. Hi!
    I read your very knowledgeable lesson ya! lesson, I really like it and it really develops my interest in testing.
    please send me your valuable BFSI and also other important domain knowledge, it wll be very helpfull for me.Thank you .

  16. HI!
    Thanks for this article as this gives us an insight into the importance of domain knowlegde.Its also gives us tips about how to be a gud competitor in software world.I am currenlty workin in telecom domain, into billing application.Previously i have worked in investment banking domain.

    Could you please let me know how much of telecom domain and investment banking domian knowledge is expected of a person with 3 yrs of experience?

  17. Hi guys.
    lovely information posted on this site ….

    I liked the info.abt the domain knowledge importance..

    and the one differences between the verification and validation was awwsome..

    lastly testing categories for a website..impressive

    U guys are genious…thanks..for the info.
    keep up the good wrk.

    can some one help me out to send me the health care domain information..

    Rupa

  18. Hi,
    I like you are articles.
    Excellent information posted in this site & its very helpful.
    I am working on Healthcare domain. earlier i was working on Banking domain.
    If you know any link related healthcare domain then please forward it to me.
    Thanks!

  19. Hi! Writer,

    Really this is very useful information for the tester.

    I am working on ERP software on Logistic Domain.i .e. freight forwarding, Import, Export.

  20. Hi,

    Very impressive article and I completely agree that domain knowledge is very much important. My personal experience says that.

    I feel the kind of domain i work on is quite unique and interesting in its own. The domain I work on is ATM Domain. I work in a QA dep. When I say ATM domain this includes testing of Software and Hardware both.

    Here we are not just individually testing software or hardware, its a combine process. Hardware would not work without Software and vice versa. To perform any kind of testing you really need to have good amount of knowledge of Hardware, Software, Networking…

  21. Hi

    It was interesting to read this article and to know the importance of domain knowledge in software industry.
    I am new to testing and i am into database testing.

    Please mail me material/articles/webistes on BFSI domain and database testing to ranjanik2006@gmail.com.

    Thanks in advance

  22. Hi,

    This article is very informative and I agree that Domain Knowledge is a basic important perspective in testing.

    I’m working into E-Commerce domain.

    If anyone have more articles related to the same, please share here.

  23. Any one please answer these questions regarding domain knowledge acquisition
    1) Can we acquire domain knowledge without working into that particular domain
    2) If we take into consideration of some domain like BFSI, Telecom, Health these are very vast domain. Can any one tell me what should we focus on these domains
    3) Please give some reference of domain certification, if at all it adds value.
    4) Is SCM or SOA is a good domain to get into

  24. Informative artice.

    I would like to know wht would be the best way to gain knowledge on Healthcare domain.I am working on EMR which involves lots of patient saftey.Can anyone suggest good websites.Will automation works for such domains.

  25. i am in to healthcare domain i want to gain knowledge in health care domain
    can any one send the documents for healthcare domain

  26. hi

    Can u pls provide a sample project for testing or kindly provide related website for practicing purpose.

    Regards
    swapna

  27. Good article.

    I am currently working in Insurance and Healthcare(IHL) domain. My previous assignment was with Communication and Media Entertainment (CME) domain.

  28. Hi,
    i lately got project from BFSI domain, as i am fresher in IT field i dont have knowledge of this domain, kindly send me some useful documnets regarding the same.

    Thanks,
    HImanshu

  29. Hi Guys,

    I am a fresher. I am looking for a job in Testing field.

    I see here that there are many people working here in different domains like BFSI, Telecom, Retail.

    can you all please share your domain experience based on your project you worked on with some detail as this can help many to get an idea as to where having the domain konwldege comes into picture, what are the critical features you can test related to this project.

    My email id is : maysampatel@yahoo.com

    Any help is appreciated!!!
    Thanks

  30. Hi Friends I need the list of technical skills required for developing applications in BFSI Domains.
    Can You please provide me the technical skills for developing these Banking Domain Finance Domain, Shares Domain, Insurance Domain applications.

    I am grateful to all of you if you people provide much more information as early as possible.

    Thanks to All of U..

  31. Hi Friends I need the list of technical skills required for developing applications in BFSI Domains.
    Can You please provide me the technical skills for developing these Banking Domain Finance Domain, Shares Domain, Insurance Domain applications.

    I am grateful to all of you if you people provide much more information as early as possible.

    My email id is: kumarps87@gmail.com
    Thanks to All of U..

  32. Hi Vijay,

    Thanks a lot for such a nice article. Now I am working in Retail & Manufacturing domain as a tester.
    I am a fresher so I don’t have that much of knowledge about the domain, please send me some links or article related to Retail & Manufacturing domain.

  33. I have gone through domain knowledge in testing. I got an idea about what is domain knowledge. i need a full knowledge on testing in banking domain. Please help me to know about the testing in banking domain

  34. Hi,
    Am interested 2 wrk in telecom domain with Protocol testing,but i dnt knw abt protocols culd any1 can help me out ths procols n testing..ya i knw manual testing concepts..

  35. This is Rajesh from chennai I need your advice on my career. I am working at TCS for CITIBANK US process. My experience is 3 years in this Banking Domain. At present i plan to switch over on testing Job. Is it possible for me to get Job in Testing field. My qualification is B.COM (commerce). Thanks in advance.

    MY email Id rajj2smile@gmail.com

Comments are closed.