Why do you need to learn SQL as a tester?

In the last 5 years or so, we have been training and mentoring Software Testers and Business Analysts and as part of the mentoring session, I ask about their experience of interviews; generally I am looking for the sort of questions the mentees are being asked and more importantly what answers were provided to the interviewers. My observations in recent years is that there is an increasing demand for manual testers with technical skills and knowledge of databases is one that sits high on the list of technical skills.

So, I had one of these sessions yesterday and the guy I was having the conversation with was asked “what does he do with the database?” and “when does he query the database?”.  It is a valid question, and even though I will query the database several times in the data, whenever i am testing a system; I had to take a step back to think about this and I will be sharing some of the reasons i would want to look into the database.

Most applications have a data store which is a part of the application that persistently holds data and for a lot of people that are new to testing, you would normally do your checks on the user interface. So why check in the database?


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