Seven Benefits of Joining an Online Testing Forum with Live Chat

Seven Benefits of Joining an Online Testing Forum with Live Chat

Connecting with fellow testing professionals can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Online forums with live chat are a great way to connect with other testers and learn from their experiences.

Joining an online testing forum can be overwhelming. You might notice many active people who are busy posting and replying. And you might wonder, “How can I do that? There’s no room for me!”

Well here’s the good news. There is absolutely space for you. Yet before jumping in, it’s worth asking yourself what brings you to an online forum. The following article describes seven benefits of joining an online testing forum with live chat. This article will help you get started or, if you’ve been away for a while, help you start again.

1. Get answers

You could ask an AI bot for help and you’ll receive an answer. Yet nothing beats advice from a diverse group of human professionals. Being brave and asking a question on a forum will encourage people with various lived experiences to help you. By asking a question you also help the person who replies to reflect on their experience and articulate what they already know. It’s a win-win for both parties. And whether it’s longer form discussions or quick chats, all future replies could help those who have already replied as well as someone in the future who has a similar question.

2. Build your network, make friends

Your network instantly grows as you interact with people on a forum. You start to work out who has knowledge about certain topics. And then you recommend those people to others who might be new to the forum. You’ll begin to build a sense of not feeling alone, a real sense of belonging to an incredible community. You’ll look out for others and they’ll look out for you. Being part of an online forum makes it way easier to meet at an in-person conference, such as TestBash UK.

Forums centre around topics of discussion so there’s less chance of a “cult of personality” forming. Instead, we can celebrate members. For example, here’s an amazing community directory amplifying individual community member contributions. You can easily see what each member has been up to and how they might help.

It’s all about conversations and actions through professional and friendly discourse. And if things go in a bad direction it's reassuring to know that forum tooling is well-equipped to deal with bad actors. Moderators can take quick and necessary action if someone breaks a forum’s code of conduct and guidelines. For example, here is Ministry of Testing’s Forum Guidelines which we take very seriously.

3. Feel the feels

Sharing your appreciation works both ways. “Like” or “react” and reply to a post will give you a good feeling inside. The recipient will also feel a sense of value. Forums are perfect platforms for supporting each other. It’s a great feeling to receive a reply or like on a post – and a nice surprise too if it's for one posted years ago. To know something you shared holds long-term value is a wonderful feeling. Knowledge is never lost and is easily searchable. For example, try out The Club’s search feature and see what you might discover,  

4. Support the lurkers

There are many more lurkers on a forum than there are people who create new posts, like posts and reply to posts. Way more! And I mean lurkers in a positive way. These people are here to learn and they need answers. They may also just not be ready to contribute and reveal themselves to others on the forum. And all of that is totally fine. Lurkers are learners. And an online forum is a powerful learning tool.

5. Explore and refine ideas 

Do you have a loose idea about something? Put it out on a forum to solicit feedback and watch it grow. Forums are a great way to help you articulate an idea and to spark more ideas from a variety of perspectives. We’ve seen many people in the testing community gather around an idea and help solidify it.

6. Discover something new

Be inspired by something you’d never considered. There are many unknown unknowns to discover on a forum. You can easily unblock a mental block just by browsing. Forums are like a news feed. It tells many stories on many topics and by many people. For example, you could stay up to date with a testing event you're unable to attend or perhaps learn about a new testing tool. You might discover something you never knew you needed. A good forum will tag everything so you could dig deeper into a tag you’re interested in. For example, here’s everything tagged with automation.

7. Greater choice

Social media moves fast and due to the many distractions, it's often overwhelming to find what you’re looking for. Forums on the other hand go at a healthier and slower pace. The community within a forum are there for you when you’re there and will respect you when you’re not. Sometimes you’re up for a long asynchronous discussion and other times you just want a quick chat. A discussion forum with live chat provides a handy way to respect both your energy levels and mood. 

Forums are an essential part of a community. They bring long-term sustainability to a group of people with similar interests. And Ministry of Testing’s community forum, The Club, is a testament to longevity. It’s the place to realise all the benefits covered in this article. 

🔗 Visit or revisit The Club today and discover what’s possible. 🔗

Simon Tomes's profile
Simon Tomes


Simon is a CommunityBoss at Ministry of Testing and his pronouns are he/him. Currently learning to be a better community enabler, he has a passion for all things testing with a career in various testing roles since 2003. He particularly enjoys promoting and sharing the value of exploratory testing.

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