Qualities of a good tester

What are the qualities that can make us different among all testers ?


Okay ,let’s see .What do we do, getting any new project for testing!

We start thinking of the different testing techniques and strategies that can be applied to test the product starting from requirement gathering to test coverage and risk analysis. These testing techniques and strategies can be different from project to project depending upon the need or time constraints and capability of the people involved in the project.

 

I believe, a testers play multiple roles in a project.They are responsible for the overall quality of the project keeping  balance with the changing client expectations and also to keep track on the tested project deliverables. Thy may be designated as torch bearer or a gate keeper  or an investigator or a quality controller.
To play the various kinds of roles with utmost dedication, is a bit difficult, isn’t it !

Keeping ourselves updated with the latest trends in testing and learning a new tool is as important as acquiring and sharpening few skills which are necessary to be a good tester.In my opinion
these following  few qualities can help a tester to get through all the expectations and also can play a major role in the amazing journey of a successful tester.He must be 

1. A creative thinker.
2.A good storyteller.
3.A good communicator
4.A detective.
5.A good decision maker.
8.A keen learner.

1.A creative thinker.:

A creative persons is the one who can think and imagine a thousand ways to solve a problem and also can predict even ten thousand ways, that can go wrong in the process of solving a problem.

 

For example, you start testing a product with the defined approach, you may or may not find any problems .But if you apply the reverse thinking, you start to think ,what not to do, while testing the product .


Yes, you are right  !! We call it Risk analysis. If we know what not to do before starting, isn’t it going to save us a bunch of time and  energy that we might have spent on trying to figure it out at the end ?
Most of the times we forget to do that because we are used to follow the customized approach   defined for everyone .

Also, once you understand and get used to the application, it’s a bit difficult to go beyond the range and imagine from other’s point of view .That’s where exploratory testing comes into picture .
Exploratory testing can be one of the best ways to bring that creative mind of yours on the table .You start thinking and imagining the application, from a hundreds of users perspective .And you may end up finding 100 defects.right ! 

2. A good storyteller.

Have you heard any story, which moved you ? Any story line of a movie which hooked you to you seat till the last moment ?

That’s the magic of a good story and with the quality of  good story telling you can hook people to the context, if you have enough information to keep their attention.

Every test we do, has a story of its own. Just like some back roads about the characters in a story, you gather pre requisites and like the characters having their ups and downs you overcome them .You  might have some hurdles in your testing like, you don’t have the right test data or environment at the beginning but anyhow, you managed to finish the story of the test by gathering the test data and giving it a happy ending.

When we are supposed to  present the testing effort in the form of data in front of the whole team and it may not be possible for everyone to have the thorough knowledge about the data .So,you need to present it in such way that your data covers the story of your project . Yes, we call it a test plan  .

A good test plan can have huge impact and can represent you and your testing team in a better way .For example the components you include in the test plan, starting from the environment and system configuration to the different testing techniques, the test data being used with the number of defects, the combination of all these ,presents the story of your project and can make you the hero.

3. A good communicator .

 

We all know a person having an excellent communication skill and interpersonal skill does have more opportunity for learning and grows with the experiences .The way of your communication or expression tells a lot about a person’s thought process and feelings towards the other person .

A tester in a team is most likely to be the one disliked by the developer . Who likes being judged and being pointed out for their mistakes.Rright ?

 It’s is not always true that a tester and a developer can’t be friends . If you understand , discuss the issues with an open mind and show respect to each other’s work, definitely it wont be difficult to understand each other. For example, while raising a bug or reporting it to the higher authority, a tester and developer can have a discussion between themselves to filter out any unnecessary thoughts and it will also saves from useless arguments  .

Showing a supportive gesture or action to each other’s work  can resolve a lot of conflicts. It does not matter who is right or who is wrong but it is about how do we solve the problem together.
In an agile, we have many ceremonies like story planning and story churning or scrum, where both parties can sit and discuss these issues prior to it becomes a big deal at the end .

4. A Detective

A good detective has always has this constant urge to know more about the things around him/her. I am sure you all must have heard of it .  We testers, play the role of a detective in software development cycle . We should always be curious about why the system is working  or why the system is not working . There is always a reason for every action and we need to find and question it .

In a way, we need to get the inner child of ours and go on asking whatever question comes to the mind . It may be silly but its always important to ask questions whenever something goes wrong and also whenever everything is fine !

Even if you find the answers , you continue to question to get the correct and  accurate answer or should you go for a more reliable resource of this ? 

Yes,we call it RCA in our language .What was the reason for the missing of this bug ?We should start brainstorming sessions to find if the information  is insufficient or the process I followed was not right ? We testers should never work on assumptions and  we always should have a full proof plan form beginning to end . We should have thought ten ways to get the work done and choose the best from those .

5. A good decision maker.

One can only have a good decision making skill when he/she know every about the project , the stake holders involved , what are the aspects need to be covered and what’s the timeline for it Having a calm attitude help making good decisions .

There will be a lot of times when things are not goings as you have planned that the place for you to improvise and take a quick decision what all are the less priority tasks can be excluded form your activity .Which will also not have a major impact on your end goal

For example, you have planned your testing effort for fifteen days but the manager comes and says it has to be delivered  in ten days as per the client needs. This may not be a good  a time to argue or ask questions as to why the change of plan happened . You always should have a prepared plan B, so that these tests that can be ignored.You must have an automation suit ready which is your life saver and can help you in sparing some time, to have a look at more important test cases. For testers ,the decision making skill is a must as he/she has the upper hand when it comes to quality control of a project .

8.A keen learner.

The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill : the willingness to learn is a choice : Brian Herbert

Learning something new in life never goes in vein .Learning is a continuous process of improving yourself . Learning a new tool or technology, brings up new opportunities and opens up  different angles of looking at things.

It boosts your self confidence and will multiply your personal and professional development . It allows you to have a deeper and different understanding on the things  you have been doing  so long but have never thought of from different perspective.

For testers, we might not be able to understand the language or the syntax of the code written, but we definitely can understand the logic behind it which ultimately helps us in testing. As testers, we are supposed to go beyond the UI horizon to deep into the code to understand why its written like that which is the expected logic .

We now have different techniques and tools for testing an application and  with the help of that, we can test the application even before it is ready . Yes, I am talking about the APIs and the Database which is the smallest unit of the application, which we can test, before it comes to us.Later on we may do integration or regression testing because half of our work has already been finished.

We always should have an attitude to learn and explore more on the things which can help us in our testing and self-growth .That’s how we can improve the quality of the product and quantity of your knowledge .

Referred Links

https://m4i3.wordpress.com/murphy-laws/

https://www.innoq.com/en/blog/testing-is-storytelling/#:~:text=Tests%20do%20not%20only%20exist,developers%20how%20to%20use%20code.

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_79.htm

https://qablog.practitest.com/decision-driven-test-management-6-tips-to-improve-the-value-of-your-testing/

Know Our Writer

Anindita

Anindita Rath

Senior QA Automation Engineer at CRISIL Limited

Anindita is currently working as a Sr QA engineer with CRISIL . Her Curiosity to learn and know more about a software led her to be a tester by profession. She is always Excited and happy to explore and learn new things.

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