Ideal Tester

QA ninja as ideal tester

What makes a good Software Test Engineer?

Required skills:

  • Analytical skills. Analytical skills will help break up a complex software system into smaller units to gain a better understanding and created corresponding test cases.
  • Technical skills. A good software tester must have proficiencies in Testing tools, SQL, etc... and deep understand of the application under test.
  • Verbal and written communication skills. Testing artifacts (like test cases/plans, test strategies, bug reports etc) created by the software tester should be easy to read and comprehend.
  • Good productivity. Testing at times could be a demanding job especially during the release of code. A software tester must efficiently manage workload, exhibit optimal time management and organization skills.
  • Judgment skills are needed to assess high-risk areas of an application on which to focus testing efforts when time is limited.
  • Observational skills. If you want to observe something, you need to notice it first. Observation is the ability to notice important or significant details. While testing the product you need to be able to observe situations that are unusual.
  • Communication skills. You will encounter circumstances where you have to defend your findings. You will have to convince people to take action, so you’d better know how to explain why your findings are relevant.

A good Test Engineer also has:

  • Willingness to learn. Knowledge is not static, especially not in the technical domain. Constant learning is essential in order to become better at what you do.
  • An ability to take the point of view of the customer.
  • A strong desire for quality, and an attention to detail.
  • Tact and diplomacy are useful in maintaining a cooperative relationship with developers.
  • An ability to communicate with both technical (developers) and non-technical (customers, management) people is useful.
  • Understanding the entire software development process and how it can fit into the business approach and goals of the organization.
  • An ability to find problems as well as to see ‘what’s missing’ is important for inspections and reviews
  • Humor. Among many other things, humor helps to sustain your sanity. As a tester, you often live in a stressful environment. Smiling and laughter reduce the damaging effects of stress hormones. It helps you to stay focused on what you want to be doing: testing.

Tips to become a good tester:

  • Be honest and responsive: tell developers what are your plans to attack their application.
  • Be open and available: if any dev ask you to have a look at the application developed by him before the release, then politely give feedback on it and report any extra efforts needed. Don’t log the bug’s for these notes.
  • Let them review your tests: If you have designed or wrote some test cases from the requirement specifications then just show them those test cases.
  • Use of Bug tracker: some testers have habit to report each and everything publicly. This attitude hurts the developers. So if you have logged any bug then let the bug tracking system report it to respective developers and managers.

It is not all required skills of good Software Engineer…

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