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Characteristics of a Smart Software Tester

Well, today there is a lot of buzz into software testers who are rigorously working to improve their testing skills and expertise. But, I would also like to bring this thing into the limelight that there are no specific guidelines to become a great software tester, but there are definitely some qualities that can definitely help you test better and with perfection. Well, going further with this idea, I would like to summarize some of the traits that can help you become a GREAT Software Tester.

Contextual Adaptability:

Are you always aware of the contexts of the projects?

Do you actually adopt the various testing approaches according to the contexts of your projects?

Are you flexible to each and every testing approaches?

Well, yes a great software tester would need to make sure that he/she adopts the testing approaches according the contexts of the projects. And, for that, one would need to understand the contexts of the projects so well. There are chances that one approach might work in agile testing and the same won't work in a traditional testing environment. Being a great software testing, it becomes very very important to become flexible and possess experience and sufficient knowledge in several approaches of testing. Well, despite of the project's test cycles being weekly or monthly, it depends on the testers to test in the right way and in the most efficient way.

Knowledge of Testing Techniques

Are you sure you know all the testing techniques out there in the industry?

Do you know about the structured testing?

Many a times it happens that the testers don't even know the various testing techniques available in the testing industry. Well, it becomes a job role for a testers to not only have the detailed information on all the testing techniques, but also to have knowledge, skills and experience on most of those testing techniques. Also, knowledge of structured testing comes first in this list to prove to be a great software tester.

Programming Skills

On this, I can bet that most of you possess a good amount of programming skills. It's not just that only manual testing requires programming skills, in automation testing, programming skills are mandatory. In manual testing, you can create tools and code snippets to accelerate manual testing. Most of the time, knowledge of programming skills help the great software testers to find the probability of the presence of the bugs and also, the kind of bugs that can be introduced while programming.

Understanding of Business Needs

Do you understand why the system that you are testing is built for?

Do you really understand the business goal behind the system?

If the answer to the above questions is YES, then definitely you can help analyze the system's strength and weaknesses and go beyond the mere testing duty. A great software tester must be able to take the ultimate call on a system’s ability to go live. He must provide the business with competitively advantageous strategic inputs from testing perspective.

Ultimate Communication Skills

Well, having strong verbal and written communications skills help the great software tester to communicate well with the programmers, test managers and the customers. Being a good team player, skills to get across their point to the other party without difficulty and knowing how to put across a defect all are important personality traits of a great software tester.

Knowledge of Prioritization

Which test case to test first?

A great software tester will prioritize the test cases and the features that needs to be tested. The testing environment, requirements and timelines vary frequently. Interpret, Organize & Prioritize are the three tasks that will help you to achieve the testing goals without compromising the quality.

Stay Updated with Continuous Learning

Being in the IT field, testing is one such area that keeps evolving every now and then. New technologies, testing tools and concepts are introduced to help the testers and the end users. You must keep yourself updated with the latest technologies and trends happening in the testing industry. A consistent learning schedule must be a part of every great software tester.

Lastly, check yourself for the below points and you are one of those great software testers that you adore:

Strong logical testing skills
Powerful analytical testing skills
Ability to work independently

Well, these are can be completely my experience of a great software tester that helps to makes the software testing projects successful. But, would love to hear your experiences of the great software testers and their testing skills.

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Comment by Teemu Vesala on September 9, 2016 at 12:22pm

One additional property is "endless curiosity" - and not just about testing or technology. Good tester needs different kind of views to the things she does. Best way to get those is understand different kind of things. Curious person gets excited when ever she sees something new. It doesn't matter if it is politics, philosophy, different religious views, biology, etc. All of those can help you to understand things a bit more different ways. 

Several weeks ago I watched document about deep sea creatures. It was superb exciting. Even in this planet the diversity of creatures are so huge. So complex. Nature has been really "creative". Living creatures are really adapting to different kind of environments. That helps me to see diversity of people also. We are different kind, and users are different kind.

I also read a lot children and youth books - I enjoy the humor at them. The kids have creativity without limitations (unless we adults prevent them). Children books has same kind of anarchy and creativity which we - as testers - need. 

TTWT Magazine


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