Are you a good tester?

Apart from exposing faults (“bugs”) in a software product confirming that the program meets the program specification, as a test engineer one need to create

  • test cases
  • procedures
  • scripts
  • generate data

Test Engineer execute test procedures and scripts, analyze standards and evaluate results of system/integration/regression testing. Also:

  • Speed up development process by identifying bugs at an early stage (e.g. specifications
  • Reduce the organization’s risk of legal liability
  • Maximize the value of the software
  • Assure successful launch of the product, save money, time and reputation of the company by discovering bugs and design flaws at an early stage before failures occur in production
  • Promote continual improvement


What makes a good tester?

As software engineering is now being considered as a technical engineering profession, it is important that the software test engineer’s possess certain traits with a relentless attitude to make them stand out. Here are a few.

Know the technology. Knowledge of the technology in which the application is developed is an added advantage to any tester. It helps design better and powerful test cases basing on the weakness or flaws of the technology. Good testers know what it supports and what it doesn’t, so concentrating on these lines will help them break the application quickly.

Perfectionist and a realist. Being a perfectionist will help testers spot the problem and being a realist helps know at the end of the day which problems are really important problems. You will know which ones require a fix and which ones don’t.

Tactful, diplomatic and persuasive. Good software testers are tactful and know how to break the news to the developers. They are diplomatic while convincing the developers of the bugs and persuade them when necessary and have their bug(s) fixed. It is important to be critical of the issue and not let the person who developed the application be taken aback of the findings.

An explorer. A bit of creativity and an attitude to take risk helps the testers venture into unknown situations and find bugs that otherwise will be looked over.

Troubleshoot. Troubleshooting and figuring out why something doesn’t work helps testers be confident and clear in communicating the defects to the developers.

Possess people skills and tenacity. Testers can face a lot of resistance from programmers. Being socially smart and diplomatic doesn’t mean being indecisive. The best testers are both socially adept and tenacious where it matters.

Organized. Best testers very well realize that they too can make mistakes and don’t take chances. They are very well organized and have checklists, use files, facts and figures to support their findings that can be used as an evidence and double-check their findings.

Objective and accurate. They are very objective and know what they report and so convey impartial and meaningful information that keeps politics and emotions out of message. Reporting inaccurate information is losing a little credibility. Good testers make sure their findings are accurate and reproducible.

Defects are valuable. Good testers learn from them. Each defect is an opportunity to learn and improve. A defect found early substantially costs less when compared to the one found at a later stage. Defects can cause serious problems if not managed properly. Learning from defects helps prevention of future problems, track improvements, improve prediction and estimation.

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