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7 Traits of a Great Software Tester

Saturday February 11, 2012

There are no specific guidelines to become a great software tester, but there are definitely some qualities that can help you test better and with perfection. We have summarized some of the traits that can help you become a great software tester.

Contextual Adaptability

The tester needs to be able to adapt to different testing approaches depending upon the context of the projects. While one approach might work in Agile testing, the same might not work in a traditional testing environment. As a great software tester, he needs to be flexible and possess experience and sufficient knowledge in several approaches of testing. Whether the project has weekly test cycles or monthly ones, the tester needs to test the right way and the most efficient way.

Knowledge of Testing Techniques

Many testers may not be even aware, but there are several testing techniques out there. A great software tester should not only be aware of different testing techniques, but also must have worked on at least some of these testing techniques. Knowledge of structured testing is also required in a great software tester.

Programming Skills

A great software tester must posses a reasonable amount of programming skills. When automation testing is considered, programming skills are a must. In case of manual testing, knowledge of programming languages can help a tester create tools and snippets of codes to quicken manual testing. In general, knowledge of coding and related concepts can help a great software tester understand the kind of bugs that can be injected during programming as well as the places/instances where the presence of bugs is higher.

Understanding of Business Needs

A great software tester must understand the ultimate goal of the system being built from the business end. The tester, only when knows and understands the bigger picture, 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.

Good Communication Skills

A great software tester must definitely possess strong verbal and written communication skills. The tester’s ability to collaborate with other programmers, test managers and customers must be impeccable. 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.

Knowing What to Prioritize

A great software tester must be able to prioritize the test cases and features that are to be tested. The testing environment, requirements and timelines vary frequently. Depending upon these factors, a software tester must be able to interpret, organize and prioritize his activities such that the testing goals are achieved without compromising the quality.

Continuous Learning

As with any IT field, testing is an area that keeps evolving every day! New technologies, tools and concepts are introduced to benefit the testers and end users. A great software tester must keep himself updated with the latest technologies and happenings in the field of testing. A consistent learning schedule must be a part of every great software tester.

Last, but not least, strong logical, analytical and testing skills as well as the ability to work independently are all necessary to be a great software tester.

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