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What makes a good tester

Most people find that the role of a tester is one of the least attractive ones included in the process of developing web-based solutions. It is thought that it isn’t very dynamic and that it is a tedious and negatively-oriented job because it constantly refers to someone’s mistakes and errors.

Nevertheless, there are people who take testing as a challenge and enjoy their job. This is mainly due to some of their personal skills and experiences that predispose them to it. So what are these skills that make a good tester?

Constructively thinking

It's beneficial if the tester is in a relatively short time able to find their way through the application, analyzing it and figuring out how it works, with logic and understanding being the main asset. A tester needs to always think one step ahead, anticipate consequences and reveal their causes before they happen in practice.

Knowledgeable of programming techniques

While someone might argue that there is a certain group of tests where programming experience is not necessary, there are two reasons that prove quite the opposite:

  1. A considerable part of the test consists of writing automated tests, so it is essential to have at least some knowledge of algorithms and preferably a bit of developer experience as well.
  2. It's about testing software. Testing is often due to time constraints compromised between available resources and the level of detail. It is impossible to test everything thoroughly, so the tester has to work intuitively. Experience in programming can help him quickly identify possible types of errors and estimate the likely place of occurrence.

Curious

Testing is about asking questions, collecting and evaluating responses. Without an investigative approach a good tester doesn't go far. He also doesn't consider anything by dogma, he questions and verifies everything, and the only evidence for him is the project specifications and test results.

Creative and inventive

Creative testers are different from others by often trying out new testing procedures, continually improving and enhancing their work and learning new things. They are able to come up with a combination of inputs that might not yield the expected results, but so far no one thought of them. They are the authors of many ideas, suggestions or mini-programs in order to eliminate the amount of needed manual testing. They are not professionaly passive - they follow new trends in the field of testing and try to integrate them into their work.

Communicative

Unlike programmers, who can be top in their field even if they are of quiet and introverted nature, a handy tester requires communication skills, both verbal and written. He must be able to clearly write test plans, protocols, comprehensibly report errors and consult them with developers, sometimes even prove their existence. Communication, particularly with senior programmers, can sometimes be be tricky for a tester but diplomacy, tact and always being ready to smile it considerably easier for the job. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why we can find many women among testers.

Perfectionist and patient

Clicking through pages, constantly preparing and executing automated tests, listing thousands of documented errors in detail without missing anything, can sometimes sound like a task for Cinderella, but for a good tester it's a daily routine.

Bright and attentive

No differences should be overlooked between the specification and reality by the experienced eye of a good tester, without any inconsistency with standards. He is not only sensitive to errors, but also to their symptoms, even though they are individually insignificant. The combination of subtle symptoms may indicate a much serious error. Being thoughtful and and observant is important especially for manual tests.

Would you be a good tester? Test yourself and find out...

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