Who is a Software Tester?
Software Tester is a profession in the IT industry about which until recently there were legends about how easy it is to get to the fabulous IT area. I think this stereotype is slowly fading away. The more that the testers are subject to higher and higher requirements. Not only are knowledge of the various tools involved, but also some personality traits.
Technical or soft skills?
Technical skills and general knowledge about software testing and the operation of computer systems are very important in the work of a tester. Often, however, specific technical skills depend on the specifics of the project in which you work. The universal characteristics of any good tester are undoubtedly developed soft skills. Soft skills are independent of a specific project or work culture. They are increasingly in great demand on the labor market. Therefore, as a software tester or when preparing for this profession, it is also worth paying attention to the aspect of interpersonal competences. The very important soft skills in the position of a software tester include:
- Communicability — a software tester is a person who communicates very often with many people in the team. Both with Programmers, Product Owner, Scrum Master or other Testers. Therefore, communicativeness is undoubtedly a very desirable feature. Reporting bugs is not an easy task. It is important to report the bug in a way that does not affect the person who created the part of the application. The essence of a well-reported bug is communicating it in an appropriate, non-personal way.
- Feedback Ability — The Software Tester has to do with giving feedback virtually every day by reporting software bugs. The ability to give constructive feedback is directly related to communicativeness. When reporting a bug, remember not to attack the creator and not to point out the error personally. The main difference is to say “I found a bug in the code” than “You’re a loser, how can you make mistakes in the software”. Bugs happen in all software and may not necessarily be a skill or lack of a developer. Therefore, there is no reason to attack the Developer personally.
- Assertiveness — surely every tester in his career has encountered the famous phrase “It works for me” or “This is a feature, not a bug”. If not, then surely it will come sooner or later. How to prove that we are right in our report? The ability to be assertive certainly comes in handy. Assertiveness is also connected with communicativeness and the ability to give feedback. You should avoid unnecessary quarrels and use the ability to say “no” culturally.
- The ability to think analytically — analyzing the tested areas of software is part of the tester’s everyday work. Logical thinking is very useful both in analyzing the checked functionalities and in analyzing how a potential user of our application may behave. Manual Testers also experience testing based on source code analysis, so here too, logical and abstract thinking can be helpful.
- Patience — often the test tasks can be very repetitive. An example is testing the same mobile application for different types of phone software. Patience and resistance to boredom with monotonous, repetitive tasks will certainly facilitate the work of every tester. Patience is also useful with errors related to the test environment, which, for example, requires us to fix — not always everything works as smoothly as we would like.
- Focus on detail — the details are where the most mistakes lie. The Tester’s task is primarily to ensure the best possible quality of the application. Therefore, inquisitiveness in looking for errors, often hidden in details, will help to ensure better software quality.
- Constant desire to gain knowledge — the IT industry is the fastest growing industry in the world. If you want to keep up with changing technologies, you need to be willing to learn. The quick assimilation of new information is certainly a big advantage of every tester. At the same time, it is worth keeping an open mind to new, changing solutions and the tools and technologies used.
- Creativity — this feature is useful both in ways of searching for errors and in finding new areas where potential errors may appear. Again, we are dealing here with unconventional thinking and an open mind to new solutions that will facilitate the testing process.
Is that enough?
There will definitely be a few more soft features that a software tester should have. Of course, technical skills should not be forgotten. However, it is worth working on both in parallel. The more skills we have, the more we will be able to care for the quality of the software and for us — testers — the work will be more and more fun and will definitely be much more effective. Which will bring individual benefits and benefits of employing a qualified employee in the company.