process improvment

8 Ways to be a Good Software Tester

Light Your lifeI don’t know how to be a great tester but my short list derive from my 7 years software testing and quality experience. It relates to both testers and test/quality managers.

1. Read about the Software Testing
Try to be on time, read news, use Google Reader, use Twitter, etc. Even if 90% of knowledge considered redundant, sometimes You can make a good impression by showing Your additional wisdom. Second, You’ll have a new ideas to improve the testing process.

2. Have some experience as a developer
Having experience of programming or programming in parallel to testing is a very good practice ! Allows You to predict some errors before detecting them in the testing process. Often we can identify in which area error may occur and the type of these bugs, knowing only a description of functional changes. If you have a good relationship with the developers we can often give them a hint or find a possible solution on how to solve the problem – building relations !

3. Talk to people from the industry
Meet with people from the industry, at conferences, training, etc.. You’ll see the real trends in testing, or return some interesting ideas.
Common beer often gives more than a hundred e-mails sent or thousands lines at IM.

4. Automate but do not rely on
Automation is nice, but in excess can lead to acceptance of the program, which is correct but completely useless to the user. Test automation will help you obtain confidence that the core application functionality is running, real testing will give you a general sense of good job 🙂

5. Live in accordance with programmers
It is very important! Try to make quality and programming department a team aimed to produce a good application. Reporting the number of errors per developer is very bad practice. Try to treat the errors in the test phase as another experience for you and for developer. If You see that one developer has some troubles producing error-less code, first talk to him then talk to his manager.

6. Ahead of the facts – take an active part in the project
Try to participate in the design of new functionality, often Your advise will later reduce the number of errors. Discover more about the whole project team,
become a consultant.

7. Learn the critical application functionality
You have to know the critical path of the application, the path that is most often performed by the user, it is the most important business process. Putting special emphasis on that functionality when creating scenarios and testers training, increase the certainty that the application is acceptable and there is no critical errors.

8. Always have Usability in your mind
High software quality does not only means that application is free from errors but above all, ensure us that the usability is also at high level. Use usability testing and usability inspections treat usability as a target. Try to eliminate redundant application paths, do it at early stages of development (point 6), do it still, then you will have higher usability and error will be easier to detect.

Links
Software Testing Diplomacy: A Tester’s Guide on How to Deal with Programmers!

Discussion

6 comments for “8 Ways to be a Good Software Tester”

  1. […] Test 8 Ways to be a Good Software Tester Test And Try I found some cool stuff here: 8 Ways to be a Good Software Tester Test And […]

    Posted by Www Test | April 15, 2009, 7:26 am
  2. Your points are good. But I would like to comment on number 5 on the menu. I would never allow a tester to team up with a developer, for some very strong reasons. First of all, this may adversely impact the amount of bugs opened. Issues may be communicated verbally, rather than by email… I know that the ultimate goal is to make good software, so this should not matter, but another goal is to make sure everyone is doing his/her job right. More bugs usually means, the dev guys are incompetent or merely slacking off (forgive me for being blunt… but that is just the way it is… ). So if bugs are communicated verbally, there is no record of these issues. Secondly, there is a chance that knowingly or unknowingly, the developer gives the tester a happy path into the application. This is totally unacceptable from the usability point of view. The less testers know, the better. Hence non-techies sometimes make the best testers. If there are communication gaps, what are the managers for? let them fill the communication part in. Let the testers stick to testing. And reporting the number of errors per developer is not only good practice, it should be standard practice. The JOB of the developer is to give good results. That is what they are paid for. It is like saying, don’t judge Bush for the mistakes he committed in his presidency. That was his job. I also firmly believe that testers should be judged on the amount of bugs they open. Because, that is their job. It is a harsh world man… what can I say.

    Posted by Akshay | April 16, 2009, 5:31 am
  3. Hi Akshay: Thanks for comment.
    “Live in accordane” means don’t blame each other at all. You are right that live too close is not so good. Of course report bugs to BugTracker not to developer ear. Generally have a good relationship with developers but bear in mind that You are the Tester and You must find as manny bugs as possible 🙂

    Posted by Marcin Zręda | April 16, 2009, 8:24 am
  4. […] days ago I wrote how to be a good tester, now try to identify points that are important for the developer from tester but also the quality […]

    Posted by 7 Ways To Be Good Developer From Tester Point of View | Test And Try | April 29, 2009, 1:24 pm
  5. 9 th way to be a good software tester is to grab a certification in software testing. After having certified over 38,000 professionals in 43 countries and setting standards for software testing practitioner certifications, QAI has launched a new manager level certification for Software Testers called Certified Manager of Software Testing (CMST) – http://bit.ly/qaistp

    Posted by Able Weis | February 15, 2010, 12:16 pm
  6. Great post! These points serve as an excellent reminder on the value of staying active and engaged in with your work.

    Posted by Devon Smith | February 22, 2010, 6:31 pm

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