Tester - skills needed for successful software testing (1)

What are the qualities (a.k.a. attributes, traits, skills) that are required of Testers for testing software ?

In this post, let us look at three Software Tester traits. More to follow in the next post.

Software Tester Trait 1: Curiosity

Software Testing is about exploring and discovering. Software Testers should like exploring, be curious and inquisitive about everything and display keenness in understanding the why and how of products, their interactions, dependencies and ecosystem in totality. Testing software requires venturing beyond the realms of the tried and known, to discover what lies beyond. Installing new software builds, experimenting, seeking to better understand the software and breaking it are part of the skills needed in software testing.

Tester Trait 2: Detail oriented and thorough

Software Testing requires discipline and systematic approach. It is important for testers to be able to pay attention to details and be thorough. While testing involves exploration and experimentation, testing requires that testers not leave any gaps in test coverage. Ensuring that all requirements and areas are thoroughly tested is important. Having an eye for detail in testing would also mean looking out for oddities and incorrect behaviors in the software application being tested. What might seem like a small, insignificant or even irregular occurrence may be the harbinger of much larger issues. It pays to scrutinize each issue thoroughly.

Tester Trait 3: Trouble-shooter

Software Testing requires the ability to root-cause issues. Being good at finding out why something does not work is a useful attribute to possess in testing software. Testers should be able to narrow down the conditions that cause an issue and help identify or at least suggest causes for issues observed. A detailed bug report that lists the issue, narrowed-down steps to reproduce, as well as probable cause along with relevant details can help software development teams address issues faster and better. Also, being able to find out why something does not work can point to more issues lurking around or areas that may need more testing. A tester's job is not just about executing a standard set of software tests and reporting any failures.

We'll look at more traits in the next post.