When it comes to the profession, everyone wants to be the BEST in their respective areas. A designer strains his mind and tries to produce the best designs ever. An architect thinks big and tries to build the best architecture in the market. A software developer tries to write the best, optimised and standardized code. Even the person who sells paani poori on the road side tries to be the BEST in the business. From where this mentality of being BEST comes from? Why do we think of being the best in whatever we do? The answer is simple. It adds value to our career, knowledge and organization in which we work which in turn draws more business, business in terms of more customers for the paani poori waala, business in terms of more orders for the designer, business in terms of more assignment for the developer and business in terms of more clients for an organization. And all of us know business is directly proportional to money 🙂 :).
Being the Best applies to all who are into any kind of job and to be one, (s)he has to acquire some special skills and knowledge which would make them stand apart from others in the same profession. It is just like we have many 150 CC bikes available in the market but people choose the one with better style, comfort and mileage. Every bike in the 150 CC segment has the same power the best ones have the technology that gives them a noticeable presence when brought into competition/comparison. The same thing is applicable for testers also. For being good testers someone needs to have some qualities which acts as an added advantage and helps them remain ahead in the race. In this article we will look into few of these qualities.
Do I have the Passion for the job (here it is Testing) ?:
Whenever we do something, we get the best out of it when we add the catalyst called “Passion” into it. Without passion the work/task/job becomes a pain. Without passion it is like making someone wear a “S” sized shirt while the ideal size for him is “XXL”. Whenever I think of Passion with respect to any job I simply remember the very famous ad from Naukri.com with the punch line “Caught in the wrong job”. Believe me, when you do not like what you do then the condition would be exactly like the cricketer in the ad who uses his bat for cleaning the clothes 🙂 . The worst part is neither you get satisfaction out of your job nor the task gets completed/delivered/released with the quality it is expected to be with. So either way it is a loss for both the work and the worker. The bottom line is, if I am a tester by chance and not by choice and I do not have the passion for testing then I am not doing justice either to myself or to the job I am doing.
Am I a good analyst/analyzer of problems I face? :
One of the most important skills for any tester is to have strong analytical skills. Any tester can gather/acquire product knowledge, but without strong analytical skills he might not be able to use that knowledge to test the application in a more effective way. It is like a blacksmith having a hammer but does not know where and how to use it 🙂 . Being a good tester calls for adequate knowledge of the SDLC and STLC process and s(he) should be able to analyze cause and effect with ease.
Do I have the knowledge of Test Methodology and am I able to apply it when required?
A good software tester should possess the knowledge of structured testing, and more importantly should be able to apply it to software products and software testing projects when needed. A tester with a strong foundation of structured software testing can work on any kind of application in any domain. It gives him the strong base which is same for testing any kind of application.
Am I a good communicator?
To be a good tester it is one of the most (rather I would say the important most quality) desired abilities to be able to communicate with various people around you in the organization. They might be the developers, the management or co testers/developers in other teams. A good software tester should have strong written and oral communication skills, which does not necessarily mean to write mails without grammatical errors or use super class testing jargons while talking to people. A good communication is the communication to others which is clear, simple and easy to understand. A good tester should be able to differentiate the ways of communication and should choose different levels of communication while dealing with people from different environments. For example management may not be interested in the details of every defect that has been located. They are interested in the overall quality of a release and when the release can go in production. So it is vital to be a good communicator to be a good tester. Obviously this quality will not be developed overnight. A tester needs a lot of practice and experience and a little bit of wit added to the communication while sending it to others. It really helps.
Am I patient enough?
Patience is an important requirement for software testers. It is not new for a tester that the bug reported by him/her is turned down several times by the development stating that it is a non issue. Each one of us in the testing community faces/faced it. Sometimes a tester finds it real hard to make the developer understand that the bug is an actual bug. So being a tester, one should be having the quality of handling the rejections in a patient manner. Yes I understand that sometimes we have the strong urge to break the head of the developer, but we need to suppress that urge 🙂 🙂 Because good testers do not do that :). Patience is something which helps a tester grow and build a cordial relationship with the co workers which is very important in terms of building good team spirit and a friendly environment. After all, people in the team walk hands in hands which s the key to success of each project.
Am I a humorous person?
“For being a good tester do I need to be humorous? Have you gone mad? Are you out of your mind? Are you nuts?” No I am NOT 🙂 . Because In many stressful situations it is important to keep our cool and a good sense of humor is a perfect addition to it :). A joke or a prank can lighten the mood in the team in a stressed out situation and who knows, a relieved mind can get a better and immediate solution to a problem !!! So keep your sense of humour ON all the time and use it when it is needed.
All the points put above are solely the outcome of my crazy mind. But yes, at some point of my career as a tester, I have realized that the above points could be the foundation stones for a good tester in making 🙂 🙂
Author – Sudeep Pattnaik