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How can Software Testers Enhance their Testing Skills?

October 3, 2016
software testing skills, testing skills, test skill, testing skills

Software testing is not only a lucrative profession but also promises bright future in the software industry. Evolving from a fresher to good testing skills holds a number of hurdles and challenges. Unless and until a software tester recognizes these challenges and strive to perfect his or her testing skills, surviving in the software industry can be a tough job for a tester. In this post, we would be explaining the different challenges faced by a software tester, and also chalk down different tips which can help testers to stay on top of their game

What are the Basic Responsibilities of a Tester?

In order to find out ways to enhance the testing skills, lets first talk about the basic responsibilities of a tester. Every testing role, be it manual, performance, or automation, demands the following qualities:

Understanding business requirements

  • In order to test the software under test properly, every tester should be well aware of the business logic and the right type of testing required for a particular application or module. 

Create high-quality test cases and scenarios

  • Test cases and test scenarios are not created merely for the sake of QA process. If quality test cases and scenarios are created with good testing skills, it will help in early detection of issues, and enhance the stability and reliability of the product.
  • This prevents defect slippage post production release. Also, test plan and various other documents are created, to keep track of existing functionalities of an application.

Proper defect management

  • One or the other defect management tool is used by the QA team to log and keep track of all the defects that were encountered during testing.
  • The defect tracking tool also helps developers and QA to check the status of a particular bug and set the priority and severity for it. While logging defects, testers provide detailed description about the encountered anomaly and how a developer can recreate that on their local environment. These steps are often accompanied by a screenshot and stack trace, to help identify the reason behind the issue.

Innovation and QA learning

  • As current software technologies advance each day, the testing team must adopt ways to upgrade their testing skills. For this reason, QA team indulges in learning different testing methodologies and innovate to increase testing quality and effectiveness.

What are the commonly faced Challenges?

  • Even if software testers religiously follow every QA process, they have to upgrade their testing process and methodologies from time to time. 
  • While testing an application, the testing team must strive to introduce new testing disciplines in the existing QA process, to increase testing quality.
  • Any up gradation or change in existing requirement need to be documented for future referencing.
  • While logging defects, all steps required to recreate the issue needs to be clearly mentioned to help the dev team successfully reproduce it. 

Pointers to enhance Software Testing skills

Now that we have talked about the responsibilities and challenges in software testing, let’s find out the different ways how testers can enhance their testing skills.

Being a Team player

  • As the QA team is responsible for ensuring the quality of the product, they need to interact with team members with different roles.
  • The QA team need to interact with the Business Analyst to understand the requirement completely, work in sync with the developers to identify issues and clear any requirement and technical ambiguities with the client.
  • Even though software testers have a role of their own, and can function independently, it is expected of them to work and interact with other members with different roles to gather required information and help them with any business related needs.
  • This not only provides testers a thorough business knowledge but also keep them updated about the current status of the application. Such information is really helpful in strengthening the QA process.

  Focussing on Product Quality

  • It is often said that ” A good tester is one, who treats the product as his own”. This means testers should not only raise an alarm when they encounter a high priority issue, they should also let everyone know when they are facing any problem with the QA process or testing in general.
  • A software tester should never pinpoint the mistakes of anyone, but take steps to improve the existing project and make the application as sturdy as possible.
  • The testing team’s role should not be rigid and hard bound to the different type of testing. The team should be flexible and knowledgeable enough to participate in various processes during the software development life-cycle.
  • Testers should be involved in requirement grooming and also provide their feedback on different design decisions.

Technical Expertise

  • Most people think software testing doesn’t require any programming knowledge. But the truth is exactly opposite to that of the speculation. In order to grow as a tester, every tester irrespective of their testing discipline must have basic programming knowledge and decent analytical skill.
  • Even manual testers need basic knowledge of the application code-base in order to properly log defects. For example, if any defect was encountered during manual testing, simply writing the steps to reproduce it might not be enough. Testing skills should be able to look at the exception or error and pinpoint the possible reasons, that created the defect.
  • Also, as the software industry progresses each day, every tester should also take an effort to gather testing expertise and learn some programming language( be it Java, SQL, C#), to expand their coding skill. Such testing skills can be really helpful down the line while learning or implementing different types of automation testing to the project.
  • Even though technical expertise steadily grows over the years, it expected of every tester to take initiative and learn technologies and tools on their own.

Communication skill

  • Even though possessing good communication testing skills is not mandatory for testers, but this is what sets moderate testers from good testers.
  • If a tester has good verbal and written communication skill, he/ she can interact with clients and also participate in requirement grooming.
  • Especially for projects being developed offshore, software testers having good communication are a necessity. This not only improves product delivery time but also eliminates errors that arise due to miscommunication.
  • On top of it, good written communication will also aid in documentation of the product.

    Product/ Business knowledge

  • Software testers are valued for their testing skills and product knowledge.
  • If any tester lacks in business knowledge, they must take serious efforts to fill the gap. If any product information is missed by the QA team, it will seriously hamper the quality of the product being developed.

    Inclination Towards testing process

  • QA Process is ever changing. The process keeps on changing from time to time when new technology or module is introduced in the project. For this reason, every tester should try to emphasize on test planning.
  • Rather than jumping on the task in hand, every tester must see the bigger picture and weigh the tasks in hand and perform testing accordingly.
  • Such testing skills not only adds value to the project but also makes any resource transition an easy task.

Conclusion 

  • In order to prosper as a software tester, stagnation of any form must be avoided.
  • Testers should introspect and try to understand the project and deliverables as a whole. Proper interacting within the team and working in tandem with others is a desirable quality and recognized as best testing skills.
  • Technical testing skills related to the programming language and other tools should be increased, in order to keep up with the various advancements in the software industry.

About the author

Vaibhav Singhal author

Vaibhav is in software testing since a decade. Worked with different testing techniques along with exploratory testing. Performed different regression, performance, api etc testing with tools and libraries like selenium, jmeter, loadrunner, protractor, rest assured, Katalon Appium and others.

1 Comment

software testing

January 7, 2019 at 5:18 am

Its really helpful article for software tester. It will surely help them. Thanks for sharing.

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