6 Basic Skills That Every Tester (Mainly Fresher) Should Have

Software Testing or QA is the best platform for newcomers to enter into IT industry despite the misconceptions that it is a lesser or lower paid job.

The most important skill that a tester needs is the ability to find bugs.  And, if you are the sort of person who loves finding bugs, then you are going to love and grow in this field.

Having said that, there are few more skills that can help you find bugs and work with QA processes better. 

This is the article that will show the QA process as it is followed in most companies and will give new-testers clarifications on testing.  

In detail, you learn the documentation process and standards, pre-work of the tester, constraints based testing, testing during partial development and finally the sign-off process.

Let’s begin.

What You Will Learn:

#1. Documentation

Documentation is essential to testing. Most companies assign this task to new-comers. To succeed, you should have good vocabulary because the rest of things such as documentation standards, etc. are not in your control and depend on the team’s and company’s processes.

Also, make sure that you see the value of the documentation process. The advantages are many – they help you track requirement changes, trace your test steps, log your work, etc.

Recommended read => Why Documentation is Important in Software Testing

#2. Test Preparation

Of all the documents available, the following can’t be neglected. These are also called as deliverable documents and they bridge client, developer and tester understanding.

a) Test Plan: Charts the flow of testing from start to finish.

Test plan portrays scope and activities of the testing phase. Created by the QA lead, the team has to contribute and stay updated about everything that is written in the test plan.

Some teams have multiple levels of test plans: Master Plan and Phase wise plans.

A test plan must have:

Also read => 

b) Test scenarios:

One line pointers on ‘what to test’ based on each requirement and usually documented and tracked through spreadsheets.

Most of them contain:

Further reading => 

c) Test cases:

Accurate Test cases give accurate test results. Spreadsheets are still the popular medium for test case writing, especially for beginners, even though some companies adapt test management tools. The basis for test case writing is the SRS/FRD/Req document. But, it is not often sufficient, so you will have to use a lot of assumption and discussion with BA/Dev teams.

Writing effective test cases is the most important qualification a tester must have. Usually, all test cases are categorized as positive/negative. Positive test case is giving valid inputs and getting positive results. Negative test case is giving invalid inputs and getting the exact error message.

For more information on these, check:

Some of the common attributes that all test cases have are:



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#3. Test Process – What tests to perform?

There are a huge number of testing types, but not all of them can be carried out on that AUT. Time, budget, nature of the business, nature of the application, and client’s interest are the key players in the choice of what tests to do on the application.

For example: If it is an online commerce portal, then stress testing and load testing are mandatory. However, some of the test types that should not be missed are:

#4. Testing at the partial development stage

Generally, with medium level and start-up companies, there is limited time and resources. Testers here might start their testing process before module integration, which means we might be doing unit and intermediary integration tests.

It is important to note that the results from these stages cannot be counted as accurate, so you might have to plan for an overall black box test once everything is ready-to-go. Overlooking that part might prove costly and testing, ineffective.

#5. Bug report document

Hands on, this is the most critical QA document you will ever be making.

The following are the fields a good bug report must have:

Further reading => 

#6. Sign-off process

Sign off and sending final documentation is the QA lead/manager’s task. However, the team has to submit the above documents (Test scenario, Test case, and defect log document) for final reviews and audit.

Make sure, you proofread all of them and send the final versions.

Also read =>

Conclusion

This is the process as I have witnessed and experienced firsthand when I was a tester and I hope this has given you some useful pointers.

Finally, a career in testing has been an absolute joy for me and I hope it is for you too.

All the best for your career!