Being a tester in the software industry, is a big responsibility, just like:
- A proof reader, who will have to proof read each and every word, written by the author.
- A fashion designer, who will have to try the designer clothes on her own, before putting them for display.
- A scientist, who will have to do R & D to understand the impacts of implementation.
For most of my career, I have seen “made” testers due to lack of other career options, lack of technical knowledge etc., rather than “chosen” testers, who have chosen the software testing career consciously.
I think it doesn’t matter how it started as long as you invest time and effort to gain experience and understand the technicalities of the field.
As they say, “A passionate tester is more beneficial than an experienced developer.”
Most of the software testers validate the software’s features and look into the product/application with scrutiny to find bugs in it. That is for the most part the right track but it should not be the only target.
As a tester, you are supposed to do many more things apart from the most obvious tasks. Let me explain below.
As a tester:
#1) You are supposed to find bugs
The primary goal of any tester is to find bugs in the product/application. Finding bugs should not be limited to finding bugs. It should be expanded to effective reporting, defining severity & triage and communicating them to the developer.
And the most important thing is, never feel that you have observed/reported all bugs because as they say,
“Just because you’ve counted all the trees doesn’t mean you’ve seen the forest.”
Look for details, look at minor things and when a tester applies knowledge and experience, the web of bugs becomes easily visible and sometimes, the root cause too.
#2) You are supposed to prevent bugs
Preventing is better than finding, for a software tester. When you see a bug, understand the pattern, understand developer’s mind set and understand product’s behaviour.
Most of the time, the same type of bug could happen or in the other part of application because same developer had developed it or the logic used was same or system was intended to behave in a similar manner.
Therefore, once a bug is found, look for other possible places where a related bug can exist, report them and support the developer to make changes at all relevant places.
What a truth one has said,
“Don’t just fix the bugs; fix whatever permitted the bugs in the first place.”
#3) You are supposed to assess quality of product
Software testing is not about finding bugs, it’s only the primary responsibility of a tester. The main goal of a software tester is to assess the quality of product and providing the real picture to the stake holders.
Most of the time, the management is not interested in what and how many numbers of bugs you had reported. They are interested in knowing whether the product is deliverable or not.
And believe me; only a software tester can answer that question because he/she knows the current status of product in terms of fulfilling requirements and expectations very well. And therefore its said,
“The principle objective of software testing is to give confidence in the software.”
#4) You are supposed to provide suggestions
Based on experience, a tester should always be ready to provide suggestions to make the product more efficient, user friendly and overall business ready.
But for that you need to explore other products, you need to understand why popular applications are popular, you need to realize why other products failed, you need to analyze what are the market trends and demands from users.
Constant learning can lead you to be confident and give credibility and weight to your ideas, because
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of intelligent effort.”
Read more => 10 Qualities that Can Make You a Good Tester
#5) You are supposed to communicate practical difficulties
As a customer, I would always want my product to be delivered on time and bug-free. But as a tester, I know, what the difficulties are when an idea is implemented in terms of software and verifying whether it’s correct or not.
Most of the times, deadlines are missed and there are lapses in communication about it. Learn to be a clear communicator. Advocate for quality of the product and user experience, because
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of meeting the schedule has been forgotten.”
#6) You are supposed to learn under tight schedules
When the proposal communicates the QA efforts as 1 week versus 2 weeks of development, only a tester knows he is not going to get more than 2 days for testing. This is the bitter reality of the software industry.
All the compromise on schedule are being done by sacrificing the testing time and schedule. And result? Well, as a customer, will you ever buy the argument that the quality of product was not at par because QA team did not get enough time?
#7) You are supposed to keep the passion alive
There are many phases in tester’s career, where he/she feels worthless, where he/she will have to follow the flow, where he/she does not find any source of encouragement, he/she needs to learn how to handle various situations, how to deal with those critical comments about QA, how to constantly and positively strive for quality and finally how to keep the passion for quality alive, the most important factor.
Read more => How to keep good testers in testing positions?
Always keep in mind,
“Software testers succeed where others fail.”
To conclude the post, I would say, a tester needs to be an all-rounder and not just a tester because a project is delivered based on his expertise, vision, communication, confidence and efforts.
So testers, don’t just focus on finding bugs but understand bigger picture in terms of quality of product.
Cannot stop myself by sharing that humorous quote, someone had sent earlier –
“Software testers always go to heaven; they’ve already had their fair share of hell.”
Author: This awesome post is written by STH team member Bhumika M. She is a project lead, carrying 10+ years of software testing experience. She is totally into testing and loves to test everything exists.
Let us know if you agree and as always, Happy testing :)