How to be a good tester?

It’s a every testers question. How to be a good tester? Apart from the technical knowledge, testing skills, tester should have some personal level skills which will help them to build a good rapport in the testing team.

What are these abilities , skills which make a tester as a good tester? Well, I was reading Dave Whalen’s article “Ugly Baby Syndrome!” and found it very interesting. Dave compared software developers with the parents who deliver a baby (software) with countless efforts. Naturally the product managers, architectures, developers spent their countless time on developing application for the customer. Then they show it to us (testers) and asks: “ How is the baby (Application)? “ And testers tell them often that they have and ugly baby. (Application with Bugs!)

Testers don’t want to tell them that they have ugly baby, but unfortunately its our job. So effectively tester can convey the message to the developers without hurting them. How can be this done? Ya that is the skill of a good tester!

Here are the tips sated by Dave to handle such a delicate situation:

Be honest and Responsive:
Tell developers what are your plans to attack their application.


Be open and available:
If any dev ask you to have a look at the application developed by him before the release, then politely give feedback on it and report any extra efforts needed. Don’t log the bug’s for these notes.

Let them review your tests:
If you have designed or wrote some test cases from the requirement specifications then just show them those test cases. Let them know your stuff as you are going to critic on developers work!

Use of Bug tracker:
Some testers have habit to report each and everything publicly. This attitude hurts the developers. So if you have logged any bug then let the bug tracking system report it to respective developers and managers. Also don’t each time rely on bug tracker, talk personally to developers what you logged and why you logged?

Finally some good personal points:

Don’t take it personally:
Do the job of messenger. You could be a close target always. So build a thick skin!

Be prepared:
A good message in the end, Be prepared for everything! If worst things might not happened till now but they can happen at any moment in your career. So be ready to face them.

[Thougt of the Day: When a virtually flawless application is delivered to a customer, no one says how well tested it was. Development teams will always get the credit. However, if it is delivered with bugs, everyone will wonder who tested it! – – Dave Whalen]


#1 Anonymous

Statement given by Dave Whalen is very true if a software is flawless it’s credit always goes to Developers team,but it is not possible without RIGOROUS TESTING So don’t worry testing may be not get credit but when you see that software is working flawlessly then you should feel glad.

#2 Anonymous

Maybe this atricle will interest you?

Evolution of software testing techniques

#3 Venus

Does a developer get more salary than a tester ?

#4 vikas

For venus:
It depends on comapny to company,project to project & efficiency of a tester.
In some company pays more to testers as they mak the application flawless.

#5 Mruga

Hey really good article!!Keep writing…

#6 ravi

Statement given by Dave Whalen is very true if a software is flawless it’s credit always goes to Developers team,but it is not possible without RIGOROUS TESTING So don’t worry testing may be not get credit but when you see that software is working flawlessly then you should feel glad.

#7 Shaan

Awesome Article!!!!!!!

#8 Pankaj

Test Strategy is clear enough. Before went through this article sometime confusion occur.

#9 Anjali Awasthi

Hi ,
U guys are correct…even i faced the situation where i handled pressure from dev team every time of release…i did overtime to track bugs & to deliever a quality product…but after that they overtake me & gain every credit….so i think everytime credit goes directly to dev not to testers ……..plz give me some suggestions to come out from this probl

#10 Rish

U knw u deserve it, so be happy by seeing those who gets credits bec of u. Dont work 4 credits

#11 shantanu

Wonderful Article….Keep Writing.

#12 himanshu

hey ..i am a fresher and tommorow i am going for a testing interview….
i learnt a lot from your article.. impressed …
i was thinking that testing has a very small domain ..
but after reading your articles .. what actually testing mean…..
i loves all ur articles…

#13 Thenamudhu


can u tell me what is system testing,…i want apt examples which is should be implemented in real time projects…?i want some detailled information for payroll,inventory,Accounts…

can u explain what is meant by Access Control and data integrity.?any real time examples?

#14 meocon

Why does a developer get more salary than a tester ?

#15 Himanshuj

Hi meocon, it depends on company to company , most of the dev team get more salary then the tester, but worrying about it is not the solution coz the margin of salary between dev and test is very less, its just the margin of 10% to 15%.

#16 Hafsa

Good article especially the statement ‘Be open and available’.
It true !

#17 aftab aalam

i am a and i am working in e-learning as a quiz qa last two years and i want to do software testing course so please let me know it is suitable for me or not. thanks aftab shaikh 9222194795

#18 Indu Sharma

I really enjoyed reading this article….Thought of the day is
really true..

But one thing what i think is Testers are always there to prove that coding isn’t good …so i don’t like testing on local build before release its like telling the secrets to your enemies what you are going to do with him… :)

#19 arona

Good job guys, I m learning a lot from your website

#20 Aman Srivastava

Really a thought provoking one. Great help for those who seek a career in testing. Waana read some more and fresh ones. FANTASTIC CONTENT!

#21 waseem Khan

I am 1+ tester, working in professional access……. Article is AWESOME especially Thought for the day

#22 waseem Khan

Can any one guide me whether Load runner has good future or QTP

#23 Arun

hi i m fresher working in automation testing in some MNC and i m finding openings for freshers, so how far testing is good? Can i continue in testing or try for development job.
For starting ones career is testing good? or development is good ?

#24 Amit

Nice article. However, as a tester you have to be a thinker. Testers are basically the investigators. Set your mind as a investigator to find defects. You will be more successful.

#25 Shayanti

Thanks for the valuable informatin posted by all of you here…
i want to know the difference between smoke and sanity testng. i’ve refered a lot of websites, but its very confusing. And i also want to know at what stage we do them.

what is the difference between load testing, stress testing and performnce testing?

#26 naveen.n

hi, need an software testing cousre book send to my e-mail id

#27 jveer

hi, i am a SQA Engineer here and 2+ exp , getting only 10k salary
……….is this okey

#28 mike

i am serious about being a game tester where do i sign up at

#29 mohammed nowshad

i learn softwear testing with i dont have pracital knowledge in this case which is best for me ….

#30 kavitha

Wow !!! very resourceful info!! i got job in professional access as a software test engg! nd 4th oct is my joining date ! so before stepping into the company, i wanted to get prepared well to face the environment. Just came through this website! its simply superb! enjoyed reading each and every articles :) thanku so much for this, iam sure it vl be of great use for me! Hurray testers………Cheers..

#31 Anu

Can you please mail me that E book for manual testing.
I am unable to dowload.


#32 shawn

very useful,
Thanks man

#33 Rajdeep

Good evening sir, I read your website which gave me a new inspiration in this new year. Thank you for it. First of all I am here to know about my career domain. I am working as a career adviser in of the institution since past 1 and half year but as I didn’t find any good career in this field I want to shift to IT field but as I don’t want to be a software developer (I don’t like programing). I want go to any other domain in IT field like
1) software tester, 2) DBA or 3) any domain please suggest me which one is good for me and please explain the career growth in

1) software tester in:
i) general IT field
ii) and gaming field as well!!

Waiting for your reply I hope I will get reply A.S.A.P
Thank you for the quick reply in advance.


#34 Manjunath

Nicely explained……Good to hear your thought of the day

#35 Sudhir

Thank you very much…..Really good one sir..helpful for knowledge update….

Yes I agree with you Dave….It’s fact credit to tester.:)


#36 treblegna

Thanks for this! good job Sir.

and for the thought of the day.
your right. hahaha

#37 chirag patel

best cross browser testing site ?

#38 vishnoo

Mail me some e books on software testing for freser

#39 Manisha

Article is too good and motivating, the statement by Dave Whalen is very true

#40 Bharat

@Shayanti –

Smoke Testing: A quick testing done to verify that the software/Application can be used and its features/functionalities are available to the End User. Should not last more than 30m.

Sanity Testing: An extension to Smoke testing where critical functionalities are checked and verified to ensure they work as expected. Should not last more than 1 hr.

Both these testing are done to decide whether QA Team should proceed with Testing or not. The Software/Application Builds which fails Smoke/Sanity tests are called as DOA (Dead On Arrival)

Performance testing: Doing Load/Stress/Recovery testing is part of Performance Testing.
Load: Testing the product with defined load i.e. capacity
Stress: Testing the product beyond defined load to understand at what point the software crashes/panics and goes down (Stress Point).
Recovery: Testing the product to ensure that product can be used normally with defined load after it went down at stress point.

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