4 Mistakes of My Life as a Software Tester (and You’re Probably Making These)

We all heard the story of the little frogs in the well who thought the world is the well until they came out and realized how big, beautiful and different it is!

Do you think you have lived this story at some point in your professional life? Well, everyone has. Welcome to the world of reality – beautiful testing :).

Today, I want to share 4 mistakes I made when I started my software testing career. You’re Probably Making These. Check out. 

Software testing mistakes

The 4 Most Common Mistakes That Software Testers Make

As a tester, how many times in your career did you think the following?

#1. Asking questions is not always necessary

We all have inbuilt weaknesses. According to a popular survey, the most common weakness in adults is the fear of appearing silly. Unrealistic fear blocks our growth.  Assuming rather than asking is what we are taught.

While testing an online ticket booking application, a tester observed that the user was not allowed to cancel the booked tickets at least until 24 hours have passed since the booking was made.  Now, from the end user’s perspective, this is totally unacceptable. But instead of questioning the behavior, the tester assumed that it might be the requirement. This one wrong assumption led the application to fail in the market.

A tester friend, well-known for his question-asking style, once told me that he was laughed at for asking questions about almost everything from coding logic to bug tracking system to how the bug was resolved. It was beneficial to him because he was developing self-confidence and clarity about things.

Never hesitate to ask questions and presenting your view point. As a tester, you have all the rights to ask questions about application’s behavior and its real-time usage data.

#2. Automation is tough to learn and takes lots of time

Automation” is the word that still gives a sick feeling to many testers.

Many still think –

  • Learning automation might take time
  • Automation is tough to learn
  • Automation is not useful

This is nothing but an unreal fear of change, fear of learning new things, and fear of getting out of your comfort zone.

I would advise you to learn automation testing and keep learning if you want to shape up your career and want to grow fast in this demanding industry.

#3. Documented test scenarios include everything and I need not think beyond them

The trend that was followed so far is- explore requirements, understand functionality, brainstorm, document test scenarios, and send them for review. Once the review is done, testers follow the documented test scenarios. The real-time exploratory testing seems to be of no use as the brainstorming was already done at the time of documentation.

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Once the review is done, testers follow the documented test scenarios. The real-time exploratory testing seems to be of no use as the brainstorming was already done at the time of documentation.

This is a totally wrong approach. Let me give you an example,

You are looking at a painting and you continue to look at it for 10, 30, 60 minutes and so on. Initially, you found the painting good but with prolonged exposure to it, you start realizing the flaws in it. After staring at it for 60 minutes, you feel like you know the painting for long and you know all the flaws and positives about it. Leave for the day.

Next day, look at the picture again. Did you notice that color mixture at the corner yesterday? Does it seem ok? Don’t you think that wrong color mixture is actually ruining the overall effect of painting? Surprised that you did not notice it yesterday? Well, that happens. Every day brings us new perspective and new view and with that we look at things differently.

I hope the example clarifies my point of not relying on documented test cases while testing.

Try to do something spontaneous and note the application’s reaction.

#4. I am here to find bugs and not to analyze patterns

We are always taught to mind our business and somehow we are convinced that our business is to find bugs. Anything other than that does not fall into our responsibility range.

Let’s change that mindset today with the best example that I have been using for years.

A newly opened restaurant has no customers even after trying hard. They called an expert to analyze the situation. The analyzer sees that the restaurant does not get any repeat customers despite the variety, ambiance, price, etc.  He contacted the one-time customers and from their feedback, he came to know that customers did not like the food (any variety of food) as it was tasteless. New and experienced chefs were appointed immediately and the restaurant now sees waiting customers.

Our role as a tester is similar to that of the analyzer in above situation. We do not need to point out what is wrong but we need to analyze which are the other points that might have been affected due to the bug and is there any pattern of that bug in the application.

With experience, you are expected to provide analytical details rather than just limited testing.

Conclusion:

The idea behind this post was to guide the new testers and to remind those old bees that the industry, the demand, and the expectations are changing.

Keep yourself updated, keep learning new and in-demand skills, share knowledge, information and problems, never hesitate to demand better quality and be always ready to contribute for the same.

About Author: This inspirational 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.

I hope these mistakes of my life as a tester will help others to not repeat them.

Are you making these mistakes in your testing career?

As usual, happy testing :)

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41 comments ↓

#1 Sumeet

Amazing post

#2 David

I thought a tester can never be a project lead !!!
awesome !

#3 Harini

Great article!! Very well written

#4 Vaibhav Laddha

Thanks for this post..This is really a wonderful post..Happy testing..:-)

#5 Mahesh L Sarje

Excellent article. Boosted confidence to the sky. Thank you

#6 Gaurav Khanna

True…

#7 mpumelelo

woooooow inspired

#8 Divya

Well spotted

#9 Mayank Gupta

Very nice Post

#10 Krunal

Awesome post! The way you explore your thought are amazing.

#11 Bhumika Mehta

Readers,

Glad that the post is well accepted and informative. Thank you for your continuous readership with us.

Stay tuned for more inspiration :-)

#12 madhuri

Nice Post !!

#13 Kiran

Excellent post

#14 Sandeep

Very informative :) Happy that i am connected to a platform where we can learn such things from experienced professionals :)

#15 STUART

Very Informative topic, Thanks for sharing

#16 Rutvij

Once again a very good article on testing core… you said it right, many testers fear to become silly at the time of asking questions.

Your articles are very realistic and as per with the current core of testing.

thanks for the great article @Bhumika

#17 Sunil

Nice post !

#18 Priyanka

Very Informative. All points are very correct as we never bother to think beyond the Requirement documents.. This post is an eye opener… :) Thanks

#19 VinothB

Nice post as always.. Thanks.

The real time issue with following #3 and #4 is the time allocated for testing. For example, lets say Tester#1 write the test cases and Tester#2 executes that and in that case and when the time is very limited anyone will not have time to execute the documented test cases itself!! This happens when Tester#1 executes his/her own test cases as well…

And on Point#4, lets say tester is assigned to execute 4 test cases per day and at the end of the day tester comes and say that he/she executed only one test case and that is failed and they spent the rest of the day in finding/analyzing the impact of that bug in the application!! Is any test lead/test manager is good to hear this by compromising the execution count for that day?

Many a times I see test estimation should be aligned with delivery date. Your test estimation is 4 months and the project to be delivered in 2.5 months, we need to short our test estimation to align with project delivery date. Either test team to work extra or write less(Important) scenarios and execute those to meet project delivery date.

I am accepting #3 and #4 completely and wish that to happen every time in every project/product testing. But due to various factors this is not happening very often, at least as far as I know!!

#20 ExperiencedTester

To the point and very well written article, covers, I guess most of us have done these thing, and may be continue to do us without realizing these things

#21 sunil chenn

Its a good post, most the testers do this mistake in their career

#22 Madhukar.D

nice post….i really want some career tips in software testing.
can i get ur personal email id so that v can have a conversation.

#23 Anita

Thanks for great post!

#24 Vishal Bansod

True and valid points , each of tester should check how many mistake they have committed. Best thing i like about article is its very simple. +1 nice one .

#25 Nawal Jangid

Thanks for this post… Its really helpful…STH Rocking everyday…

#26 Abhijeet

Really Good Article. We never think on it… Really, we are doing these mistakes.

#27 Ajith Mohan

Very informative article and inspirational also..Thanks for this wonderful post.

#28 Amal Bose

Good points especially the one related to asking questions and analyzing patterns. We have to actively involve ourselves into the development process

#29 Gaurav Khurana

Bhumika your articles are one of the best on this site.

This one is very much practical and rightly highlight the basic important points in testing

#30 Payal Dalal

100% true. I made this type of mistakes in our software testing career. Thanks for post. It’s informative & to the point.

#31 AddyB

Amazing Post.. Most importantly you didn’t hesitate to express your weaknesses AKA views which we faced almost everyday.. Keep it Up!! :)

#32 anusha

inspired by the post

#33 anusha

so fortunate to have this post in my email

#34 Sangram Kumar Das

Good One. Thanks for post and it’s really helpful.

#35 jyothi

Thankyou for sharing your experience with us . it helps me a lot , as i was also repeating the same mistakes. from now i will not hesitate to ask any questions. thankyou:)

#36 15+ year in QA Testing

My QA Tester opinion, as black box tester, that programmers/SW QA in Test should write/program test tools/test application, but tester should use/run these tools, collect results and reports bugs. So on.. Because testers mind works differently from programming…

#37 QA Sniper

Another mistake is letting a difficult employee (when working as a Consultant) completely disrespects you and others, yet you don’t handle the situation the way you wanted.

#38 Patrick

It’s very useful. A Tester is not just find the bug and shutdown DEv :) , we also should analyse the issue , findout the root cause (if possible), then can suggest changing/adding something to enhance our product. The benefit we get :

1. Our skill will improve better than
2. Value of yourself is increasing in group as well as the market :)

#39 Divya

Nice post, specially the first point

#40 Ankit Kabra

Very nice and informative post.
I have been doing such mistakes, but now I realised.

#41 Hitesh Gupta

Thanks for sharing your such experience. Thanks.

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