If you’re in the field of QA testing or have ever considered delving into the industry, this week’s article is for you!
Keep reading as we explore the top five qualities that we look for in a great QA tester.
What is a QA tester?
A QA tester is someone who is hired to work with a piece of software or a website, in order to ensure that it’s performing properly. By running an array of tests during product development, a QA tester aims to prevent faulty apps or other technology from getting to the customer.
5 Traits of a Great QA Tester
Here are some qualities that we look for when hiring someone to take on this very integral behind-the-scenes job:
Thoroughness. A good tester doesn’t need to test for the infinity, but they also shouldn’t rely solely on the required scope that’s been given from a client. Why? Often when writing requirements and adding new features, clients fail to take into account the different scenarios that can come up during testing that can lead to conflict.
But that’s where you come in! As a thorough QA, it’s your job to think outside the box and beyond their required scope, to ensure that their requests won’t cause conflict within the software/site. The largest and most crucial errors/bugs are often found in situations that the client didn’t foresee in the first place. Bottom line: use their required scope as a guide, but be thorough and test beyond it too.
Creativity. This second trait compliments our first one, as we believe that in order to be a thorough tester, you must also be a creative one! Thinking outside the box requires imagination, so when performing your QA testing, put yourself in the user’s shoes, and dream up scenarios beyond what the client could imagine in order to solve potential problems.
For example: if you are working with an ecommerce store, you can go above and beyond by placing yourself in three different categories of customer “ability” when writing test case scenarios:
Advanced user - someone who understands technology and has experience buying online.
Intermediate user - someone who is tech savvy, but has no prior experience buying online.
Beginner user - someone who has no experience with tech or buying online.
If you perform testing at all of these levels, you’re sure to find potential errors and bugs for the greater population of users. Win/win!
- Communication. Communication is a crucial part of every team environment - especially if you’re a tester. Pay special attention to your test cases and test case scenarios, and ensure that every test case is written out in detail, without forgetting and/or jumping steps. Reported steps should be easy to understand and easy to replicate for both your client and the rest of your team.
- Curiosity. In QA testing, the “what if” scenarios are your friend, so remaining curious throughout the testing process is key. Be inquisitive and always seek to collaborate with your team of developers. Asking “what if” questions usually leads to new discoveries and in some cases, can even determine whether or not a certain requirement is possible, so don’t shy away from them!
- Diplomacy. Mistakes happen. And in a team environment like QA, it’s not the absence of error that matters, but rather how mistakes are handled. Remember to remain diplomatic when pointing out mistakes made by any team member, and be willing to accept responsibility for errors that may be your fault. Accepting responsibility yourself demonstrates best practices to your team, and encourages a working environment that’s open, honest, and self-aware.
Being a great QA tester goes beyond the scope of client requirements and spotting bugs/errors. Use the above checklist as a guide to help you become the best tester that you can be, both for your client and your team!