Qualities of a great software tester

Software testing is a challenging profession requiring certain personality traits. Among these are the ability to learn quickly, to think outside the box, and manage time efficiently.
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Time management skill is required in order to complete testing within the often short timelines available. Time management means the ability to concentrate on the task at hand, prioritize actions, and give feedback all within the time available.

Comprehension is another important aspect of software testing. A good software tester will not only understand what should be tested, but also understand the order of testing, what can and cannot be automated, and the different levels of importance that should be given to different aspects of a test. Comprehension is something that must be learned, it’s a matter of applying knowledge and experience. Which is why experienced testers are so valuable and why neophyte testers must be willing to learn.

In fact, being willing to learn is an important quality in and of itself. Software testing is always advancing and what is standard operating procedure today can be obsolete tomorrow. Being proficient in a particular scripting language is not enough. A quality tester will work hard to keep current with the latest automation tools, testing protocols and technology.

Another important quality is empathy. The software tester must be able to understand the customer's needs and wants. And exceptional testers can go beyond the documentation to get into the customer’s head. This particular skill is built on experience.

With empathy comes the ability to build realistic test case scenarios. Quality testers can relate to real life. They aren’t just nerds who can’t see beyond their computer screens. In reality, such an individual would make a lousy tester.

Perhaps the single most important quality is the ability to think outside the box. Imagination isn’t just useful in building test case scenarios. It enables the tester to visualize what could go wrong and to hunt down where bugs might be hiding. To sum it up, a quality software tester is an intelligent individual with the empathy, imagination and skill to do the job. For now and the foreseeable future, there is no substitute for the human mind.

 

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