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Indispensable soft skills for testers

February 21, 2017
soft skills for testers

Developments such as Agile/Scrum, DevOps and Cloud have ensured that the world of the tester has changed considerably. In addition, more and more organisations are supporting their core processes with standard (cloud) applications instead of customised software.

As a result, testers often do not have a detailed test basis such as functional designs or process diagrams. There is usually no time to specify test cases, which is why exploratory testing is often used nowadays. This new way of testing requires highly developed soft skills. We would like to elaborate on the four indispensable soft skills for testers.

1. Customer-oriented

Products are ultimately developed for the customer. The tester therefore has to find out how the customer or end user is going to use the application. What reactions can the tester expect when using these applications? You can expect the tester to take these elements into account when testing in order to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the application. The positive consequence of this is that you can give powerful advice on user experience to the development team. Therefore, do not only try to test for errors, but also make sure that you can contribute to the development of the application.

2. Establishment

A pragmatic test approach and speed are important, but it is also essential to record everything clearly and completely. Recording of test situations that have been carried out and defects that have resulted from them must be done properly. If no test cases are specified beforehand that need to be carried out, it is even more important to record test findings clearly and completely. Let's take an example. A tester is responsible for testing an online shop. When someone has successfully placed an order, the stock is not automatically reduced. The tester registers a defect with the following description: stock system not working. This is misleading information, because a developer does not know where this came from. defect So try to record a defect as completely as possible, so that a developer can reproduce it and solve it quickly. This is one of the most important soft skills of a tester.

3. Communicative

In the absence of a good test basis, the tester will have to find out for himself which tests to perform and what the expected results are. This requires a great deal of communication with consultants, developers and users. Despite a good record of defects, it will often happen that a tester has to communicate with the development team about reported defects. To build a good relationship with the developers and to ensure that the right solutions are delivered in the right order, strong communication is essential. Also, try to come up with solutions rather than problems. How quickly and effectively they will take up your request will depend on how you communicate with them. This does not mean that you should ask nicely for everything, but think about the substantiation of the application. How big is the impact of the defect? Do you have any ideas about where the defect is coming from? Try to operate as a team to collectively achieve the goal.

4. Judgement

Despite the fact that there is a limited test base and little time for test preparation, test activities are expected to be predictable. This is difficult for a novice tester, but an experienced tester is expected to have the ability to make good estimates. Where does the priority lie? How in-depth should the tests be? How much time will it take? How many defects will it produce? These are all questions that require good judgment. It is therefore also important to keep track of how much time certain test cycles tests have cost you. If you can assess things well and meet deadlines on time, you will gain the trust of management. A positive consequence of this is that you will be given more responsibility and this will benefit your personal development.

Linkedin group for testers

We have the LinkedIn group "Test assignments (supply & demand)" set up. This group is intended to bring together supply and demand with regard to test assignments. Are you looking for a test manager, test coordinator or test analyst? Then place a call in the group. Are you a (freelance) testing professional looking for an interesting assignment? Then post your availability in this group.

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