As a software tester, even if you are a newcomer, you might have a question – “How to become a good tester?” or “How can I prove myself in software testing?” Responsibility of the tester is not just to find the defect but also to add value to the product, the customer and their business, and to feel the satisfaction of achieving quality that you have provided to the customer. So we are going to talk about the core qualities that make a good tester.

1. Be passionate about the work you are doing

This is one of the most typical characteristics of a tester. Testing is mostly repetitive work, which is run again and again, day-to-day. Being passionate about testing helps testers to be productive by running tests and finding new bugs that were not specified or even thought over. Passion keeps testers active and engaged to make software better for the end-user.

2. Be creative and innovative

This is commonly phrased as “thinking out of the box” which is a great characteristic of a tester. Testers can use their innovative and creative thinking and gather ideas for specific scenarios or tests that may not have been covered. It is the creativity that helps the tester to provide feedback about the product enhancement. A tester should be able to think beyond the level of thinking of an ordinary person. That way the tester can imagine various possible scenarios that can occur in reality and ask questions like “What will happen if I press this “red” button?”

3. Imagine you are a customer who will use this product

It’s really quite difficult to experience the feelings and happenings by being in someone else’s situation. Empathizing with the customer, thinking about how they would use the product, and understanding their expectations as an end customer is quite challenging. We cannot just understand what is running through their mind. It is always common to feel that the product, our contribution, and our work is good and flawless. Hence in order to visualize if the software is meeting the customer’s expectation, thinking in their line of thoughts and playing a role as a customer is very important for a tester. Always have the customer in mind and think, “Can I really test in the way similar to how customers are going to use it?”

4. Visualize and analyze

A tester needs to visualize the end state of the product or feature which is in the development stage. They need to visualize the product features and think about their behavior in production and how they would be used by the end-user and create scenarios based on that. It is not only important to see the big picture of the product but also essential to understand the minor details and observe carefully, absorb the content and use that information while testing. Identify hidden defects – paying attention to each and every detail of the product is quite important. Observe, think, and analyze deeply.

5. Ask questions, express your thoughts and communicate with team

Questioning helps to gain more clarity on the product and to understand why that particular solution has been implemented out of many other available options. A tester is required to work with people across the globe and hence it is essential to express and represent the information precisely and clearly. Communication could be as simple as explaining the defect description, writing the sequence of its occurrence, or explaining to the client’s product team the issue you have encountered which the test team is stuck with thus unable to proceed. At the same time, a tester needs to be well aware that poor and ineffective communication will lead to a lot of confusion and result in poor quality.

6. Learn and be flexible

Changes are inevitable and the tester should be open and tolerable to the changes in the scope, design, architecture, tools, technology, or anything else. Whatever may change, a tester should be able to adapt themselves quickly and carry out the testing work honestly without any complaints. A tester should be open to work with the development team with patience and help them simulate the defects as well as provide lengthy defect descriptions, logs, and screenshots during bug reporting.

While testing and communicating with team members you will learn more about the good practices and how to achieve the best result. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to your team members if you are stuck or you are not sure about any actual result you are encountering. Increase your skills with certifications and external training, learn about testing technologies and processes, follow these best practices and you will become more experienced. Be a guardian of quality and “May the Force be with you”.