Soft-skills successful tester

When interviewing before hiring, it is fairly easy to determine the candidate’s so-called hard-skills. However, I was not able to see research on what exactly soft-skills are necessary for a successful tester. While it’s quite simple to list some of them, as well as check their level of knowledge in an interview.

For example:

1. The ability to ask questions

A successful tester doesn’t just feel free to ask questions. The questions asked by the tester should be designed to obtain adequate information, namely, any of:

a) clarification of obscure terms in the documentation

b) clarification of implicitly spelled system operation logic

c) clarification whether the system’s behavior is bug, feature or small inaccuracy, which can be ignored

d) clarify whether earlier somewhere described detected improper behavior of the system (whether on this occasion wound defect, or to correct the problem, or whether it is marked in the technical documentation as an admissible ie behavior)

d) specification, with whom specifically you can decide which appeared in the tester question

e)clarifying who exactly is responsible for solving the problem and how to pass the relevant information to these individuals, and what information should be given to them.

Among other things, when asking a question, the tester should do it in such a way that the respondent has a desire to answer the question, which means it must be polite and that the question contains information that the tester on the given topic managed to find on his own.

All these skills are fairly easy to determine in an interview if you simply ask yourself to check what a given candidate is specifically capable of in asking questions.

2. The ability to adequately describe the problems found, inadequate behavior of the system or, simply, bugs

This skill includes the ability, for example, to write a competent title to the text of the defect. To learn this skill, it is enough to apply the method developed in journalism: introductory information should contain answers to the basic questions “who does what, where”. Journalists can answer more questions by writing out the headlines and headliners, but for a successful tester to write the title, it’s enough to adequately answer these three.

Further, a successful tester should be able to correctly describe the inadequate behavior of the system. To do this, the text of the description should contain information on at least this kind:

a) a description of the area in which the inadequate behavior of the system (including information about the environment of the system)

b)step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the inadequate behavior of the system described in the heading

c) explanation of how exactly the system’s behavior differs from the expected behavior of the system

d) all necessary logs, screenshots and other additional information should be attached that will help the developer to determine with which particular area Its code is related to the identified inadequate behavior. The difficulty is that not in all cases these logs are necessary.

It is also quite simple to check this skill for an interview: you can just ask the candidate to write a typical, in his opinion, error message. All the skills of the candidate will vividly manifest in what exactly he will write.

3. The ability to write algorithmically simple test cases

On long-term and complex projects, the testing team can completely change several times during the whole period of product development. Test cases, in fact, important information about the course of product testing, useful not only for the author, but also for beginners. Clear and simple test cases make it easy to introduce a newbie up to date: it’s enough to give him a set of test cases and access to a more or less stable version of the system, and, driving these test cases, the tester can smoothly and efficiently merge into team work.

Accordingly, it is very important that test cases are written in simple, understandable language and contain all the necessary information so that a person who is not familiar with the product under test and his environment at all can perform it, or at least that a newcomer needs to perform a test case. It was only a few questions to ask more experienced comrades.

The ability to write such test cases is also quite easy to check for an interview using a simple task.

4. Ability to rank defects by importance

In fact, for different test systems, different ways of ranking defects by importance are relevant. Different projects have different levels of assessment of the importance of the defect, sometimes there is not one ranking scale, but two. The main question here is whether the tester understands the fundamental difference between a blocking defect from just an important one and, for example, both of them from an insignificant one, and whether he can, by asking the necessary questions for this, clarify for himself how defects are ranked on this particular project. .

A tester who does not have such a skill at best pushes more experienced comrades with questions of what importance to put a defect, in the worst case, will begin to put importance on the principle of “from the bald” than will cause a considerable amount of unnecessary conflicts in the project team.

The ability to rank defects is also quite easily detected at an interview, it is enough to ask a few simple questions to the candidate.

5. Curiosity

This is a basic property that any tester needs. A tester without curiosity will not be able to adequately test any system. At best, he would perform well on other test cases written by someone else and create defects that anyone could identify in his place. Such a tester - without curiosity - may be useful on a project if he has discipline and performance, but he will never become a “star”.

It is easy to understand whether a person has this property of a personality simply by observing his behavior at an interview — specifically, by observing what questions a person asks during an interview and whether he asks questions at all.

6. Discipline

I think there is no need to go into the details of what this word means. Test cases should be written on time, defects should be completed immediately after detection, defects should be rechecked as soon as the corresponding patch hit the test bench, etc, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to find out in the course of an interview whether a candidate has a similar quality, but people who do not possess them are usually clearly visible by starting to talk about how cleverly they managed to evade a mandatory action in the past. project.

Enumerating useful soft-skills of a tester, if desired, can be endless, but the six above-described qualities, the absence of which will bring a lot of headaches, we can call this position conditionally, the project testing manager during the project, in fact.

I wish you all successful interviews for the role of a tester and a successful finding of highly qualified people for the same role. Thank you for your attention to this article.

Also popular now: