It is a common myth that software tester does not require any special skills except knowing English which is not true. Software testers role is one of the key players for successful project implementation. The following are the key skills required for a successful tester
Analyzing skills: These skills are required to design test cases, finding root causes for an issue occurred while in test execution and in decision making to determine if observed abnormal behaviour of a software function is defect or not. It is common in IT industry that majority of the software requirements won’t be clear and keep changing frequently. So, software tester should do thorough analysis to get an understanding of the requirement to convert into test cases and should keep minimum rework as much as possible when there are frequent requirement changes.
Good Reviewer: Finding defects only in software is not a primary responsibility of a tester and should be able to find defects in test documents as well. Examples of test documents are requirements document, test cases etc.
Ability to find defects: Capability of finding defects in application with keen observation. Tester should be well versed with the software functions under test to execute all possible functions of software to examine the behaviour.
Maintaining Clarity in Test documentation: Test documentation such as Test Cases and defect reports should be written clearly for other stakeholders (Example: Developers, Peer Testers, Project Manager) to understand.
Negotiation Skills: It is very important to convey the issues and make developers to understand how important to fix if the founded issue is a defect. Also, tight timelines are common in software projects so the tester should convince and make project managers and customers to understand how important to allocate extra time for testing.
Proactiveness: Tester should be very proactive in forecasting the issues and the same have to be conveyed to project stakeholders to take preventive measures that not to occur. Otherwise it could cause to delays, rework and additional cost if issues occurred.
Innovative skills: Some of the testing tasks are repeatable and tedious. Examples of such tasks are as below:
- Creating test evidence documents
- Test case maintenance task such as uploading test cases written excel sheet to HP Quality Centre or Mercury Quality Centre.
- Creating test data
Tester should identify above tasks and can create automated scripts using excel macro or automation tools. These automated scripts help to save time, cost and prevents human errors to avoid rework. Most importantly customer would be impressed and more chances of getting the new business.