Building a Solid Testing Team
Having a solid software testing team is a crucial component of development. Over one-third of developers don’t think their companies perform enough pre-release testing, and 56% of developers estimate that their last significant software bug resulted in an average of $250,000 in lost revenue. This data shows the importance of hiring software testers that know what needs to be tested and when, which can then reduce software bugs upon release.
If your company is searching for software testers, there are certain traits to look for in candidates. Here are seven skills that highly effective software testers have.
1. Technical Skills
First and foremost, testers need to be technologically savvy. Since these people are testing certain software, they need to have a comprehensive understanding of how that software should work. Testers with technical skills can better communicate to developers when there are problems, clearly explaining what is happening with the technology. Software testers should also know which tests to perform, which tests should be automated at which point in development, and be able to execute tests on a constant basis with the appropriate tools.
Testers should also have the domain knowledge to fully understand how the end-user will use the program or application. Furthermore, they must know the terminology to describe a problem accurately. Depending on the type of testing performed, software testers will need to learn other technical elements as well.
Curiosity is an absolutely necessary trait for software testers. It’s vital to hire someone that can ‘think outside the box,’ and search for problems where other team members might not even think to look. A high performing software tester seeks new ways to solve problems, considers the non-ideal situations and how to solve them, and always factors in environmental conditions.
3. Analytical Thinker
Top-performing software testers can analyze data collected from the testing process and assess the best way forward. Analytical thinkers build smart testing solutions through careful feedback from both clients and developers. Furthermore, a good software tester will enjoy analyzing the work of others to produce a high-quality product.
4. Good Communicator
Software testers have to communicate with developers, project managers, clients, and executives, often under stressful circumstances. These individuals must communicate (written and orally) with highly technical people and non-technical people, listening to their concerns and addressing them appropriately. A software tester that can do all of that makes for a strong team player.
5. Solid Reporting Skills
Testers constantly compile reports before, during, and after the development process. Software testers have to create bug reports, status reports, as well as write out the actual test, test conditions, steps for the test, and outcomes. All of these tests must be clear, coherent, and readable for the technical and non-technical reader. Good testers report effectively and efficiently, using proper documentation.
6. Risk Assessment Ability
Those software testers that can evaluate risk are in high-demand. Individuals who can identify risk, analyze it, and take steps to alleviate this risk can improve productivity and the overall product quality. Since much of the testing process relies on mitigating risk, having someone with this skill is crucial.
7. Time Manager
The development process is often on a time constraint, so a software tester that understands how to manage their time (as well as the testing team’s time) is a valuable team member. Someone who can prioritize tasks, automate other aspects of testing, and keep the team on track will definitely help improve the development process.
Most highly effective software testers have these skills, which is why companies value them so so much. When hiring, make sure to ask about these qualities to find a software tester that can improve internal processes.