10 Things You Can Do to Become a Better Tester

Keep_Calm_And_TestNot just anyone can claim to be an exceptional software tester. Software testing requires a unique skill set, and the best software testers are the ones that continuously strive to expand their knowledge and hone their testing strategies. In short, good testers always want to get better.

So how can you become a better tester?

We recently posed this question to our community of 80,000 QA professionals in the uTest Forums. Here’s a look at the top 10 responses we got from the uTest community, and why these tips are so important:

  1. Test for quality over quantity: “Here’s 10,000 bugs… good luck!” Testers, please don’t ever shoot for quantity. Identifying the most important bugs and glitches, and helping the company or developer make sense of the bugs is ten times more helpful then testing for mere volume.
  2. Learn to prioritize: In line with “quality over quantity”, prioritizing what you test is extremely important. Testing the mission critical parts of an application before the minute details of an app will help you to identify the most valuable bugs first. This will also allow the development team to fix the most imperative parts of their application as quickly as possible.
  3. Practice and improve your written communication skills: Everyone can right, write? (Ha!). Good testers must have excellent written communication skills in order to write good test cases, bug reports and so on. These testing artifacts are an essential part of QA and must be detailed and easy to consume.
  4. Learn from your own mistakes – and from others too:  Everyone makes mistakes, but learning from others and from your own will make you better tester. How can you improve your bug report next time? How can you prioritize better during the next test cycle? How can you communicate better with the development team? These are questions you should constantly be asking yourself, and your fellow testers.
  5. Be objective and professional: Every time you test, go at it with a fresh perspective. Look at the software you are testing without bias or past experience, and test with an open mind. Testers who think “Oh, I know this software” or “I’ve used this before” are at risk of overlooking important bugs. Objectivity is key.
  6. Don’t be humble with software… think out of the box: Explore the software, ‘test to break’ and be willing to suggest improvements; these are all attributes that make up the attitude of a good software tester.
  7. Question. Everything: Does this work as intended? Does it work on all devices? Does it work under every possible use-case, every time? Question. Everything.  
  8. Think like the user: Remember; your job is to find bugs before the software reaches the hands of users. Pair your technical skills with an end-user’s mindset and you will find the best, most valuable bugs possible.
  9. Increase the effectiveness of bug reports: Attaching screen shots and providing detailed bug reports will give the developer the information he or she needs to understand the bug and fix it. Where did it occur, when, how many times, on what devices, running what operating system and under what circumstances? Without the right details a bug is useless to a development team.
  10. Be Passionate! To excel in any field, you need to be passionate for what you do. Read, seek new training opportunities, engage with your fellow testers, attend testing conference, classes – immerse yourself in all things QA.

What do you think it takes to become a better tester? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section, or join in on the discussion in the uTest Community Forums!

Essential Guide to Mobile App Testing

Comments

  1. Inder says

    Testers should also try to increase their critical thinking skills and have a keen sense of observation.

    Great Post….Thanks!

  2. says

    Excellent Post I might add this.

    Testing is a chosen field for most, but not always, this being said, do not be timid. Your job is to deliver bad news, developers have to acknowledge this. (In my world, a software test engineer and a software developer are peers). However in doing your job do not do it in a malicious manner. This will go a long ways in the way of positive communication and relations with the development side of the TEAM.
    An issue needs to be very detailed in two areas. 1. What exactly happened and when and 2. Where were you exactly when it appeared.
    You want this issue found quickly so it can be fixed if deemed necessary and get back to you for further testing with minimal delays.

  3. jonathan r says

    ive got 3 or 4 years in tester software experience and one of the most important thinks its the team role,the verbal comunication skills, and the team enviornment if you guys got a good enviornment test team and test leader youve got the first great step, a good internal comunication can make the diference.

  4. santosh says

    1. Understand the application (from top to bottom)
    2. Think like the user&non-user (think from all angles)
    3.Develop likely &unlikely scenarios(positive & Scenarios)
    4. Learn SQL(for DB testing)
    5. Learn how to write a test case effectively(because u cannot write all negative scenarios) there. Learn to write effective test strategies.
    6. Be clear & confident about the bug life cycle,Bug reporting tool.
    7. Be confident & communicate effectively (when talking to a developer about bugs, talk confidentially but politely.

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  6. Prateek Mishra says

    Thanks for sharing such a useful information to become a better test engineer in our career.

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  9. says

    Staying updated with the latest trends in technology, new browsers, testing standards and new tools which you can implement in day-to-day activities also help in the making of a better and efficient tester…

    Cheers,
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  10. Siva says

    A warm good after noon…

    Good point for tester.

    Also as “Inder P Singh” said some points not practical in real time.

    My point is tester should develop “Negative Scenario” regarding their applications, which is the part developers are not touched

  11. vikas says

    sir , request you toi want to become software tester now i am studying btech computer science, so wil u plz say which courses is indeed to get gud become software tester…………i hope u wil send thanq sir…………………

  12. Vassilios Stefanidis says

    There are many things that can be written in this section. I would also say that for someone to test efficiently a product, he/she must know this product from end-to-end, otherwise he/she will not be sure of the results….
    Also, the tester must have a kind of “twisted” mind, in order to be able to think of possible scenarios that the software developer might not have…

  13. William Rodriguez says

    I fooled around with computers since I was 26 years old. I guess they intrigued me, l always wanted a super computer. We all know there’s no such thing only the sum of it’s parts.

  14. says

    The testing could be divided into two categories: testing the software technical features (functionality/performance/scalability…), and testing the software user experience.Those testers whose responsibility it so to try software products as real users and provide UE improvements suggestions,could not be very professional in coding skills.But technical skills are required for those testers focusing on software technical features.Issued technical features (bugs) created by third-grade developers could be caught by entry-level testers or even someone without programming experience.Bugs created by second-grade developers need testers with the skills as a third-grade developers to catch.so learn more about on qa tester and java,.net,sap and sas training.

  15. Thiru says

    First get clarity on requirement , then automatically you will get different scenarios to test and you can make developers to sit work on your bugs ..

  16. says

    During my QA experience while testing web applications and web pages, I found out that adding concrete browser versions and an accurate screenshot of the situation made fixing the bug easier.

    A short example: Error occurs on IE8, exactly on this page, here – have a screenshot of this.

    But being a tester, providing this information is sometimes annoying. Usersnap (http://usersnap.com) reduces communication overhead for testers and devs by making it possible to annotate the bug directly in the browser – the screenshot will be sent to the devs with all the necessary meta information.

  17. says

    Really nice tips.I do believe in being an agile testers.Good agile testers don’t rely on documents, but use their questioning skills to understand a feature.This can also be added to the tips.

  18. says

    These are good tips…though some of them are more theoretical e.g. Be Passionate.

    If I may suggest a few other things, they are:

    1. Review the requirements. A successful system is based on solid, clear and unambiguous requirements.

    2. Do test the more “difficult” areas e.g. system settings and interfaces with other systems.

    3. Do not ignore the little cosmetic bugs. Its the small defects like these that can impact user perception.

  19. Maran says

    I am waiting for testing, can you please tell me how to start testing and the process?

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