Four Articles on How to Be A Better Tester — Neotys Testing Roundup

Being a tester can be hard, but it also can be fun and exhilarating at the same time. Sometimes you might feel a little lost while at other times you might feel like you are doing an awesome job.

To help you do your job better, we gathered four articles on how you can be a better tester.

1. The Product You Test Can Make or Break You

This article comes from Rob Lambert, who created The Social Tester, a blog about testing. In this article Lambert gives us insight into the reasons why testers hate testing – it’s because of the product.

“I’ve met so many testers over the years that hate testing. Or at least they think they do. When I ask these testers what their favorite product is they always have an answer. When I ask how they use the product and how the product works they always answer me. When I ask what it might be like to test a product like this they get wild eyed and passionate about that testing job”.

Takeaway: Testers really don’t hate testing; they hate some of the products they test.

2. Goal #1 for QA Testers: Take Ownership

The role of the QA tester has come a long way over the years. In most organizations, the QA tester is no longer seen as just the bug fixer. According to Jennifer Lent from Search Software Quality, testers have finally earned some respect in the workplace.

Lent emphasizes the need for QA testers to start taking ownership of their projects if they wish to seek career advancement. To do so, they need to start acting like a product manager.

“QA testers seeking career advancement would do well to model their role on that of the product manager. Product managers take ownership of the products they oversee. They have a keen interest – and a say – in what goes on in research and development and in manufacturing. They keep close watch on the sales and customer service processes, observing what works and what doesn’t…In other words, they own the products they manage, taking responsibility for every aspect of the product lifecycle, from cradle to grave”.

Takeaway: Taking ownership and managing without authority are in no way QA-specific skills, but they are an essential part of every professional’s career path, especially in today’s fast-changing technology environment.

3. Five Testing Questions with Scott Barber

Scott Barber is a renowned tester, speaker, and writer on testing related topics, specializing in the area of System Performance Testing. In this interview, Scott discusses the role of testing today, the traits a tester needs in order to succeed, and reflects on what made him so successful at testing.

Some major quotes that will stick in your head:

“Counter to what many testers want to believe, testing is not about finding bugs, is not about quality, is not about the uses, is not even about the software — at least not directly,”

“…if you feel like your organization sees what you do as easily replaceable, it’s time for you to raise your game and start adding value that isn’t easily replaceable”.

“Business don’t *really* care about “low-defect” software. What they care about is software that makes or saves them the most money, as quickly and cheaply as possible”.

Takeaway: Many testers will get a number of ideas from this interview on how to approach their testing in a concretely different way, and generate more value to their organizations.

4. How to Make CEOs Understand Testing

This is a great interview with Dee Anne Pizzica, software tester and business analyst. She touches upon the fact that many testers don’t understand what CEOs think of them, and in order to open communication with upper management, you must learn how to speak their language.

Summary of this video:

  1. The common stereotype testers face is that upper management sees them as complainers and the bearer of bad news.
  2. If you learn how to talk about things, you can start to battle those misconceptions and stereotypes.
  3. Schedule a lunch with a higher-up to share your ideas and thoughts in order to help improve things. But, don’t just talk about how great testing is for them.

Takeaway: Build casual relationships with upper management to start getting people on board with your ideas and how you can help the entire team produce better results.

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