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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Steps to become a better software tester - can do these over a period of time - Part 3

In this series of posts (Improving testing skills), I have been writing about how to improve the testing capabilities of tester, and have presented some points that could help a developer. In this context, here are some points that could help the tester to improve their skills.
- The tester needs to improve their knowledge of the product. I once had a case where the tester had a series of test cases to execute and did not really have the time to get detailed knowledge of the product. So when there was a change in design and features, and the test cases had to be re-done, the tester did not have the knowledge to quickly make the changes. It took time, and the tester had to face flak because of the time involved, and was also berated for a poor knowledge of the product (and there was really no defence of this lack of knowledge).
- Domain knowledge of the area. A skilled tester will make the time to learn about the domain in which they are testing. For example, if an application is being written for the banking domain, then it would help for the tester to get a quick understanding of the concepts of the banking domain, especially the specific areas which the application is expected to cover. In my previous experience, I have seen that this helps the tester ask informed questions, and also be able to better review the test cases for completeness.
- The tester needs to focus on the more critical parts of the application first, and check those areas first in terms of testing. It is a reality that no application is 100% bug free (or rather, the amount of effort and cost required to make an application bug free is exorbitant), and hence it is key that the tester has found more of the bugs in the application that have a high priority and severity, and the bugs that are remaining in the application are less severe, and have a lower customer impact.

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