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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Steps to become a better software tester - can do these over a period of time - Part 5

I have been writing a series of posts (How to become a better tester) about how a tester can slowly and steadily acquire a variety of skills that improve their skills and make them a much better tester, ensuring a better career and more respect. Here are some more tips that can help you in this quest:
- People working with a tester can typically figure out the tester who is laid back and the one who they can trust to make sure that their feature is of high quality. They would prefer a tester who is involved in the process from the beginning, who asks a lot of questions (relevant ones, not questions just for the purpose of questions), who contributes to improving the product and the process. A tester may irritate the developer by asking a lot of questions, but if these are relevant questions and help the developer in uncovering more defects, such help will be well appreciated. I have this transformation happening in a tester when the tester learnt that they were rated average and did some amount of comparison to see what a developer and the test manager would appreciate.
- Learning more about the intricacies of how the system / application is built. Typically when there is a black box system, the tester is just expected to know the various input and output variables for the system; however, a good tester will also try to explore to some extent white box related information for the system. The tester will try to learn about the way that different components in the system interact with each other, so that it also becomes easier to identify the areas that need more attention. This may require the tester to learn about the system design to some degree, but all of this is very much possible for a determined tester to do (it is only in some amount of applications where the tester does not have the ability to learn about the system design and the interactions between the various components in the system).

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