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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Steps to become a better software tester - can do these over a period of time - Part 10

I have been writing a series of posts (Improve your testing skills) on how to improve your testing skills, with many advice items that will take time to implement, and some items that can be done fairly swiftly. It requires that the tester have the intention of making these changes, and showing their will and determination (since some of them will ask for the tester to put in extra effort). Some more tips for this series are:
- Ensure that you put in a lot of effort to be concise and yet clear in your written communication. A tester has a number of areas where good written communication is required, such as writing test cases, test plans, bugs, and so on. A person who is able to clearly communicate is normally seen in a much better light that somebody whose documentation takes effort to read, or is not clear enough that more information is needed before somebody else can work from that documentation.
- Be sure that you make an effort to check for previous behavior, when working on products where a new version of the product is being done. No developer likes a tester who claims to have found a new bug, and then after some discussion and time spent, it gets discovered that the defect was actually filed in previous versions of the product, and for some reason, was not deemed worthy of fixing in the previous version of the product. A tester will do a check for previous versions of the product having this bug, and also provide this information to the developer. This is true because development time is limited, and sometimes if a bug is present in many versions of the product, and customers have not really raised any issues about this defect, it may be possible to de-prioritize the bug and not put time for fixing the bug.
- Keep yourself updated with latest techniques. There is a lot of research in terms of improvements in testing skills on the internet and in specialist magazines, and a tester can improve their testing skills by reading the latest research and trying out some of the measures advocated by such research.

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