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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Steps to become a better software tester - can do these over a period of time - Part 12

In previous posts (Improve software testing), I have been outlining steps that can help a tester improve their testing skills. Some of these steps can happen in a short time, and some more steps that will take more time to happen. For example, in the previous post, I had talked about using metrics about the bug generation and interpreting the data to improve the quality of the bugs you log. In this post, I will take some more steps about how you can improve your testing skills:
- See whether you can get some idea about the way your customers think. Reading requirements and designs give you an idea about the customers needs, but you need to understand more about how your customers think. This can be a bit difficult, since getting access to your customers can be difficult. However, there are ways in which you learn.
So, for example, there can be user forums where users write about their experiences, write about the problems they have with their software, and so on. Such forums are a good way for testers to learn about the customer flows, since users will describe what they were doing when they ran into the problem, and other users can add more feedback from their side. Reading such threads helps to learn the workflows that customers use, and such feedback makes the testing done even more realistic, mapping to how the customer actually uses the application.
Another way of understanding customer workflows is to review the bugs that customer log. Most good softwares actually allow users to enter bugs through some sort of work flow, either from a form on a web site, or through an option on the site itself. Reading such bugs will give an idea about the workflows that the customer was using and reading a number of such bugs gives a good insight into customer workflows.


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