Finding a good software tester has become really difficult these days. There are some basic qualities required of a good software tester. Some of them are stated below:
There has been a misconception that if a tester is technically sound and has good programming and testing skills, his command over the language/communication skills is not important. Whereas in the current scenario the management is realizing the need of strong communication skills which a software tester must possess, (more than a software developer/ programmer) as there is a lot of communication required with various departments like the product team and development team to have an understanding of what a software product does.
Besides verbal communication and specifications provided there are test plans, test cases and bug reporting which need to be documented by the software tester.
It is a document telling the detailed testing strategy and approach taken to validate the product before it is released. A sample test plan will have the following:
They are a set of steps followed by a software tester to determine that software is working properly or not. A sample test case will have the following fields:
Above are the steps followed for documenting a sample test plan and test cases. There are other documents which is responsibility of a software tester like bug reporting. Later on someone else is going to have to understand test plans or the test cases that you have prepared. Employees from other departments like developers and product managers will go through the bug report to remove the bugs or decide on a feature issue depending on a tester’s reports.
So properly documented reports and plans are very important which are written in simple language for others to understand but keeping the documentation standards in mind.
Absence of good documentation and lack of communication by the software testers will lead to spending more time dealing with a technical problem. It would become difficult for the developers to pinpoint errors in the software which would lead to waste of time which otherwise would have been utilized for some other work.
When company employees a software tester who has sound technical and analytical knowledge, he can be trained to write effective technical documents or he can take up an independent course in technical writing.
What is technical writing?
It is an art of formal writing to be used in the technical documentation of a product or software, giving information to particular audience for some particular task. It has found use both in the internal and external functioning of a company, writing user manuals, online help files and installation guides.
A technical writer can work for magazines, newspapers and IT companies etc. There are modules designed specially for software testers to gain knowledge about the writing techniques and the tools to use for the documentation purpose like FrameMaker.
Technical writing is a field which is quickly gaining popularity. The module designed for the testers is not targeted for the non-technical audience as it mostly finds use in the internal functioning of the company. This would not only be an added skill to a tester’s profile, but he will also be able to do his job more effectively in less time and with less of effort. Software tester will be an asset to his employer which would mean a raise in his salary and promotion.