8 qualities of a bad software tester

Many software testers end up doing their job for many years but have picked up bad habits or had these bad habits from the start and never addressed them. If you see any of the following qualities in yourself, it’s time to CHANGE.

1) Passion

How often have you worked with someone who just simply doesn’t want to be there in that job. They are going through the motions because they have either been in the job too long and have got complacent or they are simply not enjoying the job. If you are a software tester who falls into this category, it’s time to rediscover your passion or find a new profession. Remember why you chose this profession in the first place and why you are suited to it and if you aren’t any more and you can’t rekindle the profession, it’s time to explore new avenues.

2) Are you destructive?

This might be deemed a negative term in most cycles but a good software tester is one who breaks a system, one who finds the issues first before the users. If you don’t have this mind-set you will run the happy path scenarios and whilst initially this may look good for the project and the project members, the minute the application is live and a fundamental defect is found this will come back to bite and be extremely embarrassing.

3) They don’t understand SUT (system under test)

A software tester can’t test an application well if they don’t UNDERSTAND the application itself. Having subject matter expertise on the application is really key to being able to know how it should and shouldn’t behave. Being able to derive some good tests which really exercise the system to the fullest and identify defects within the application is again dependent on having a good sound understanding of the system to begin within. Many testers are lazy in this respect, not asking pertinent questions with regards to requirements or user stories and settling for what they have been given

4) Autonomous?

Are you someone who can only operate on a narrow set of low level instructions or are you someone can work independently being able to find solutions for problems that crop up. If you are the former, you need to change your ways before your organisation changes you for someone else!

5) Laziness

Lazy testers are just an annoyance in projects. Incomplete tests result in defects not found as well as huge amounts of time lost when other colleagues try to run them ( or make sense of them!) . Defects not accurately described or with insufficient steps to reproduce are a developer’s worst nightmare and cause unnecessary conflicts between developers and testers. We LOATHE lazy testers. Make sure you are not one of them!

6) Going Solo

Testers who don’t work together as part of a team aren’t helping the project and are not helping themselves. These are the guys who will not co-operate to make other’s work any easier, refuse to do a particular type of testing because it’s not their ‘skillset’ or don’t put the extra yards in when the going gets tough and others around them are slugging their guts out. Don’t be one who goes solo!

7) Non-technical

Whilst not all testers are cut out for programming, testers need to not shy away from getting involved in all facets of testing. Even if you are not an automation tester, you can still get involved in writing the acceptance tests that an automation tester can write binding code for or you may not be a performance tester per say but that doesn’t stop you from understanding some basic performance requirements of your application under test to know how it is performing. My point is that in software testing, there is no need to pigeon yourself as manual tester whose boundaries don’t extend past writing and executing manual test cases. Get involved in all the areas, well skilled technical testers are always high in demand!

8) The box

The tester who adds value with thinking outside the box and performs tests scenarios that others haven’t thought of is simply INVALUABLE especially if they come across showstoppers. The converse is the tester who only does what he or she is told and perhaps just running the happy path scenarios providing limited value.

There you have it. 8 qualities of a bad tester to AVOID!