This post will discuss 5 ways to be a Smart Tester. Testers should adopt these to work smart and gain respect but also keep your interest alive in Testing. After all, one should enjoy the work they do. So, make Testing a fun activity.
A Seasoned Tester might find Testing boring, un-interesting activity. She may find herself to reach a dead end performing same routine tasks which in no way is helping her improve her learning or adding value in her Profile.
Such a Tester starts blaming / cursing the project, the team, the application under test, the culture, the company or her astrological stars for all the wrong reasons. There’s no point of blaming others. Don’t even blame yourself.
Instead, Retrospect. See what went wrong and how you can improve to be a Valued (S.M.A.R.T) Tester. Find out ways to make your job interesting and improve learning at the same time.
S.M.A.R.T = Simple yet Meticulous Approach towards Realistic Testing
Here are 5 ways to become a SMART Tester. Readers are welcomed to pitch in their views as to what they think can makes Testers Smart.
1. Put on your Thinking Cap
There can be only 2 reasons that makes you think Testing is boring. One, you are not making efforts to know and understand the system and learn more about it by cognitive, critical thinking. Second, you are stuck in a wrong job, you are meant to do something else.
If you think second is an invalid reason, it’s high time for you to put on your thinking cap. You need to improve your thought process. Else, embrace yourself to be stuck forever doing the same dull repetitive tasks.
Management, Team value those who ask, raise doubts, participates. A doubt can only arise in a thinking mind. So if you are not jittery about the System, they may not think of you as a valuable player and assign work that requires zero thinking. And that’s not good. This will definitely make you feel of Testing as a boring activity. Trust me, You do not want to be in such a situation.
Other possibility can be that you are so much stuck with old school (ideas) of testing that you do not accept the idea of context driven testing wherein Testers think critically to find ways to break the System. If you are one such candidate, try adopting a new approach to Software Testing. You may have pre-conceived ideas / experiences / notions / prejudices – evaluate those. Ask yourself, team, management, stakeholders questions. Do not have a thinking bias. Reject / approve your biases. Refute your assumptions. Think as an end user who will use the product. Investigate to improve product quality. Be Meticulous in your investigation and communication.
2. Learn / Read
If you want to improve your thought process, you need to read and learn. Learn about the product, the System you will be testing. Take reference of other Systems. Read blogs, Software Testing books, books about Human psychology, solve puzzles etc. to learn and widen your horizon. Unless you won’t read or learn, you won’t have questions. Without questions, you will never have the curiosity to know more about the System. You may end up finding yourself stuck in a boring job forever. Do not hesitate even if you think question is funny or irrelevant. Just ask!
If you really want to improve your learning, your decision making skills, your ability to ask, read a lot and learn the System. Have a problem solving attitude. Do not let yourself be stuck in scripted testing. Improve your stakes to a better valued Tester.
Improve your skills by learning new tools. Ask developers for help if you find it difficult to understand the code. Learn automation tools and help developers and ultimately the project.
Be a Team Player. Collaborate with other Testers, Developers and Management. Involve yourself to add value to the project. Do not be a liability. Only then you will be able to improve your own and project’s productivity.
Foster communication with developers. Keep your bug reports simple, realistic and to the point. Welcome questions from developers. Share and discuss new ideas. Have confidence within your team. Remember, it’s not only you whose working hard for the project’s success. There are many others just like you.
4. Testing as Fun Activity
Make Testing a fun activity. Enjoy your work. Think long term of how you are helping the business, client, stakeholders by putting in efforts that will help them (and help you) prosper exponentially. So make it a habit to enjoy work that you do.
5. Accept Challenges
Be the game. Show your mettle. Stuck in a complex project, ask for help as much possible. Do not run away from it. Management, business should always be upfront to help. Take help from existing products reference. Discuss with your team members and find best possible ways to understand complex things. Confirm your findings with client.
So these are my 5 ways to be a everyday SMART Tester.
Life itself is a challenge we take knowingly / unknowingly everyday. Add Testing as another challenge in your kitty.
I am sure doing above activities will definitely help you to become a value tester and contribute towards the success of the project.
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