Many of us know how important it is to be a technically great Tester, whether it is a manual or an automation one. Testers will spend their careers brushing up their skills to one day become the best in their field.
However, a tester with great technical abilities cannot become a great Tester without a number of soft skills which will make the difference between true success and mediocrity. With the arrival of Agile and Scrum which are now becoming companies’ ‘must-do’ in terms of methodologies, your average tester will not be asked to stay in a corner to test, but will be required to have some soft skills which will be crucial in order to finish a project.These are the top five soft skills for a Tester to have in order to be successful:
When working towards successfully completing a project using an Agile methodology, a Tester will be required to communicate with different parts of the IT team (designers, developers, business analysts) and therefore be able to explain ideas and issues in a clear and concise way. When writing down tests cases, it is also extremely important to have impeccable written skills.
2. The love of investigation:
Any Tester will know this, the entire Test life-cycle is almost like a police investigation. The Tester will need an eye for detail, the ability to be methodological and not be afraid to go back, analyse and correct any glitch or mistake. Retracing the story of what went wrong and why is crucial to completing a project.
Resilience is one of the most important soft skills to have. Even with the best possible intentions and a good eye for detail, not all projects can go smoothly and not all bugs are obvious to notice. With more complex systems come more complex errors to trace. Testers have to check and re-check programs, and spend their time challenging everything they know about Testing to be ‘more intelligent’ than the bugs.
Testers have to be curious. Not just in regards to finding bugs but also in regards to really trying to get an understanding of the product and what it is trying to achieve from a user’s point of view, as well as an understanding of the client. Testers not only have to be curious about the product but also about the environment and industry they work in. Without this constant curiosity, it seems almost impossible for them to do the one of the crucial parts of the job: Challenge.
5. Emotional Intelligence:
Communication is one thing but emotional intelligence is another. While Testers used to be considered as shy and not necessarily very good to cope with complex social environments, it is now crucial for Testers to be able to deal with their colleagues when their environments are stressful. It is now essential for Testers to be tactful, especially when showing programmers certain glitches; having the courage to question some of their work.
All in all, being a Tester requires many more qualities than meets the eye and makes this profession extremely interesting to get into. Soft skills will hugely contribute to becoming a World-Class professional in an industry which is constantly changing.