Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What is the most important skill a software tester should have?

What is the most important skill a software tester should have?
In the below video are the answers from a conversation with Tony Bruce at EuroSTAR 2011 last November.

Following are the answers:

0:33  Communication- Fred Beringer @fredberinger

1:14 Ability to Think

1:30 Analytical and Technical 

1:50 Objective look, think(+1) and present his/her thought - Fiona Charles @FionaCCharles

2:20 Communication (+1) 

2:30 Communication (+2) 

3:20 (depends) Critical and Through (for some domain)

3:32 Passion and Enthusiasm  

3:48 Knowing what battles to pick

4:14 To learn - (Andy Glover @cartoontester)

4:43 Has to have many (Curiosity, Intelligence, desire for better software/world  )

5: 25 Question every thing

5:32 Think out side the box (+2)

5:46 Think (+3) - Nancy Kelln @nkelln

6:00 Communication (+3) - John Stevenson @steveo1967

6:12 Not an agile tester (coz it has become a hype)- Stefaan Luckermans @stefaanl

(please let me know if you can identify anyone else or for incorrect identification(s) :D)

Thinking and Communication are the winner.

I believe testers should have technical skills, and thinking is pretty much required in any technical job (O.K. in almost any technical job) but see how many people are saying "Communication".

Communication is important, it's real important for a good tester and doesn't only include the formal, template filling kind of communication i.e. Test Plan, Test Cases, Session Reports, Bug Reports or any  other mode of sharing your findings, but informal kind of communication is equally important.

The informal chit chat with a developer or any other team member about the product, process bug or bug fix helps us a lot. Similarly how to be team member rather then acting like quality police, how to help other team members and how to seek help from other team members (yes any team member with any specific role, developers, DBAs, System Administrators included). 

Similarly we should be able to communicate with other testers to learn from them and we should be able to share our views and opinions about testing with other testers.
No matter how good we are, we can not work in isolation.