I’ve been pondering about this blog post since I saw the Ministry of Testing discussion post and to be honest, I really struggled to interpret it. I mean, how do I define essential skills exactly?
To help me structure my thoughts for this post, I’ll be interpreting “The Essential Skills for Testing” to be “What skills are useful for a great tester?”
Strong communication skills
Let’s be honest, we’ve all met people who claim they have communication skills or even strong communication skills and you can’t help but roll your eyes.
Like wth does that even mean?
In my opinion, strong communication skills (for a tester) means that a tester is:
- Able to communicate exactly what, where, why, how, etc they have tested in such a way that the team understands what they did
- Able to communicate exactly what, where, why, how, etc they will test a feature (etc) in such a way that the team understands what they plan to do, and can help expand on those ideas/or question them – to me, the second part is a test of how well you communicated what you plan to test.
Can give effective, actionable feedback
Test reporting and bug reporting is essentially feedback.
A tester is giving the team (often the developers) feedback on the feature (etc) that they have tested.
Often we expect/hope for people to gain some sort of value from our feedback, maybe we want them to know what a great job they did, or maybe we want them to know there are some areas of the feature that had quite a few problems. If it’s the latter then a tester should deliver the feedback in an effective, actionable way.
I don’t think a tester should just write a bug and say “it doesn’t work”. What is a developer supposed to do with that sort of information? There’s no clear point for the developer to start investigating. Even if you don’t know exactly what the problem is, you can note down what you did to investigate the issue; what you tried to do etc.