Top six attitudes of a good QA Engineer
In every day-to-day situation, believe it or not, we have acted as a tester, where we have checked, for example, whether the television we have just bought works, whether it delivers everything we have been told it does, and we have "fiddled" with all the options and checked that they do what they are supposed to do. Who hasn't gone shopping for a sofa and sat down to see if it was comfortable?
Any situation we are exposed to nowadays is related to testing and this sometimes makes us forget that a software tester is someone with a technical, functional and versatile preparation to solve different complex situations that are exposed in their daily work. This is not infrequently forgotten in many sectors or projects, where testing is carried out by other types of profiles that are not entirely specialised in testing, causing economic losses, time and effort, throughout the world.
First, there is patience: a QA Engineer has to be patient, not be in a hurry, take things slowly and test step by step, avoiding anxieties or disorderly requests.
Testing is the most laborious phase a project can have, not because of the technical complexity of the code or the architecture that supports it, but because of the concrete detail of finding defects with any kind of existing casuistry. Therefore, we must be patient in the design, execution and problem solving, avoiding, at all costs, leaving something undone because we are in a hurry or, at least, not raising it so that it is not known of its existence.
When patience abandons us, we start to lose focus, things are not done as they should be done and we start to rush decisions that will not be right, such as taking modules or functionalities that have not been 100% tested or checked meticulously as valid, with the problem that if a user or client raises a defect or error in production, they can expose us and evaluate that the testing strategy may contain a hole to be corrected.
This, obviously, is not at odds with giving the go-ahead to a functionality when the casuistries found have been tested and where a minor flaw may have escaped due to a minimum margin of error that must always be considered.
A QA Engineer must be positive, as his/her effort is dedicated to finding problems, bugs and defects in "things" he/she has not done himself/herself. Therefore, the attitude must always remain positive in order to avoid catastrophic, problematic messages that highlight shortcomings or weaknesses and cause suspicions in a team that may be affected emotionally or overwhelmed by tight deadlines.
There are an infinite number of projects, a multitude of situations that can lead us to work very closely with development teams, but also to situations of confrontation or unease that will be difficult to manage with negative attitudes or that do not help to unify criteria or make visible the effort that is being made. It is therefore important to work on this point very well and to always carry it as a flag.
Anyone who wants to go into software testing must work on humility above all else, as he or she must be consistent with his or her limitations and how far he or she has to go.
Moreover, this quality should be our standard when dealing with other colleagues, enabling a rapprochement, prudence and a way of communicating things that does not cause suspicion, quickly avoiding toxicity and the generation of bad feeling so as not to cause gratuitous harm. These types of attitudes, people or concentrators of negativity are the first ones we should avoid, positioning ourselves completely in profile in front of them.
Humility will bring us closer, will generate learning and will allow us to continue our professional career, taking the right steps as a QA Engineer. For better or for worse, we must be aware that we are in a constant learning process that leads us into areas we did not know or will soon know.
Humility will bring us closer, will generate learning and will allow us to continue our professional career
The use of assertiveness as an intrinsic quality or capacity of a QA Engineer is given by the minority concept that characterises us, where we must express our opinions, generate suggestions and defend our work in an honest way, without falling into aggressiveness or passivity.
In this way, we will respect others and respect the QA team's own needs.
For this reason, we must work a lot on communication, a point we will deal with later, based on self-esteem and self-confidence. In software projects, the QA team or person is usually in the minority and sometimes they are not listened to as much as they should be, putting aspects as important as the guaranteed production of a product above everything else.
With assertiveness, we will also help to solve everyday problems and negative emotions such as anger and rage when things don't go as they should or when we don't feel supported.
The use of abstraction for a software tester allows us to think or observe things only with our brains, without the need to see them or have them in front of us.
This ability or attitude of a good QA Engineer will allow, among other things, what he or she puts into a written text, so that the words we read will build up meaning in our minds. This ability is necessary for reading comprehension.
Abstraction will help us to solve problems, think of solutions or see the different consequences that a defect can cause. Giving a unique vision to the development team, where it can be solved in an agile way.
The ability to analyse is a quality that helps us to gain a deeper understanding of the realisation of a specific situation, in our case, of a set of tests or operations of a specific system or application.
Critical thinking will help us to establish relationships between the different elements encountered, to acquire new knowledge and to seek different perspectives from which to approach our main problem.
We are going to work on this capacity by detecting defects, looking for the root of the problem, seeking impartiality, having an impartial optical vision without prejudice to anyone or to any team and above all having a more analytical point of view and without external influences.
Analytical skills will help us to establish different priorities in order to find solutions to specific problems, looking for the best possible way forward.
Regardless of these capabilities, of course, there are many more, which will help our overall capability to be better and much more focused on working together with each team or area of the development lifecycle. Our capabilities must always help to build a team, to make everyone comfortable working with us and to accompany any colleague on his or her journey to pursue quality above all else.
Finally, all these qualities or capabilities would be meaningless without looking after each person who works with us with the best of smiles - that is the secret of it all.