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15 Important Skills That Every Software Tester Must Learn

A renowned computer scientist and testing expert – Jerry (Gerald) Weinberg once said that  “If you are not learning something new each day, you are not testing”. This statement holds nothing but truth especially in a time when the technology, agile and DevOps methodologies are evolving day by day and the accelerated development, as well as continuous deployments, are becoming more and more complicated. This demands the effective execution of software tester skills, making the QA & testing procedures a critical undertaking.

So, if you want to keep up with the constantly changing trends of the market then you must always learn new skills and advance in your technical expertise. For instance, in a software testing process, a software tester must be able to utilize good software testing strategies to perform various kinds of testing activities like probing into requirements, asking more questions, comprehending product information, communicating with the clients, and more to remain competitive and relevant in the industry.

See More Post: Certified Mobile App Testing Service Providers

After discussing the importance of staying at the leading edge of the software testing job, here I have provided a list of some skills that a software tester must master to stay relevant and competitive in their profession.

List of Top 15 Software Tester Skills to Learn

1. DevOps & Agile Methodology

With the pressure of meeting the project schedules and delivery deadlines, a tester must be familiar with the agile and DevOps methodology. Such an approach promotes collaborative and iterative working models. While the agile strategies will help you speed up the test project, DevOps will aid you with cross-functional teamwork right from anything like development, analysis, and QA processes resulting in a top-notch quality product with a faster time-to-market. Also, if a software tester masters this skill, it would remove the rigidity and silos and enable the team to continue the releases while still paying close attention to the phase-wise software development.

2. Automation

Automation is not only one of the most important technical skills but it is an advanced one too. With all the integrations and increased complexities in the app, you can’t afford to rely on manual testing alone to get your job done. You must learn the automation testing skills for cross-browser testing, performance, headless as well as database and integration layers. Because automation testing can provide higher accuracy with all the business logic and technicalities it offers. Also, there are many test automation tools available in the market that are dedicated to supporting some specific types of tests and it comes with such features that help you get your task done very quickly and efficiently in comparison to manual testing.

3. Web & Mobile Technologies

To understand the type of app, its built, scalability is necessary while planning a suitable set of actions for its testing. It all becomes easy if a software tester is familiar with the web and mobile technologies. To the tester, it is also recommended that they keep an eye out to get updates on all kinds of web and mobile technology advancements. They could come in handy while understanding the coding architecture and technical challenges so that you can deliver effective QA solutions.

4. SDLC

When you are conducting software testing, it is important to have a basic understanding of application development tasks. For that, you need to master the software development life cycle management skills. It also helps you to plan your testing cycles very easily. You will be able to take some preemptive measures and anticipate the complexities of an app, all of these will be possible if you specialize in the SDLC cycle. Apart from that, software testers must also know some of the development methodologies like Waterfall, Kanban, Scrum, Lean and more that are applied for the software development life cycle processes.

5. Rational Analysis & Logical Thinking

The job specifications of a software tester include tasks like identifying the errors, understanding the complexities, assessing the unfamiliar behavior of an application, and testing them as per the requirements. To accomplish these roles, software testers must be very competitive at the skills of being rational, analytical, and logical. The testing skills of analytics and reasoning help the tester invalidate applications against different scenarios and examine their elements, workflows against predefined standards. This also helps them in assessing relevant information, raise clear questions, identify strengths and weaknesses without being biased. These are the things that keep a software tester being focused on the right course of action and solution.

6. Social Networking

Social networking skills are very critical no matter what profession you are working in. Social networks are the best place to get instant access to discussions, resources, and content. Software testers can leverage these skills by mastering them to engage with counterparts, learn new things and keep updated with the latest information. You can use your social networking skills on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to exchange knowledge and to develop long-term relationships. That would be very beneficial for your professional and enterprise goals.

7. Testing Tools & Techniques

What would be more important for a software tester than learning how to use and imply different kinds of testing tools and techniques? They must have in-depth knowledge of various types of testing including black-box testing, penetration testing, security testing, system testing, unit testing, and so on irrespective of the domain or the type of app. Knowing about various types of testing makes testers versatile and it also helps them in working on any specific kind of project.

Additionally, a tester must also be trained to use the testing tools that are available in the market like bug tracking tools, test management tools, GUI testing tools, automation tools, and more. The job of a software tester doesn’t get over just knowing about these testing tools. They must also have an understanding of where they can use some of these tools to fulfill the needs and overcome the complexities of a project.

8. Programming

Another important technical skill that a tester should master is programming. You would be wondering that programming is a developers’ job, then why it has been included in the list of top skills that testers must learn. The role of a tester is to test the apps to comprehend their functioning. But to do that, they must first create a relevant testing process for it. And as we discussed before in this blog, to create the test for an app, testers must know about the app, it’s built, and more. This includes the code of an application.

If a software tester has basic programming knowledge of the application then it would be easy for them to identify the possible errors, reduce the bugs and all other inefficiencies of the application that are present in its code. So, it is highly recommended that you must learn at least a couple of basic programming languages so that you can get your head around the working of an app smoothly and make sure that it has a better quality life cycle.

9. Communication – Written & Oral

Specializing in software testing isn’t just about having technical skills, you must possess rather good soft skills too. And one of them is having better communication skills. We all can communicate but not all of us are good at communication. You must learn to be a good reader, writer, speaker, and listener. That will help you communicate effectively with the clients and stakeholders of the project as you have to give them a constant update status of the project, inform them about the needs of your team, communicating the concerns of a developer, translating necessary documents into test cases and preparing reports for the management. Apart from that, when a person has good communication skills, they can effectively demonstrate a high degree of comprehension that would help you in conveying insights and offering feedback to both technical and non-technical people in a logical as well as rational manner.

10. Intellectuality & Creativity

What is the need for creativity in the list of software testing skills?

You all know that software testing is not any routine or a mundane task. Instead, a testing process demands a lot of intellectual bend of mind. You have to think of various possible ways that an app could go wrong and then develop solutions to prevent that from happening. This asks for out-of-the-box thinking. One can achieve that by questioning the behavior of the application and analyzing its different aspects to understand how an app works. A software tester can explore various kinds of test scenarios, identify defect probabilities and seek possible solutions to deliver top-notch quality software products by executing intelligent solutions and insights.

11. Test Planning & Documentation

Having test planning and documentation skills is also essential for software testing. It helps you take the necessary measures by first identifying the right requirements. Test planning and documentation skills help you track the changes in requirements, check test processes and trace deviations, reporting and logging work. If a testing process is very well documented then it can be beneficial to both individuals as well as enterprises while deciding the allocation of budget and resources. Hence, test planning and documentation are one of the most important software testing skills that every tester must learn.

12. Project Management

Software testing skill set requires you to have the good problem-solving capability. And that’s why a tester must learn project management skills. It trains the testers to be accountable and answerable for their job to the concerned stakeholders. It also enables them to undertake the responsibility and management of the end-to-end test case. Project management skills have a large contribution in improving the test results and delivering quality results.

13. Customer Support

In the modern digital age, it is expected that the testers would be ready to provide customer support and that they would think from the client’s perspective. If you have a testing job then it doesn’t mean that you have to work in a back office because if you want your testing project to be successful then you need to be available to respond to and support the needs of the customer.

14. Reporting

A tester is required to present the situation exactly the way it is. Software testers should be practiced to provide the exact report of the status of the test project and apps under the test to the stakeholders. Reporting skills allow you to lead to better coordination of the entire software testing project. It also helps you in taking the right decision by offering transparency to the top management in terms of test cases executed, bugs encountered, release timelines, and so on.

15. Independent Working

Though software development is a team effort, a tester must learn to work alone and more importantly work independently. Having this skill will sharpen the ability of testers to work on any tasks right from the phase of ideation or understanding the requirements to the final delivery of the software product. Taking the right steps without any guidance or assistance from the superiors or the product manager is very tough but learning to work independently will only instill a great deal of confidence in you.

Conclusion

All software testers possess unique qualities. And when you are interviewed for a job in the modern industries, both sets of technical and non-technical skills are looked upon. Here in this blog we discussed some essential qualities a software teaser must learn but one must not forget that they aren’t everything. Each one of you has a unique perspective and that will help you identify the problems. This is just another characteristic that you will develop over time with practice and experience.

But on another note, no matter how big your experience is, testers should continue to strive for learning new things, acquiring new knowledge, and enhancing their software testing skills. It doesn’t matter how you do it. Be it self-learning or engaging in a training program, testers should continuously learn new approaches, methodologies, and processes, whatever it is, just keep improving performance in testing and keep executing the latest set of skills to keep themselves ahead of the competition.

Well, what do you think? If you think I have missed some important skills then feel free to mention them in the comments section below.

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