Testing is an area of development. A product or service is measured against a number of criteria at different stages of the development cycle. This is measured against the original spec, goal or intended use. Testing can be carried out manually by individuals or automated by computer systems. The automated scripts that run the systems are written and also maintained by individuals.
Why Choose Automation?
It may take longer to set up initially, but automated testing may save a lot of time and money in the long term. There are various arguments for and against automated versus manual testing. It will just depend on the task needed to be carried out and the industry as to which method is more suitable.
When I was at university not a lot of emphasis was placed on testing and the roles within this field. More attention was on the career path of the developer. But, the roles within testing can be as technical as that of the developer and just as important.
Depending on the company you work in, the job of a developer and tester may blur. You may need skills useful for either role in order to do your job effectively.
What Qualities Make You A Good Tester?
These aren’t all the qualities that you need to be a good tester but they’re certainly highly important.
- The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively
This includes between technical (developers and other testers) and non-technical (business) members of your team. Both written and verbal communication skills are important to improve and perfect.
- High attention to detail
You should be able to pick up minor issues as well as the glaringly obvious ones and be able to reproduce them correctly. The more issues you find and help fix, the higher level of quality the product you ship has.
- Being able to pick up new software and languages quickly
Like most areas in IT, the tools that testers use are updated and change very quickly. As well as the tools you will use on a daily basis you may need to be able to use the tools that the developers in your team utilise.
Why Specialise In Testing?
The field of testing is extremely varied. As I mentioned, an automation role in testing can be just as technical as a role as a developer. But if you’re not into technical jobs you can still be a valuable manual tester. Manual testers frequently carry out exploratory testing which is extremely essential and something that automation can’t replicate.
As testing is the last stage in development before the product is released to the customer or to production, testers are responsible for identifying issues that could impact the reliability and use of the product. When these issues are found testers work with developers to get the issue fixed and retested to ensure the problem is solved and that nothing else is broken. Testers are the gatekeepers of quality.
Is Testing For You?
If you enjoy ensuring that something is of the highest level of quality, testing could be for you. You need to be willing to carry out some tasks that may be long and repetitive. However, others may give you a unique perspective into the development cycle and could expose you to different fields. For example, you could get more exposure to business analysis when you’re trying to determine the expected results for test cases. Or, exposure to software development when you’re writing automation or other technical tests if you’re utilising test-driven development or behaviour-driven development.
Ultimately, it’s a very satisfying role knowing that you’re the one upholding your brand’s image by ensuring a high level of quality.