Tools for a tester

Recently we got new testers, fresh out of school, joining the department. I was assigned to give them a training on tips and tricks of using Unix during our test work. During the break, I asked them the following. Can you tell me what the tools are for a tester? Answers I got were:

  • defect tracking tools
  • test progress tools
  • tools for archiving test cases
  • tools for archiving requirements

I asked some other junior tester (they are a few months on the job) the same question. They came more or less with the same answer.

Strange that they mentioned these tools, because these are tools for management purposes, Tools used to support the application life cycle. I call the secundary tools. They support management to display the health of product in a certain phase in the application life cycle.

We as testers have more (important) tools. Every tester possesses them. These tools are :

  • Your eyes
  • Your brain
  • Your voice
  • Your ears
  • (Your hands)

I call them primary tools.
We use them to gather information about the product. We use them to observe what happens during our test exploration. You can or even must train them by means of self learning.
Train “your eyes” to become a good observant. Learn to interpret what you see as an investigator.
Train “your brain” to be creative, to think critically. It directs you to the problems out there ‘in the field’
Train “your voice” to communicate appropriately, so the recipients of the information you are giving can understand you. Also the way how you ask questions, you have to be clear on that.
Train “your ears” to listen what is being told to you, as you are collecting information.

These primary tools will help you with your test mission; to gather information to make an informative decision, to question the product in order to learn from it and evaluate it.

Know where to find the information and how to use it—that’s the secret of success.” -Albert Einstein

You are in control to empower yourself and become a great tester. Start now training your primary tools and learn to use them wisely.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. nkeene says:

    Great post! You’re so right that we usually confuse the management side of the business with the business of QA.

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